Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has nominated Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, presidential candidate, and billionaire businessman, to chair the Defense Innovation Board (DIB), the Department of Defense announced on Feb. 9.

The DIB was one of 42 defense-related advisory boards that Austin temporarily halted in January 2021, in order to review panel activities and remove panel members installed during the Trump administration.

“The secretary has nominated Mr. Michael Bloomberg to serve as the chair of the Defense Innovation Board to leverage his experience and strategic insights on innovation, business, and public service,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Wednesday. “His leadership will be critical to ensuring the department has access to the best and brightest minds in science, technology, and innovation through the team of diverse experts that he will lead as chair of that board.”

Kirby also announced eight boards – including the National Security Education Board and National Security Agency Emerging Technologies Panel – will resume operations. Thirty-six of the 42 defense-related advisory boards have now resumed operations.

The DIB was set up in 2016 to bring Silicon Valley tech innovation and best practices on technology, workforce, and organization to the U.S. military. The board has issued findings on numerous subjects including AI ethics guidelines and software acquisition. Google CEO Eric Schmidt headed DIB until September 2020.

In accepting the nomination as chair, Bloomberg said, “I’m honored to work with Secretary Austin, Deputy Secretary Hicks, other senior Defense Department leaders and innovators from government and business to help bring new ideas and outside perspective that can help protect Americans and our values, interests, and allies around the world.”

Read More About
More Topics
Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.