October 05, 2023

CNAS Launches Defense Technology Task Force

Washington, October 5, 2023 – The Center for a New American Security is pleased to announce the launch of its Defense Technology Task Force.

The task force will bring together experts from across the full breadth of the innovation ecosystem to include government, startups, new commercial entrants, legacy industry, and venture capital. The task force will focus on understanding how organizations can use existing authorities to move with the speed required by today’s rapidly evolving threats.

The CNAS Defense Technology Task Force will be chaired by three distinguished individuals: Robert Work, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; Ellen Lord, former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment; and Michael Brown, former Director of the Defense Innovation Unit. Andrew Metrick, a CNAS Defense Program Fellow, will serve as the Executive Director of the Task Force.

“The U.S. military is increasingly failing to acquire the cutting-edge technologies necessary to face 21st-century threats at the needed speed and scale,” said Work. “It is long past the time for urgency, and I am eager to help lead this group.”

“By bringing together the whole spectrum of leaders on these interrelated issues, this task force seeks to shine a light on the valley of death between prototype and production,” said Lord. “This effort fits well into the ongoing discussion surrounding these key issues.”

“This task force is well positioned to tackle head-on the shortcomings of both Silicon Valley and Washington when it comes to our defense innovation ecosystem,” said Brown. “I am hopeful that together we can create momentum toward meaningful solutions.”

“I am excited to work with such distinguished chairs on these crucial issues,” said Metrick. “The task force will be laser focused on capturing the real-world challenges preventing the community from moving at the speed of relevance and delivering actionable recommendations and insights on a regular basis.”

Full membership of the task force will be announced at a later date.

If you are a group interested in joining the task force, please contact CNAS Vice President of Development Anna Saito Carson at [email protected].

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Alexa Whaley at [email protected].


Defense Technology Task Force

The CNAS Defense Technology Task Force addresses how the Department of Defense and wider national security community can best leverage the defense innovation ecosystem and the...

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  • Robert O. Work

    Senior Counselor for Defense and Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...

  • Ellen Lord

    Member, CNAS Board of Advisors

    Ellen Lord is a defense industry participant whose career has spanned the c-suite to the federal government. Currently operating at the nexus of the U.S. industrial capability...

  • Michael Brown

    Member, CNAS Board of Advisors

    Michael Brown is a Partner at Shield Capital and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Brown previously served four years (2018-2022) as the Dir...

  • Andrew Metrick

    Fellow, Defense Program

    Andrew Metrick is a Fellow with Defense Program at CNAS. His research focuses on the linkages between strategic objectives and operational plans with a specific interest in un...