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Former JAIC, AFRC Leader Douglas Drakeley Appointed to SambaNova Systems Advisory Board

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Technology company SambaNova Systems has added Retired Colonel Douglas Drakeley, formerly of the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, to its advisory board.

In his board position, Drakeley will lend knowledge from a diverse, nearly 40-year career in military, hardware and finance, among others, to assist SambaNova with AI and machine learning efforts, the company said in a LinkedIn post on February 19.

Drakeley shared his anticipation for the new opportunity, adding, “Data sets and AI workloads continue to grow in size and complexity. At the same time, they are becoming more important to mission success.”

The retired Colonel feels SambaNova is uniquely equipped to tackle AI and machine learning challenges and thus aid in decision-making practices.

After working for companies such as Microsoft, DST Systems and InfoPros, Drakeley spent 10 years at the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command, where he was director of intelligence. In this position, he notched an achievement as commander of the first intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance group in the AFRC.

In addition, Drakeley oversaw the introduction and intensification of AI throughout the DoD in his most recent job as industry outreach officer for the JAIC. There he liaised with businesses in Silicon Valley in order to help them make inroads in the DoD.

Drakeley has also worked in the manufacturing, telecommunications and broadband industries and is proficient in sales and customer satisfaction. As of February 2022, he is a chief coach at administration development company Always Be Leadership.

SambaNova has announced a wave of new appointments over the last eight months, including Matt Taylor as vice president of strategic sales and partnerships, Prabhdeep Singh as vice president of software development and Poonacha Kongetira as vice president of hardware in September 2021.

Amy Love also joined the company in the newly created role of chief marketing officer and Wade Sheen was appointed an advisory board member, both in July 2021.

The company released a study in January 2022 that, after polling 600 AI professionals, forecasts AI and machine learning as major revenue drivers for the calendar year.