Dr. Kate Sixt
Principal Director for Biotechnology
Dr. Kate Sixt served as the Principal Director for Biotechnology in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this capacity, Dr. Sixt lead the Department of Defense’s research and engineering efforts to advance military capabilities through biotechnology innovation and maintain a competitive advantage in biotechnology.
Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Sixt was an Assistant Director and then the Acting Director of the Strategy, Forces, and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia, from 2019 to 2022. This Division houses a diverse body of technology and policy research in national security, including strategy and risk, international arms markets, forces and capabilities, readiness, and defenses against weapons of mass destruction. As a researcher, Dr. Sixt led the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Analysis group, and she spearheaded technical analyses in national security topics related to weapons of mass destruction as well as emerging and dual-use technologies. This body of research included the technology opportunities for national security modernization focused on biotechnology, including technology protection and norms of biotechnology applications in military and civil domains.
Dr. Sixt joined the Institute for Defense Analyses in 2013 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and a bachelor’s in biochemistry from St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, New York. In addition, she is completing her master’s in the law of armed conflict at the Geneva Academy in Geneva, Switzerland, where her research focuses on the role of technology norms on the means and methods of warfare.