Deputy Director, People, Finance & Management
Kirstin Riesbeck serves as the Deputy Director of People, Finance and Management at the Defense Innovation Unit. In this new role, Kirstin leads the DIU operations team, including managing talent, business strategy and portfolio management, and acquisition.
Prior to joining DIU, she was the Director, Human Capital & Resource Management, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and DoD Functional Community Manager for ~54,000 DoD Financial Management (FM) civilians and military.
Kirstin has also served as Director of the Administrator’s Action Group for the Transportation Security Administration where she led a Futures Team directly supporting the TSA Administrator by anticipating challenges and opportunities, analyzing issues, encouraging innovative thinking, and advancing the TSA Administrator’s vision.
Previously, Kirstin served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) where she led the establishment of the Strategic Action Group to serve the NPPD Under Secretary in managing strategic priorities and transforming governance. She also served as Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans, leading the strategy and policy consolidation taskforce, developing an enterprise strategic management process, establishing the NPPD Joint Requirements Board, and restructuring NPPD’s review of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) cases.
Prior to her work at NPPD, Kirstin held multiple civilian positions within the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). She served as the Strategic Planner to the Commandant and Vice Commandant where she developed and executed executive engagement strategies. As part of the National Incident Command, Kirstin advised federal leadership on stakeholder outreach during the 2010 DEEPWATER Horizon oil spill national response. She also served as the USCG External Affairs Program Manager for state, local tribal and territorial governments. In this position, she helped draft the first USCG and U.S. Arctic strategies.
Kirstin joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Policy Analyst within the Science and Technology Directorate where she assisted in the stand-up of their Office of International Affairs. During that time, she also served on the direct staff to the Principal Federal Official for the 2005 Hurricane Katrina/Rita relief operations in Louisiana. Prior to joining DHS, Kirstin managed the International Atomic Energy Agency portfolio at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kirstin has more than 20 years of experience in federal service focused on homeland and national security, international affairs, and science and technology policy. Kirstin holds a J.D. with a concentration in National Security Law & Policy from George Mason University, a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a B.A. in Public Policy with a concentration in Science and Technology Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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