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Immediate Release

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks Meets with Software Industry, Academia in Mountain View, California

Department of Defense Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks visited locations around Mountain View, California, today, where she met with software industry leaders, researchers and academia to discuss Department of Defense priorities under the National Defense Strategy and historic investments into innovation and modernization ($130.1 billion) under the Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.

In Menlo Park, Deputy Secretary Hicks toured the Stanford University SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory – as one of 17 Department of Energy national labs, SLAC pushes the frontiers of human knowledge and drives discoveries that benefit humankind.  At SLAC, she observed the Linac Coherent Light Source, the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera Assembly and autonomous vehicle technology.

Visiting with researchers, observing, and discussing these types of advances in innovation will help achieve a greater understanding of the best practices to move the department toward Secretary Austin’s priorities; to include implementing the National Defense Strategy, advancing modernization at speed and scale, and aligning priorities and investing strategically for the future.

Following the tour, the deputy secretary hosted a roundtable with Stanford students, faculty, and military fellows to discuss the Gordian Knot Center’s unique approach to national security and innovation, and how their curriculum trains the next generation of innovators. The Deputy also heard from them ways the Department can better partner with and leverage the U.S. innovation ecosystem to solve national security challenges. 

During the roundtable, Dr. Hicks told attendees that one of her key priorities is to accelerate innovation adoption across DoD, including organizational structure, processes, culture, and people.

She said our innovation workforce is an important priority for as a part of our modernization efforts, and that the realities of today – changing geopolitical dynamics, coupled with rapid technological innovation, require different skills in our workforce and closer relationships with the US innovation ecosystem. 

At Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, Deputy Secretary Hicks met with about a dozen software companies to discuss how industry can continue supporting national security priorities, and how DoD can improve its relationship with software suppliers. 

“Because of its sophistication, diversity, and capacity to innovate, the U.S. Defense Industrial Base and vibrant innovation ecosystem remain the envy of the world,” said Deputy Secretary Hicks. “Every day, people like you are designing, building, and producing the critical materials and technologies that ensure our armed forces have what they need.”

Dr. Hicks also highlighted DoD programs designed to foster disruptive innovation efforts with defense industrial base suppliers, to include the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER) and Competitive Advantage Pathfinders.

On Wednesday, April 6, Deputy Secretary Hicks will meet with space-industry small businesses and faculty, students and researchers in the Los Angeles area.