Liz Young McNally

Liz Young McNally

Deputy Director, Commercial Operations

Liz Young McNally serves as the Deputy Director, Commercial Operations, at the Defense Innovation Unit. In this role she will bring her diverse experiences from the private sector, the military, and the not-for-profit sector to lead DIU’s collaboration with the commercial tech sector and investment community. This includes  enhanced portfolio company scaling support and related Department partnerships, as well as the defense innovation on-ramp, talent, and investment capabilities resident in National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) and National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC).  

Liz is well positioned to bring the power of these teams together in support of DIU’s strategic mission, in close collaboration with our teammates across the Department, including the Office of Strategic Capital, Office of Industrial Base Policy and its Office of Small Business Programs, and partners across DoD’s Defense Innovation Community of Entities (DICE). Liz is an accomplished senior executive and combat veteran with diverse experiences in the private sector, not-for-profit sector, and the military. Before joining DIU, she served as co-CEO of Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic venture focused on projects and investments at the intersection of talent, technology, innovation, and talent, in areas including AI, biotechnology, climate science, and the application of technology to address education, workforce and talent. Previously, she was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where she served a broad variety of large and small corporate clients as well as investors and their portfolio companies, and also served as Global Lead for McKinsey Academy, the firm’s tech-enabled capability building and leadership development offering.

Earlier in her career, Liz was a Military Police officer in the U.S. Army. Her service included two year-long tours in Iraq, where she served on the senior staff of General David Petraeus as his speechwriter. A graduate of West Point and Oxford, Liz is a Rhodes and Truman Scholar. She was appointed twice by President Obama to the U.S. Military Academy Board of Visitors.  

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