the Intelligence and National Security Summit
The Intelligence and National Security Summit concludes today. The proceedings will feature members of Congressional Intelligence Committees, the heads of the major US intelligence agencies, and a Principal Assistant to the Director of National Intelligence. Here's a brief recap of some of yesterday's highlights; we'll have more tomorrow.
Innovation and the Intelligence Community.
Yesterday's breakout sessions included a discussion of technological innovation and how the Intelligence Community might harness it for its missions.
At one level, this is an acquisition issue. Dawn Meyerriecks (Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Science and Technology) offered some cautions. We've "encoded in our DNA" that the US is preeminent in technical innovation, she said, and she also noted that this assumption is encoded into our laws and regulations. This post-World War Two assumption is no longer warranted, and the Government needs to rethink how it invests.
Ann Winblad (Founding Partner, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners) offered an interesting fact in support of Meyerriecks's observations from a venture capitalist's perspective. The quarter that just closed, she said, is the first quarter ever in which more venture capital flowed to China than to the United States.
Perspective from Flag and General Officers.
Leading officers from the uniformed services' intelligence establishments participated in a panel on their challenges and priorities. Some of their more striking observations concerned labor force issues. The two most important labor markets, to judge from their discussion, were those for linguists and cybersecurity operators. Surprisingly, they said they were having less difficulty recruiting and even retaining personnel in these fields.
They do, however face one significant challenge: creating meaningful and attractive career paths in these fields. As one remarked, we're still operating with an industrial age talent management toolkit, and that's got to change.