President Barack Obama on Friday announced that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had appointed a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur to serve as the agency’s first-ever chief technology officer.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced that Nand Mulchandani, who previously served as chief technology officer and interim director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, would take over the newly created position this summer.
Burns said in a statement, “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized focusing on technology, and the new CTO position is a very important part of that effort.” “I am delighted that Nand has joined our team and will bring his extensive experience to this crucial new position.”
Following his appointment, CIA Director Mike Pompeo has taken yet another step toward modernising the agency’s approach to technology and competition, particularly with China.
Since last year, the NSA has established two new mission centers: one focused on China and the other on foreign technological advancements, known as the Transnational and Technology Mission Center.
It has been announced that Mulchandani will report directly to Burns and lead the agency’s technological strategy.
According to Mulchandani, “I’m honored to join the CIA as Director of Technology, and I look forward to working with the agency’s incredible team of technologists and domain experts who already deliver world-class intelligence and capabilities to help build a comprehensive technology strategy that delivers exciting capabilities while collaborating with industry and partners.”
I believe that nothing will matter more to the CIA’s future and that of the United States intelligence community than our ability to compete technologically. In his testimony, he referred to the creation of the two new hubs and the CTO post as “the main arena” in the competition with China.
According to him, “all of that reflects the enormously high priority that we will continue to give that set of issues.”
Mulchandani founded and served as the CEO of several startups before joining the Defense Department, some of which were later acquired by industry giants such as Oracle, Cisco, and VMware.
He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics and a master’s degree in management from Stanford University, as well as a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.