Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most sought-after digital solutions by the federal government. AI features, such as speech recognition, expert systems, machine vision, accurate detection, and efficient processing, are integrated into warfare and security systems to reduce risks, fortify defense, and achieve mission success.
While the demand for AI is rising, many organizations still need to catch up when integrating machine learning and powerful intelligence features into their workflow. That said, a handful of executives have made an impact in introducing AI to everyday work processes.
Here are some of the artificial intelligence leaders and executives who played a key role in defining the artificial intelligence domain in 2023.
Note: The following list features esteemed industry leaders selected based on a comprehensive evaluation of their accomplishments, including their strategic vision, demonstrated impact on the industry, innovative contributions, and leadership prowess. However, this is in no way an exhaustive list. The industry is filled with talented professionals making significant contributions, warranting close attention for their achievements and potential impact.
Michael Adams, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Carahsoft
Michael “Mike” Adams has been a valuable part of Carahsoft since 2007, bringing extensive expertise in strategic leadership and federal and state sales. His primary focus is leveraging Carahsoft’s AI, cognitive technology, and machine learning capabilities to support significant national government projects.
As Carahsoft’s Director of Artificial Intelligence, Adams recently provided valuable insights into the company’s collaboration with Nyriad Inc. This partnership aims to advance artificial intelligence operations for Carahsoft’s customers. In May 2023, Carahsoft tapped into Nyriad’s cutting-edge UltraIO data storage system, enhancing the government contract vehicles and reseller partnerships available to public sector customers.
UltraIO is a GPU-powered storage technology capable of high-performance computing, archiving, video and image processing, and backup and recovery. Adams highlighted that this collaboration helps simplify technology procurement processes, position channel partners for success, and promote AI technologies for government contracting.
Todd Borkey, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at HII
Todd Borkey assumed the roles of Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at HII in 2022. He carries over 20 years of expertise in leadership, business expansion, and program management from his previous leadership roles before joining the defense company.
Borkey’s AI campaigns aim to develop innovative AI/ML technologies tailored explicitly for the defense and intelligence sectors. In a recent Executive Spotlight interview, Borkey talked about AI trends that will influence the federal landscape in 2023 and the following years.
Borkey underscored the importance of various artificial intelligence features, including data science tools, machine learning models, and natural language processing. These features enhance the ability of enterprises to detect constraints, diagnose indicators of problems, make performance predictions, and measure the effectiveness of design transfer. These AI tools also enhance and extend reliable performance when tasks become too complex for humans.
John Larson, Senior Vice President of the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton
John Larson is the current Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group. He takes charge of the intelligence firm’s implementation of analytic solutions covering fraud, waste, artificial intelligence, deep learning services, and abuse detection and mitigation.
With his 20-year background in analytic solutions, Larson effectively combines his experience with his current leadership role, leading a team of over 600 engineers, innovators, and technologists specializing in artificial intelligence efforts for defense, intelligence, and national security.
In May 2023, Booz Allen Hamilton partnered with Credo AI, an organization specializing in responsible and ethical AI practices. Larson emphasized that this collaboration enables Booz Allen Hamilton to integrate Credo’s reliable AI technologies into their AIOps technology structures and ecosystems. This integration helps compliance, programmatic teams, and machine learning engineering capabilities reach ethical AI standards efficiently.
Greg Forrest, Director of AI Foundations at Lockheed Martin
Greg Forrest joined Lockheed Martin in 2018 as Senior Manager of AI, Analytics, Research, and Development (R&D) programs and Prognostics and Health Management (PHM). This marked the beginning of his career in artificial intelligence within the company.
As the Director of AI Foundations, Forrest leads Lockheed’s AI strategy, enterprise, development, and machine learning teams specializing in developing innovative solutions for Lockheed Martin and various clients.
Forrest and his team partnered with Red Hat Inc. leveraging their artificial intelligence capabilities to support and prioritize the preservation of all warfighters on the battlefield. Red Hat’s Microshift technology allows unmanned aircraft to switch modalities during active operations. The AI program developed with Red Hat also gives soldiers easier plane control and enhances target detection accuracy.
Kristen Summers, Operating Unit Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Federal
Kristen Summers is the Operating Unit Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Federal, a role she has held since 2022. Summers acquired valuable knowledge in AI through her previous tenures at IBM and CACI International, accumulating 20 years of experience in AI and Data Science.
Looking ahead to 2023, Summers and her team are focused on expanding their efforts in helping customers unlock the total value of their data. This involves enhancing the capabilities of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, in data and artificial intelligence.
Summers also actively integrates AI and analytics with collaboration tools, deep neural networks, and ethical AI approaches. Combining these technologies facilitates seamless teamwork and more effective problem-solving in complex situations. Ensuring trustworthiness within customers’ AI structures is a key focus for Summers and her team.
Ro Dhanda, Vice President of the Public Sector at H2O.ai
Ro Dhanda is an industry veteran with over a decade of experience in enterprise software, strategic partnerships, go-to-market strategies, and partner relationship management. He joined H2O.ai in February 2021 as the Vice President of the Public Sector.
Before his current role, Dhanda held leadership positions at prominent companies such as Snowflake Computing, Dell, Microsoft, Daon, Iron Mountain, and NCompass Labs. Throughout his career, he gained valuable knowledge in software, cloud, and information technology from these companies, experiences he leverages In his responsibilities at H2O.ai.
As the VP of the Public Sector, Dhanda is focused on making H2O.ai’s Open Source Platform accessible to all customers needing efficient and responsible artificial intelligence solutions. For this year and beyond, Dhanda and his team are actively working to democratize the AI and cloud infrastructure, aiming to bring various AI capabilities closer to customers. They focus on enhancing customer trust, familiarity, and positive experiences with H2O.ai’s offerings.
Walter Maikish, Vice President of Pure Federal at Pure Storage
Walter Maikish is the current Vice President of Pure Storage’s Pure Federal, the business segment dedicated to federal government clients, at Pure Storage, a leading provider of all-flash data storage solutions. He joined the company in August 2021. Maikish held directorship and management roles at Cisco and IBM, where his responsibilities focused on sales, analysis, and federal government operations.
Maikish applies his wealth of experience–and his admiration for the late President Theodore Roosevelt–to strengthen Pure Storage’s commitments to the federal government and promote data-driven solutions for modern analytics, multi-cloud platforms, and high-profile missions.
On April 6, 2023, Walter Maikish participated in the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Breakfast Summit, where he shared his insights on analytics and AI in modern data environments. Recognizing the increasing significance of AI in an operational context, Maikish highlighted the importance of maximizing the potential of analytical and AI engines to uncover new capabilities that enhance and fortify data performance for all business portfolios.
Brad Mascho, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Empower AI
Brad Mascho assumed the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer role at Empower AI in 2019. He oversees the firm’s corporate identity, marketing, communications, reducing risks, and thought leadership functions.
With a career spanning two decades, Mascho has established himself as an AI leader, excelling in leading enterprise transformation initiatives and driving value for results-impelled organizations. Through his directorship roles, he has played a pivotal role in generating billions of dollars in company revenue. Mascho’s focus extends beyond financial success as he has also significantly contributed to company growth, culture development, and the establishment of exceptional brand presences.
Anthony Robbins, Vice President of Federal Sales and the North American Public Sector at NVIDIA
Anthony Robbins has been NVIDIA’s Vice President of Federal Sales since October 2017. He oversees the development of AI strategies and cloud platforms tailored to the specific needs of various US federal entities. He aims to accelerate their programs and help them achieve mission success by utilizing NVIDIA’s technologies. Before joining NVIDIA, Robbins held several executive leadership positions focusing on federal and civilian agencies at SGI, Sun Microsystems, AT&T, and AFCEA.
Robbins leveraged his 20-year work experience to position NVIDIA as a prime provider of AI, cloud computing, edge processing, and algorithm development. His prowess in AI garnered him Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 Award in 2016 and consecutively from 2019 to 2022.
Continuing to draw on his wealth of experience, Robbins is actively involved in NVIDIA’s efforts to make AI-enabled tools more accessible to customers. In May 2023, Yurts AI and NVIDIA’s Lambda collaboration resulted in the development of the Air-Gapped Large Language Model (LLM) Solution for Enterprise. This platform offers advanced language processing capabilities to address generative AI challenges specifically for Lambda-run workstations.
Robbins emphasized that the collaboration with Yurts AI enables the LLM model to revolutionize productivity with intelligent research and writing capabilities. It broadens the utilization of generative AI beyond the confines of traditional cloud environments, offering new possibilities for enterprise applications.