Nand Mulchandani has stepped down from his role as chief technology officer (CTO) of the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), he announced on March 3.

Mulchandani first took on the CTO role in June 2019. He also served a brief stint as JAIC’s acting director in 2020 after Lt. Gen Jack Shanahan, the JAIC’s first director, retired.

“I’m glad to see the ‘startup’ JAIC transformed into the CDAO, which is part of the normal journey for any great technology organization, and happy that the department is starting to embrace the power of technology to transform the way it operates and to retain our competitive edge,” Mulchandani wrote in a LinkedIn post. “While there is no question we have some big challenges ahead of us, I don’t think we have ‘lost’ the race to peer competitors.”

During his time at JAIC, Mulchandani led efforts to deploy and scale emerging technologies such as AI through policy, community building, acquisition, and working with industry “to build and deploy dozens of key ‘leveraged’ products across multiple verticals.”

However, Mulchandani said his public service stint might not be over yet, and that he may return to the Federal government fairly soon.

“There is a strong chance that I might pop back up in another part of the U.S. Government focused on national security and technology, and hope to share that news soon,” Mulchandani said. “Given everything going on in the world today and where things are headed, I don’t want to be sitting this one out – so ‘coach, get me back in the game!’”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.