Ms Barbara McQuiston
Ms. Barbara McQuiston is Chair of the NATO DIANA Board of Directors. DIANA's’s goal is to enhance and accelerate transatlantic cooperation on dual-use technology solutions and help NATO work more closely with private-sector entities, academia, and other non-governmental entities.
DIANA connects defense personnel from across the Alliance with the best and brightest scientists, researchers, start-ups, and technology companies to solve critical defense and security challenges. DIANA is building a network across the Alliance in accelerators, test centers, and experimentation to help start-ups and non-traditional companies better support the NATO alliance capabilities and requirements. DIANA will use challenge problems to solicit innovative solutions from across the Alliance and across technology arenas. DIANA focuses on key emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, novel materials and advanced manufacturing, energy and propulsion to problems across dual-use sectors such as space, energy, and security. As the Chair of the Board, Ms. McQuiston is responsible for developing rules and procedures for the Board’s functions, overseeing the development of the DIANA Strategic Direction, and working with defense science and technology leaders across the Alliance to develop a transatlantic innovation ecosystem their Allies can leverage to develop dual-use solutions to emerging and disruptive technology challenges.
Prior to this role, Ms. McQuiston served as the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology (DCTO(S&T)) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) at the Pentagon. Ms. McQuiston led the Department’s work to create DoD’s technology advantage, advocated for the Department’s S&T workforce and foundational laboratory infrastructure, oversaw the DoD Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and University Affiliated Research Centers, advised on the Department’s critical technology protection policy, and oversaw the health of the Defense technical industrial base and innovation communities for future technology.
Ms. McQuiston previously spent nearly a decade in Government service at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she served in the Defense Science Office, the Strategic Technology Office, and finally as Special Assistant to the Director for Energy. Throughout her tenure at DARPA, Ms. McQuiston directly supported the development of significant communications technologies and championed the development of alternative energy programs to reduce DoD’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. In 2010, she received the Office of Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service for her accomplishments in these leadership roles.
In 2011, President Obama nominated Ms. McQuiston for the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, though after her nomination became stalled in Congress, she requested it be removed.
In addition to her time at DARPA, Ms. McQuiston has more than 30 years of commercial experience, including executive management in high-technology companies and Government service. Her background includes strategic planning and development of new and innovative technologies for information, communications, biotechnology, medical, and environmental markets; negotiation for technology agreements; and technology transfer from private institutes, governments, and laboratories to the commercial sector. She has been deeply involved in venture fund technology investment and technical oversight for research, development, and commercial product efforts. Additionally, she advised capital management funds and negotiated and managed technology transfer agreements in both the public and private sector.
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