President Biden will nominate Michael Brown, director of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), to become the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Spending, the White House announced April 2.

Brown has been DIU director since September 2018 and was also a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow from 2016-18 before joining the DIU.

In this current role, Brown has been working on bringing cutting-edge commercial tech to the Pentagon. He recently touted the RATE program, which uses AI-enabled wearables to track wearers’ biometrics, which has shown in tests the ability to detect COVID-19 up to 48 hours before symptoms emerge.

“We’re proving with a sample of about 8,500 folks that we can detect COVID up to 48 hours before you ever feel the first symptom,” Brown said in March. “[It’s a] critical capability if we think about a ship, with its crew going out to sea, it’s important to understand very early.”

Before joining public service in 2016, Brown had a decades-long career on the commercial technology side. Brown was president and CEO of cybersecurity firm Symantec from 2014-16 and served as a board member of the company from 2003-16. Before joining Symantec, Brown was CEO and chairman of Quantum Corporation from 1995-2003.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.