Hon. Ellen Lord, the defense acquisition head and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, has said the U.S. needs to leverage domestic resources in microelectronics production for current and future defense needs, DoD News reported Thursday.
Lord, who serves as the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense (DoD), told attendees at a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency summit that reliance on overseas manufacturers for microelectronics could pose risks to national security.
She noted that public-private partnerships can help encourage U.S. suppliers to produce microelectronic components.
"Then we partner with other industrial sectors to sustain that," said Lord. "And we have a pretty strong demand signal in order to be able to do that."
According to Lord, her office is working with colleagues within and outside the DoD to drive domestic microelectronics manufacturing and ensure the security of the U.S. supply chain.
"DoD not only drives research and development, but we also work on developing the workforce of the future we need," she added. “If you take a holistic approach, I think we can create a sustainable microelectronics industry, but it's not just about that first plant with some equipment in it. It's about the workforce.”