Feb. 10—Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced yesterday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has picked billionaire environmentalist “Mussolini Mike” Bloomberg to chair the Defense Innovation Board. Kirby said that Austin had nominated Bloomberg to “leverage his experience and strategic insights on innovation, business and public service.” Kirby added that Bloomberg will bring “a wealth of experience in technology innovation, business and government to the Defense Innovation Board.”
“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 said. “And obviously the secretary is very grateful that Mr. Bloomberg was willing to take on this additional responsibility and very grateful that he’s willing to serve in that capacity,” he continued.
The Hill notes that the Defense Innovation Board is an advisory board that was established in 2016 to provide the department with recommendations on emerging technologies and innovative approaches to development. In other words, it was created as part of then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work’s Third Offset Strategy to “leverage” Silicon Valley into making the U.S. military technologically superior to Russia and China.
“Innovation and adaptability are absolutely critical at any large organization, and there is no organization bigger or more complex than the Department of Defense,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “I’m honored to work with Secretary Austin, Deputy Secretary [Kathleen] 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.”