Doug Beck, Director, Defense Innovation Unit

Doug Beck

Director, Defense Innovation Unit

Doug Beck earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.Phil. from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. 

He has 26 years of service in the Navy, currently a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan with a joint special operations task force in 2006-2007 and spent a significant period of service in the Indo-Pacific.

He was a partner at McKinsey & Company and later became an executive for Charles Schwab. His last position before joining the Defense Innovation Unit was as a vice president at Apple.

He became director of the Defense Innovation Unit in May 2023.

In the News…

Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), Doug Beck, said the agency is working to determine where congressional funding, passed last month, should be applied for the remainder of 2024. He anticipates the allocation will support commercial capabilities.

At an Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International conference in San Diego, Director Beck said they would look to accelerate existing programs, launch new ones, support projects housed within other Defense Department innovation organizations, and address challenges some commercial companies face as they work with the Defense Department.

He said, “It’s about lowering those barriers that so many of our commercial tech partners face as they’re trying to come into supporting the department.“

The DIU has become an important part of the Pentagon’s efforts to field technology and address operational problems. The agency is contributing to the goal of fielding thousands of drones within two years. An initiative that addresses technology scaling is called DIU 3.0.

Director Beck said, The entire DIU 3.0 strategy is about focusing on those things that achieve true strategic impact and contribute that true strategic impact defined by deterring major conflict or helping win if forced to fight.”


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