Expanding Applied’s National Security & Defense Advisory Board

Dec 1, 2022

As we continue to grow our work in the defense space, we have expanded our National Security and Defense Advisory Board to ensure that we continue to meet and exceed the complex and evolving needs of our customers and partners in the national security sector.

The National Security and Defense Advisory Board is composed of prominent national security and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) leaders with first-hand experience taking on America’s most urgent national security challenges.

“There is a significant national security imperative to accelerate the development and deployment of safe and effective autonomous systems for defense use cases,” said Qasar Younis, Co-Founder and CEO of Applied Intuition. “As our government team continues to grow, our expanded National Security and Defense Advisory Board will help guide our engagements with the DOD as we evolve our capabilities for applications across all domains.”

Figure 1: Members of Applied Intuition’s National Security and Defense Advisory Board (clockwise from top left): General Raymond Thomas III, General Stephen Wilson, Dr. Bruce Jette, Preston Dunlap, Stephen Rodriguez, and James "Hondo" Geurts.

“We’re thrilled to add three distinguished national security experts to our board,” said Colin Carroll, Head of Government at Applied Intuition. “With backgrounds spanning senior acquisition and technology innovation roles in the DOD, as well as deep experience accelerating the DOD’s uptake of commercially-proven dual-use technologies from an industry perspective, our new board members will help us accelerate the development and deployment of essential autonomous capabilities to the warfighter at scale.”

In addition to the three new members of the Board, Mr. Brendan McCord will be leaving the board at the end of his term. Mr. McCord’s guidance has been extremely valuable in helping the nascent government team grow, and we wish him the best in his current and future endeavors.

National Security & Defense Advisory Board Members

Mr. James “Hondo” Geurts

Most recently serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)), Mr. Geurts served as the Navy’s acquisition executive responsible for equipping and supporting Sailors and Marines. Mr. Geurts previously served as the Acquisition Executive for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, where he was responsible for all special operations forces acquisition, technology and logistics. Mr. Geurts began his career as an Air Force acquisition program manager, with oversight over manned and unmanned special operations aircraft, tactical fighter aircraft, surveillance platforms, and more. With more than 30 years of acquisition experience, Mr. Geurts has served in all levels of acquisition leadership positions including Acquisition Executive, Program Executive Officer, and Program Manager of Major Defense Acquisition Programs.

“I am thrilled to join Applied Intuition’s National Security and Defense Advisory Board. Applied Intuition has developed a reputation in the national security community as a leading innovator in the autonomy industry. Serving alongside my fellow board members and the team at Applied Intuition gives me another great opportunity to serve our nation’s warfighters by helping them get the very best technologies with which to carry out their duties.”

Mr. Stephen Rodriguez

Mr. Rodriguez is the Managing Partner of One Defense, a strategic advisory firm that leverages machine learning to identify advanced software and hardware commercial capabilities and accelerate their transition into the defense industrial base. He also serves as a senior advisor with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and as an investor at Refinery Ventures where he invests in innovative dual-use technology companies. He is a Life Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Special Advisor to America’s Frontier Fund after having served in a variety of senior government and private sector roles over the last two decades.

“Applied offers U.S. Government policymakers the chance to realize their visions of autonomy. It is not the hardware systems but the underlying software data layer that will bring that about. I’m proud to know and support the Applied team in enabling this vision and American national security in turn.”

Mr. Preston Dunlap

Mr. Dunlap, founder of Arkenstone Ventures, serves on Corporate Boards and advises Fortune 100 companies, startups, private equity, and venture capital firms. From 2019-2022, he was appointed by the Secretary of the Air Force as the first Chief Technology Officer and Chief Architect Officer of the U.S. Space Force and Air Force, overseeing the technology, engineering, and architecture of over $70 billion of acquisition programs. Prior to that role, he also led national-level initiatives for the Vice President of the United States and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House, ran the Pentagon’s $750 billion Investment Decision Committee process for multiple Secretaries (building the 5-Year Defense Budget), and personally started over $250 billion of new Defense programs. He also attained the highest rank in the federal Senior Executive Service, and in the private sector he served on multiple Boards and Technology start-ups and as an Executive at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. His awards include, among others, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service and the Secretary of the Air Force Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service.

“As one of the principal drivers and architects of developing and delivering secure autonomy at the world’s largest organization – the Department of Defense – I know first-hand the challenges, power, and potential of autonomous systems... and the operational advantages they afford on the battlefield to those who harness them. It’s an honor to join the Applied Intuition National Security and Defense Advisory Board as Applied is uniquely positioned to enable the Department of Defense to put its foot on the gas pedal and scale autonomous innovation across all domains.”

General Raymond A. “Tony” Thomas III (U.S. Army, Ret.)

Most recently serving as the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), GEN Thomas’ 39 years of service began as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His career as an infantry officer included command assignments in both the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta. Prior to his command of USSOCOM, GEN Thomas also commanded the nation’s elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan. He is currently a Venture Partner at Lux Capital, where he advises companies on strategy, team building, leadership, and advancing cutting-edge technologies in markets from commercial to defense.

“Congratulations to Hondo, Preston, and Stephen for joining Applied’s National Security and Defense Advisory Board. I look forward to working with these patriots and the excellent team at Applied Intuition as we work to get critical autonomous technologies in the hands of our nation’s warfighters."

General Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)

Most recently serving as the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen Wilson managed the Air Staff and was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council (JROC). Gen Wilson is a command pilot with over 4,500 flight hours and 680 combat flight hours in multiple fixed-wing aircraft. Gen Wilson’s 39 years of service began after a commission from Texas A&M University. Prior to his role as the Vice Chief of Staff, he commanded the Air Force Global Strike Command and the Eighth Air Force.

“After only one year in the national security space, Applied Intuition has emerged as one of the most credible and influential voices in validating and verifying AI for defense technology. The Applied Intuition team has the vision, expertise, and technology to help the Department of Defense field the sophisticated capabilities it requires to win on tomorrow’s battlefields. I am honored to serve on this incredible team.”

Dr. Bruce D. Jette

Most recently serving as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)), Dr. Jette has collected a blend of military, industry, academic, and defense civilian experience over the past 40 years. He started his military career with a commission as an armor officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point before transitioning to acquisitions, where he served as the founding Director of the Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF). Prior to his role as ASA(ALT), Dr. Jette was a member of the Board on Army Science and Technology and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Jette holds both a Master of Science degree and a Doctorate in Electronic Materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I joined Applied Intuition’s National Security and Defense Advisory Board because I felt its years of experience in Silicon Valley helping automotive companies get autonomous vehicles to market could also benefit our nation’s defense institutions. After just one year in the defense market, Applied has exceeded my expectations. I look forward to working with Applied Intuition’s new advisory board members as we work to get critical technologies to the warfighter.”