Ash Carter
25th Secretary of Defense at Harvard's Belfer Center, University of Oxford University of Oxford
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New Work Summit 2019
February 25 2019, California, United States
New Work Summit 2019
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From the Valley to the Beltway
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  • Ash Carter
    25th Secretary of Defense at Harvard's Belfer Center, University of Oxford University of Oxford
  • Kevin Roose
    Tech Columnist at New York Times
Carter served as Defense Secretary from 2015 to 2017. Leading the largest organization in the world with more than three million civilian and military employees and an annual budget of more than half a trillion dollars, Carter became known for his savvy leadership and for ensuring the Pentagon thought “outside its five-sided box.” At a time of global change and congressional gridlock, Carter transformed the way the Defense Department fought adversaries, stood with allies and partners, planned and budgeted, partnered with private enterprises, and managed its talent.
For his government service, Carter has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the department’s highest civilian honor, on five separate occasions, and he twice received the Joint Distinguished Service Medal from the Chairman and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Outside of government, Carter was a Senior Executive at the Markle Foundation as well as a Senior Partner of Global Technology Partners focused on advising major investment firms in technology, and an advisor on global affairs to Goldman Sachs. Carter has also served on the boards of the MITRE Corporation, Mitretek Systems, and Lincoln Laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and as a member of the Draper Laboratory Corporation.
Carter earned his bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history, summa cum laude, at Yale University, where he was also awarded Phi Beta Kappa; and he received his doctorate in

About the talk

Topic: Business

Despite a long history in defense innovation, there is growing debate over collaborating with the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies. Should Silicon Valley partner with the government to advance key national interests? What’s at risk if it doesn’t?

Ash Carter, Director, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and 25th Secretary of Defense

In conversation with Kevin Roose, Technology Columnist, The New York Times

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