Indian American entrepreneur named CIA’s first chief technology officer

iNDICA News Bureau-

Indian American serial entrepreneur and technocrat Nand Mulchandani has been named the first chief technology officer (CTO) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Record by Recorded Future reported. He will take up the newly created position in the summer.

CIA Director William Burns announced the appointment Friday.

Mulchandani helped to found and led several tech startups in Silicon Valley, some of which were later bought out by industry giants like Oracle, Cisco and VMware.

Most recently he was CTO and interim director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

Mulchandani holds a degree in computer science and math from Cornell, a master of science degree in management from Stanford and a master’s in public administration from Harvard. He will report directly to the CIA director and lead the agency’s technology strategy.

In a statement, Mulchandani said he was honored to join the CIA in the new role and was looking forward to working with the agency’s “incredible team of technologists and domain experts, who already deliver world-class intelligence and capabilities, to help build a comprehensive technology strategy that delivers exciting capabilities, working closely with industry and partners”.

The appointment marks the latest step by Director Burns to revamp the CIA’s approach to technology and competition, especially against China.

“Since my confirmation, I have prioritized focusing on technology and the new CTO position is a very important part of that effort,” he said in a statement. “I am delighted Nand has joined our team and will bring his extensive experience to this crucial new role.”

Last year the CIA established two new mission centers, one focused on China and the other devoted to foreign technological development.

Last month Burns emphasized the importance of keeping up with the pace of innovation during the annual Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on global threats.

“Nothing is going to matter more to the future of the CIA and the U.S. intelligence community more broadly than our ability to compete technologically,” he told the senators. “It’s the main arena … for competition with China.”