DOD Appoints Peter Thiel Acolyte Michael Kratsios as Under Secretary of Defense for Research, Engineering

Michael J.K. Kratsios has been appointed to serve as the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, effective July 10, 2020.

Kratsios is currently the Chief Technology Officer of the United States. He has been leading the development and execution of the Trump Administration’s national technology policy agenda since 2017.

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Kratsios as the fourth Chief Technology Officer of the United States in August 2019.

With his leadership, the White House has launched important National initiatives and strategic plans for artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, commercial drones, STEM education, and advanced manufacturing. He has also been an integral part of the President’s efforts to expand 5G and broadband communications nationwide.

“In seeking to fill this position we wanted someone with experience in identifying and developing new technologies and working closely with a wide range of industry partners. We think Michael is the right person for this job and we are excited to have him on the team,” said Secretary Esper.

Kratsios is responsible for architecting the American AI Initiative, and standing up the National Quantum Coordination Office. Most recently he has launched the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. Mr. Kratsios has also represented the United States in multiple international arenas. He led U.S. delegations at the G7, G20, and OECD.

Kratsios was the principal at Thiel Capital, serving as the chief of staff to the venture capitalist, and Trump ally, Peter Thiel just before joining the Trump Administration as deputy assistant to the president.

After graduating from Princeton in 2008, Kratsios was the editor-in-chief and president of Business Today, then worked for Barclays Capital and Lyford Group International. He also served as the chief financial officer of Clarium Capital Management.
During his time in college Kratsios was an intern for the U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and was later a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

In 2017 Kratsios served as the U.S. Head of Delegation at the G7 ICT Ministerial in Turin, Italy. He served as the U.S. Head of Delegation at the G20 Digital Economic Ministerial in Argentina in 2018. He has worked with U.S. allies, including in the G7 to counter China in AI policy. The U.S also joined the Global Partnership on AI during his tenure.

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