DARPA director leaves the agency for Google

Regina Dugan, the first female director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has been offered and has accepted a “senior executive position” at Google.

According to DARPA’s spokesman, Dugan, who has been the agency’s director for almost three years and has steered it towards cybersecurity and more practical projects, has felt that she could not refuse the offer of such an innovative company.

“Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA. She will be a real asset to Google and we are thrilled she is joining the team,” stated a Google spokeswoman but refused to say which particular role Dugan will assume at the company.

Speculations abound and it is believed that she might be asked to concentrate on cybersecurity, but Liz Gannes points out that she could also be joining Google’s “X” division. Run by Google co-funder Sergey Brin, the division works on a number of projects such as the creation of cars that drive themselves and wearable computer devices.

According to Wired and the DARPA spokesman, her accepting the job at Google had nothing to do with an investigation by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General into some contracts that the agency gave out to RedX Defense, a private company co-founded by Dugan.

Dugan, who obtained her doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, has had a successful run at DARPA and has been credited with redirecting the agency’s sights towards projects important to immediate concerns.

She was also the one who opened the agency to input from the hacker community and has been known to use crowdsourcing to get things done.

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