WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 —
Defense Secretary Ash Carter heads to Silicon Valley this afternoon to announce new initiatives, including a new cyber strategy, and to learn from experts who run some of the highest-tech companies in one of the nation’s innovation hotspots.
During the two-day trip to Northern California’s Silicon Valley, Carter will deliver a speech at Stanford University, visit the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, and meet with executives at the $4 billon venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, senior defense officials said yesterday during a teleconference with reporters.
The visit will focus on three goals, officials said.
One is improving how the Pentagon partners with technology sectors nationwide. Another is building critical relationships that will help DoD personnel drive change in the department, and the third is outlining the department’s role in defending the nation in cyberspace, they said.
Speech at Stanford
At Stanford, where the defense secretary recently served as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Carter will deliver the Drell Lecture.
The annual lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation, is named for Dr. Sidney Drell, a theoretical physicist and arms-control expert who was a cofounder of the center.
Carter knew Drell at Oxford, where Drell at the time was part of Oxford University’s department of theoretical physics and the external thesis examiner for Carter’s doctorate in theoretical physics. Later, Drell inspired Carter to become involved in national security affairs.
The Drell Lecture was created to address critical national security issues that have important scientific and technical applications, the defense officials said.
A New Cyber Strategy
During the speech, Carter will announce three new initiatives and will unveil the Pentagon's new cyber strategy that a defense official said the secretary personally has been working on since taking office -- the department’s second cyber strategy and an update on the original strategy published in 2011.
The purpose of the new Department of Defense Cyber Strategy is to guide the development of DoD's cyber forces and strengthen its cyber defense and cyber deterrence posture, officials said, adding that the document focuses on building cyber capabilities and organizations for DoD’s three cyber missions:
-- Defend DoD networks, systems and information;
-- Defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. national interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and
-- Provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.
Goals and Objectives
The strategy, the senior defense officials said, sets five strategic goals and establishes specific objectives for DoD to achieve over the next five years and beyond.
After his stop at Stanford, Carter will visit the Facebook campus in nearby Menlo Park. There, he will meet with Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to discuss what DoD can learn about Facebook's innovative approaches to managing technical talent, the senior defense officials said.
Afterward, he’ll meet with veterans working at the company to highlight personal examples, the officials said, “of how our people are going on to some of the nation's leading tech companies.”
Learning from Industry
Carter would like to see more exchanges between industry and government so service members can learn from industry, the defense officials said, so the secretary will announce two related initiatives.
Tomorrow, Carter’s last day in Silicon Valley, he will meet with executives at Andreessen Horowitz, the $4 billion venture capital firm, during a roundtable discussion hosted by partner Ben Horowitz.
(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)