Transcript

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security Ronald S. Moultrie Deliver Remarks at Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Dec. 2, 2021
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks; Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie

(APPLAUSE)

UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RONALD S. MOULTRIE: OK, I'm going to say it anyway: Go Terps!

(Laughter)

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, President Pines. This moment has been a long time in coming and we're glad that we're finally able to celebrate it here together. Today represents the vision and efforts of many people who are responsible for establishing the foundation on which ARLIS stands. Their support enables the Department of Defense to keep the nation safe and to do so in both traditional and in creative ways.

I'm grateful to the members of the Maryland Delegation who have long served and -- long served as strong advocates for a smarter Intelligence Community and a smarter security. We truly appreciate all your support.

The ARLIS External Advisory Board brings together many noble individuals, all whom have a frontline understanding of our national security objectives. Their guidance is a large part of what enables ARLIS's success. We thank them for their leadership, we thank them for their guidance and tutelage.

I also must acknowledge the important partnership between my office, led by Mr. Garry Reid -- Garry -- I saw Garry here -- there you are -- Garry -- Garry Reid -- and the University of Maryland Research Team led by Dr. Laurie Locascio. Their leadership and commitment were vital to making this happen.

And I can't leave out our combat support agencies, Intelligence Community partners and many other federal agencies. We have been partnering on a whole of government approach to protecting U.S. technology and innovation, with our collective body contributing where we can and benefitting from this important collaboration.

I'm also glad that we have representatives from the Intelligence and Security University Research Enterprise consortium, also known as INSURE, with us here today.

INSURE serves as an excellent model for collaboration that connects the government and academia with a special focus on underrepresented partners, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

These are the kinds of partnerships that we need to nurture and grow as they recognize that diversity is a strength, providing us with a competitive advantage that we must amplify in every way possible.

ARLIS is one of 14 University-Affiliated Research Centers, or UARCs, that combine their academic, research and development, and scientific capabilities to support efforts already underway in the Department of Defense. ARLIS is unique, however, because it's the only UARC dedicated specifically to intelligence and security.

That is why the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, or as it was known in 2017, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, took over as sponsor. Our partnership with the University of Maryland and results we are achieving today are emblematic of one of our most critical intelligence and security needs -- a UARC committed to evolving our capabilities by emphasizing a human-centric focus.

The future of intelligence and security needs both advanced technology and advanced human understanding. We need human and technological capabilities and we need to integrate them into our tradecraft. That is precisely what I see happening here at ARLIS.

We've always had big plans and big hopes for ARLIS, particularly in the realm of innovation. One of my priorities is exploring innovative approaches to enhance our nation's security. I define "innovation" as reimagining and discovering new ways of approaching, building, delivering and integrating new capabilities into our missions. And the faster we can do this, the better off our nation will be.

Intelligence and security at the Pentagon is in the middle of an innovation sprint, combining both expertise with military services, combat support agencies, intelligence security enterprises and other partners in the applied research community.

Our goal is to identify, analyze and implement the technological advances that are vital to our nation's intelligence and security mission. ARLIS's applied research is already enabling our enterprise to determine how we can get new technologies into users' hands faster, use these advances to further our current mission needs, and protect, as well, and modernize our technology so that we can anticipate and achieve future mission successes.

ARLIS is our space for creative thinking. It's a dynamic, innovative platform that allows us to integrate research communities into our processes, especially for finding near-term applications to solve real-world intelligence challenges. This work fortifies national security and counters any of our adversaries' attempts to undermine it.

Here, researchers and practitioners collaborate to imagine and realize new ideas. They emphasize the interconnectedness of the human understanding, of social systems, and ever-evolving technology, and they use this knowledge to help define our future, one where we seamlessly combine our tradecraft and emerging technologies with the talents of the people who use them.

A few years ago, Dr. Kathleen Hicks, Director [sic] of Defense, who we know is here today, wrote a dissertation. That dissertation was entitled "Change Agents: Who Leads and Why in the Execution of U.S. National Policy."

In it, she said that "future challenges will require integrated, multi-disciplinary solutions that extend well beyond the expertise of any single U.S. government department or agency. Advancing U.S. security will require a strong set of national security tools, military and civilian, with each providing a unique contribution in support of U.S. interests." ARLIS is the embodiment of Dr. Hicks' vision.

The fact that we're standing here today proves that we're on track to attain a strong set of national security tools, some of which will be created right here by the change agents within ARLIS.

It is now my honor to introduce Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks. Not only are we both University of Maryland alumni but we also share a common vision for the Department of Defense in this role in protecting our nation.

And I'm going to say it again: Go Terps.

(Laughter.)

Madam Secretary.

(APPLAUSE)

DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE KATHLEEN HICKS: Well, thank you to Ron for that very kind introduction. I'm very flattered but also very impressed that he was able to locate my doctoral thesis. So I think there is no doubt that you have the right calling, Mr. Moultrie, in the realm of intelligence and clearly have vast resources at your disposal.

So -- but also we thank you, Ron, for your years of public service and for your leadership and for your outstanding team and their leadership in pursuing this relationship with the University of Maryland. And I want to thank all of the partners that are here today and helping us to celebrate and recognize all the hard work that has gone in to getting us all to this point.

Along with Undersecretary Moultrie, I am also alum, of course, of here at the University of Maryland. I earned my master’s in public administration from Maryland's then School of Public Affairs, now School of Public Policy, which I understand is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. I won't say what year I graduated, but I promised it was later than 40 years. 

But it is really wonderful to be back here in College Park, not only to reflect on my time here but to join President Pines in this really long, overdue celebration for the founding of ARLIS. 

Succeeding through teamwork is one of Secretary Austin's priority areas for the department. Those of us who work there know his priorities and speak and live them every day. 

Doing so means working alongside allies and partners in the world, working alongside the interagency partners here in Washington, D.C. and working with members of Congress, but it's broader than that. It also requires cooperation with all who have a stake in our national security, and that includes our relationship with university-affiliated research centers, or UARCs. 

The Department of Defense relies on UARCs to help us conduct research where breakthroughs are likely to enable revolutionary capabilities to our war fighters. In the best of times, establishing a UARC is no small feat. This is especially true, as you all have experienced, in the midst of a global pandemic. COVID-19 presented challenges that no one could have imagined.

The resilience of the ARLIS team these past two years has really been remarkable and I applaud you. As you heard earlier, ARLIS is the only UARC focused on the intelligence and security communities. It is a flexible and responsive organization. It leverages technology and science to meet increasingly critical national security challenges, and it could not have come at a better time.

The United States faces a dynamic security environment. We continue to prioritize China as our pacing challenge even as we face advanced and persistent threats from Russia, Iran, North Korea, and transnational and non-state actors. Destabilizing actions threaten our critical infrastructure, undermine democratic institutions and seek to erode our military readiness and competitive advantage.

This dynamic threat landscape requires the Department of Defense to conduct research, innovate and undertake dynamic experimentation. ARLIS will enable us to do exactly this. By applying multidisciplinary methods to include from social and technical sciences, ARLIS will take a strategic approach to innovation. It will focus on the protection of U.S. technological, critical infrastructure, economic, and people and information priorities. 

Even as we do so, we must continually anticipate how new technological capabilities might embolden adversaries. Human and technological networks are increasingly interconnected. While this increasing interconnectedness create opportunities and benefits, many of us live with those every day, we have to be ever more cognizant that those benefits also come with new vulnerabilities and avenues of attack. 

We must better understand the human domain. We must ensure that we plan and account for both human strengths and human limitations. ARLIS will meet this challenge by taking a human-centered approach to security and intelligence matters. While the technology is important, our people are our frontline in every security and intelligence mission that we undertake. 

That is why ARLIS’s emphasis on human understanding is so important. The work that ARLIS does will help the department understand how best to protect our people from all kinds of threats and to equip them with the training and tools they need to be successful. More generally, ARLIS’s commitment and support to the innovation spirit that Undersecretary Moultrie just spoke about will benefit the department. 

I'm excited to see the work that you all will be undertaking here and that this relationship produces. Additionally, ARLIS will provide students here at the University of Maryland, as well as other institutions, the chance to work on national security issues through different research opportunities, including fellowships and internships. 

Notably, the fiscal year '22 ARLIS research in intelligence and security challenges internship program is focused on recruiting from schools that have traditionally been underrepresented in the intelligence and security fields, including historically black colleges and universities. 

These internship opportunities allow students to take what they learn in the classroom and use it to help solve real-world problems—our real-world problems. And given the complexities of the challenges facing the United States, at DoD we know that we will continue to need highly skilled civilian and military workforce, especially at the junior levels. 

The Department of Defense is always seeking innovative and creative individuals who bring new ideas forward to tackle hard problems. We hope that the experiences that they have working at ARLIS translates into exploring career pathways focused on national security issues in the long term.

We have high expectations at DOD for our relationship with ARLIS. And today's ribbon cutting marks a great step forward on our shared journey together to find truly innovative solutions for today's security threats.

Thank you again to everyone who's made today's event possible. I just would like to add one more item which is, of course, go Terps.

(APPLAUSE)

And with that let me ask President Pines, Under Secretary Moultrie to join me on stage for the ribbon cutting.