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The Pitch 2024: A Competition of New Ideas

Apr 24, 2024
10:30am to 12:30pm ET


For the fifth year, CNAS hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security, The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas. Selected applicants made their pitch for innovative policy ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security policy in front of a distinguished panel of judges and a live virtual audience.

This year’s judges included Anna Blue, a social impact fellow at the Responsible AI Institute and the winner of best in show at The Pitch 2023; Bill Drexel, Fellow in the Technology Security Program at CNAS; Andrew Metrick, Fellow in the Defense Program Program at CNAS; and Kate Johnston, Associate Fellow in the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS.

There was interactive polling and the audience voted for their favorite pitch to win the people’s choice award. Finalists from each category and the winner of the people’s choice award will move on to compete in person at the grand finale during the CNAS 2024 National Security Conference.

The following finalists made their pitches in three categories:

Military Modernization

*Julian Graham, Director, Signal Group, Heat One Winner
Tyler Kotesky, Policy Director, Concerned Veterans for America
Jenny Oberholtzer, Associate Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
Alec Stuart, Critical Accounts Manager, Technology Industry

Institutions and People Power

Matthew Gallagher, Coordinator, American Society of Landscape Architects
*Matthew Hauwiller, Senior Engineer, Seagate Technology, Heat Two Winner
*Jennifer Li, Policy Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, People's Choice Winner

Jun Rey, Academic Research and Writing Consultation Service

Technology and National Security

*Gillian Daley, Government Affairs Manager, U.S.-China Business Council, Heat Three Winner
Benjamin Guggenheim, Analyst, Macro Advisory Partners
*Connor O'Brien, Research Analyst, Innovation and Industrial Policy, Economic Innovation Group, Heat Three Winner

Nicholas Romanow, Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy