The Next 5 Years of Defense Innovation with Eric Schmidt, Michael Brown, and Dr. Amy Zegart

DIU hosted a virtual fireside chat with Eric Schmidt, Michael Brown, and Dr. Amy Zegart.

  • Date: 16 MARCH 2021

  • Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern Time)

About the Event

Please join the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for a virtual fireside chat to discuss the next five years of defense innovation from our speakers’ perspectives as commercial, defense, and academic leaders at the intersection of technology and national security. Historically, partnerships between these sectors have been essential to game-changing advancements in science and technology. Dr. Amy Zegart, Stanford University, will moderate a discussion with Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures, and Michael Brown, Director of DIU, about how the United States can reinforce the bonds between these entities to strengthen national security and economic prosperity.

Moderated by:
  • Dr. Amy Zegart, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science, Stanford University

About Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt is an accomplished technologist, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He joined Google in 2001 and helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Eric served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2001-2011, as well as Executive Chairman and Technical Advisor. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation. 

In 2017, he co-founded Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative that bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Eric is the host of “Reimagine with Eric Schmidt,” a podcast series of conversations with leaders to explore how society can build a brighter future after the global coronavirus pandemic.

About Dr. Amy Zegart

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management.

The author of five books, Zegart’s award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11 — Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton 2007). Zegart’s forthcoming book is Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (Princeton 2022). Her research has also been published in International Security and other academic journals as well as Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

About Michael Brown

Michael Brown is the Director of the Defense Innovation Unit at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Previously, Michael served for two years (2016-2018) as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow at the DoD. He is co-author of a Pentagon study on China's participation in the U.S. venture ecosystem, a catalyst for the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). FIRRMA was signed into law in August 2018 and provided expanded jurisdiction to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Prior to civil service, Michael was the CEO of Symantec Corporation (2014-2016), the global leader in cybersecurity and the world's 10th largest software company. He is also the former Chairman and CEO of Quantum Corporation (1995-2003), a leader in the computer storage industry.

This conversation builds upon DIU’s September 2020 fireside chat with General John E. Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss how DoD should leverage commercial technology to strengthen national security within the strategic landscape for the next five years. 

These fireside chats are a part of DIU’s 5th anniversary celebration.