McRaven joins advisory board to improve national security

Hojun Choi

  • University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven will be joining leaders in the tech and media industries to improve national security through new innovations.
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  • McRaven was among the first to be appointed to the new Defense Innovation Advisory Board by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, according to a press release published by the System last week. He will be joining Walter Isaacson, former chairman of CNN, and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.
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  • “This appointment provides me the opportunity to emphasize the important role universities play in advancing national security,” McRaven said in the press release. “I appreciate Secretary Carter’s invitation to serve in this critically important capacity and am eager to get to work.”
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  • McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, began his tenure as chancellor for the System in January 2015.
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  • “Higher education, and University of Texas institutions specifically, can and should be taking a more significant role in addressing threats to national security,” System spokeswoman Karen Adler wrote in an email. “Chancellor McRaven is the ideal person to help connect academia with the federal government.”
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  • Secretary Carter visited the University in April to speak about how research can improve national security. The event was hosted by the Clements Center for National Security and the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.
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  • William Inboden, executive director of the Center for National Security, said the University’s research and commitment to strengthening U.S. foreign and defense policies put it in a unique position to contribute to the national security ecosystem.
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  • “Chancellor McRaven embodies all of these qualities with his incomparable military, educational and civic leadership,” Inboden said in an email. “Government by its nature is slower-moving, less adaptive, less flexible and less creative than private sector entrepreneurs and innovators and university researchers.”
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  • Lisa Firmin, associate provost of diversity and recruitment at The University of Texas at San Antonio, said the Pentagon should continue looking for ways to work with the System. Firmin served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force before taking her position at the University in 2010.
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  • “With where we are today with technology, the DOD really needs to move quicker when dealing with new innovations,” Firmin said. “I think forming partnerships is the way to go, so I am very optimistic about what is being done with this new advisory board.”