Dan Ward is a senior principal systems engineer at the MITRE Corporation. His primary focus is on improving defense acquisition policy and enabling greater flexibility, speed, & innovation for military technology development. He is one of the creators of MITRE’s Innovation Toolkit, which aims to democratize innovation and help teams “go beyond brainstorming.” Dan served for more than 20 years as an acquisition officer in the US Air Force, where he specialized in leading high-speed, low-cost technology development programs. He is the author of three books LIFT: Innovation Lessons From Flying Machines That NEARLY Worked and the People Who ALMOST Flew Them (2019) The Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide To Making Things Better Without Making Them Worse (2015) and F.I.R.E.: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation (2014).
Debra is Principal Program Manager and Agile Acquisition Subject Matter Expert, Defense Acquisition & Policy Department in the MITRE Corporation's National Security Engineering Center (NSEC). The NSEC is a federally funded R&D center sponsored by the Department of Defense and operated within the MITRE National Security organization. Prior to joining MITRE, Debra served 20 years active duty in the Air Force and was also a Department of Defense Federal employee leading the Air Force’s counter small drone urgent operational need portfolio. Today, she applies her leadership and acquisition deep expertise to enable government agencies to incorporate innovation and accelerate the fielding of capabilities to end users. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She also holds a master’s degree in organizational management from George Washington University, a master’s degree in gastronomy from Boston University, and a master’s degree in military operations from Air University. She is DAWIA Level III certified in program management and PMP certified.
Dan Woolley leads the MITRE team responsible for developing a MITRE Research Agenda for the Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative, which will be used to inform the 2021 Government Learning Agenda. Dan is also a principal in MITRE’s technology transfer organization where he helps MITRE guide technologies to markets. Dan is also a retired USAF Lt. Col. who spent the bulk of his 22 years assigned to the Pentagon identifying, acquiring, and deploying emerging innovation. In addition to Dan’s MITRE role, he was elected in 2018 to the Board of Directors of SecurView, a portfolio company of RAG-Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (RSBG) and serves on numerous Boards of Advisors for several MACH37 graduate companies such as NormShield, Huntress and Atomicorp.
Russ Graves leads MITRE's activities focused on building new pathways in innovation ecosystems to discover, accelerate, and deliver innovative solutions from non-traditional sources. Russ has extensive experience applying emerging technologies as novel solutions. His research interests include neural networks, data analytics, and risk analysis. Through public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, MITRE works across government and industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. This is done by leveraging MITRE's R&D capabilities and world-class talent to anticipate future disruptions and business innovations to better deliver on our mission of solving problems for a safer world.