The Department of Defense announced today that Ms. Barbara McQuiston, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology in the Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Technology, will serve as the United States representative on the Board of Directors of NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic, or DIANA.
Modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DIANA connects defense personnel from across the Alliance with the best and brightest scientists, researchers, startups and technology companies to solve critical defense and security challenges. Innovators participating in DIANA’s programs gain access to its network of dozens of accelerator sites and test centers in more than twenty allied nations. The Board of Directors of DIANA consists of one representative from each allied nation and is responsible for the organizational management of DIANA and approves the strategic direction of DIANA’s activities.
“I can’t think of a better innovator to lead our efforts at DIANA than Barbara McQuiston,” said Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “Barbara has been a key driver in the execution of our science and technology strategy. With so many pressing near-term concerns, it’s easy to get distracted by the long game. Barbara was tasked with maintaining a clear focus over the long term, and she did just that, always prioritizing the fundamental research and investments that guarantee our future national and economic security.”
“Our allies and partners are a critical asymmetric asset in this era of strategic competition. I know that Barbara is uniquely qualified for this role. Her background, experience and proven ability to drive results in the international arena will benefit NATO in the decades to come,” Shyu said.
As Associate CTO for S&T, McQuiston oversaw the Undersecretary’s S&T portfolio, including staff development, relationship with federally funded R&D centers and university-affiliated research centers, protection of technology programs, international outreach, fundamental research, industrial innovation and a range of emerging technologies . During her tenure, McQuiston’s office provided $135 million in scholarships, grants, and scholarships to faculty and students researching national security-related areas and invested $7 million to improve DoD laboratory capabilities. She also supported the Department of Defense’s outreach to historically black colleges and universities and other institutions that serve minorities through funding, internships, and the establishment of new centers of excellence designed to conduct critical research and improve educational opportunities for minorities. She also led the reauthorization by Congress of the important Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
McQuiston previously spent nearly a decade at DARPA helping initiate future capabilities and has a proven track record of identifying, developing and demonstrating critical technologies. She also has over thirty years of industry experience creating innovative new technology companies. This has included advising capital management funds and negotiating and managing global technology transfer agreements in the public and private sectors.
“The future will be defined by finding and supporting the best new and emerging technologies to support defense priorities. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of that future by focusing my attention on driving innovative technologies and partnerships in a meaningful, measurable and enduring way for the Department of Defense,” said McQuiston. “DIANA will help create a framework for collaborating with our allies in entrepreneurial new ways, while benefiting from relevant future capabilities and interoperability. Accelerating and investing in opportunities with our allies ensures we can leverage these capabilities to address the challenges we are tackling now and in the future.”
McQuiston’s appointment as a director is effective October 31, 2022 and her term of office is four years. dr Steven G. Wax, currently Principal Deputy, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology, will serve as Deputy CTO for Science and Technology.
NATO announced DIANA at the North Atlantic Council meeting on June 14, 2021 in Brussels. The goal of the Accelerator is to improve and accelerate transatlantic cooperation on critical technologies and to help NATO work more closely with private sector organizations, academia and other non-governmental entities. DIANA will have headquarters in Europe and North America and will coordinate with existing test and innovation centers across the alliance. The accelerator will also build and manage a network to help start-ups and non-traditional companies better support the Alliance’s technology needs. DIANA will focus on seven key emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, big data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, hypersonic and space. DIANA will also include a venture capital fund called the NATO Innovation Fund, which will invest €1 billion in deep tech startups over fifteen years.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering and innovation to maintain the technological edge of the US military. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.