The US Department of Defense announced that White House Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios will take over as acting research and engineering head at the Pentagon.
The statement was released on July 14 by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said “In seeking to fill this position we wanted someone with experience in identifying and developing new technologies and working closely with a wide range of industry partners.”
He later added “We think Michael is the right person for this job and we are excited to have him on the team.”
Kratsios will replace former first Undersecretary of Defense Mike Griffin, who departed the Pentagon last Friday, after launching Logic Inc. with his deputy Lisa Porter in Virginia.
Mark Lewis, the Pentagon’s director of defense research and engineering for modernization, has temporarily been named Acting Undersecretary last week, and will fill in for Porter.
Michael Kratsios, who has played an important role in the White House’s COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, has also been a prominent force there on issues regarding artificial intelligence and 5G – technologies, which fall under the Research and Engineering umbrella.
Kratsios, a Greek-American, had also formerly served as Chief of Staff to technology investor Peter Thiel, who founded the company Palantir and made major monetary contributions to President Donald Trump’s campaign.
In early 2017, Kratsios joined the Trump administration as a technology adviser to the President, being confirmed as Chief Technology Officer in August of 2019.