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Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen and Six Others Join Defense Innovation Board

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Gen. Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense and 2022 Wash100 Award winner, hosted the inaugural meeting of the Defense Innovation Board (DIB) on Monday featuring seven new board members, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen.

Mullen served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 2007 and 2011 with great praise for his bold and original thinking in the work of strengthening the U.S. military and creating a fantastic reputation as an “honest broker” by policymakers and senior military officers.

In addition, Mullen also served as the 28th chief of Naval Operations with the U.S. Navy from July 2005 to Sept. 2007. He was only the third officer in Navy history to be appointed to four different four-star assignments. He retired from the Navy after over 42 years of service in 2011. 

As a DIB member alongside some of the most significant leaders of consequence, Mullen will work to reinforce Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s top priorities to defend our nation through innovation and modernization of the Department of Defense under the leadership of DIB Board Chair Michael Bloomberg.

The following six executives have also joined the Defense Innovation Board:



  • Dr. Gilda Barabino, President at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering



The inaugural DIB meeting on Monday was a closed session for its members to discuss the highest priorities and challenges facing our national security and other critical areas to begin leveraging the collective experience of the board to provide an edge in technology and innovation moving forward. 

The Defense Innovation Board was created in 2016 to play a significant role in the development of innovation, technology, talent, and best practices from the commercial sector, and to build a culture of innovation and experimentation in DoD.