Ashton Carter, PhD, was a physicist and technologist who served as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense.
- While serving in the Obama-Biden administration’s Cabinet, he built and restored bridges between the Pentagon and America’s private-sector technology and innovation ecosystem, designed and executed the Department of Defense’s strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, launched a national cyber strategy, opened all the military’s combat positions to women, and lifted the ban on transgender service members.
- Founded the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) project to invent practical solutions to the dilemmas of technological change in the digital domain, biotech, and workforce by convening academic, industry, and public policy leaders and training a new generation of technology leaders.
- Awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal—the Department’s highest civilian honor—on five separate occasions.
- Board member of several organizations focused on international relations and national security.