Christopher Kirchhoff is one of four partners overseeing the Pentagon's Silicon Valley Office, Defense Innovation Unit X, and its $100m nation-wide investment portfolio harnessing emerging commercial technology for national security innovation. Previously as Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, he was the NSC’s lead strategist on technology and led the Strategic Planning Small Group, which advised the President and National Security Advisor on strategic trends. Earlier he served as Special Assistant to General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leading Dempsey’s strategy unit, he was the Chairman’s liaison to Silicon Valley and DARPA, devised the military’s inaugural pilots of iPhones and secure mobile devices, was the Chairman’s lead on the Ebola response, and was the first to inform Dempsey of Edward Snowden. Kirchhoff also served in the White House Chief of Staff’s office as Senior Advisor to Presidential Counselor John Podesta and is the author of four landmark government reports: the NSC’s after-action review of Ebola, the White House report on Big Data & Privacy, the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation report, and the U.S. government history Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience, coined “the Iraq Pentagon Papers” by the New York Times. Kirchhoff graduated with highest honors in History and Science from Harvard College and holds a doctorate in politics from Cambridge University, where he was a Gates Scholar. He has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Civilian Service Medal for hazardous duty in Iraq. From 2011-2014, he was the highest ranking openly gay advisor in the U.S. military.
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