IARPA Gets a New Director


Deputy Director Stacey Dixon will take the helm.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Tuesday named Stacey Dixon as the next director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity.

Dixon joined IARPA as deputy director in early 2016 and now takes the helm from Jason Matheny, who stepped down from the organization’s top role at the end of his three-year term.

“Stacey brings extraordinary knowledge and experience to the position, and I’m certain that she will maintain IARPA’s high bar for technical excellence and relevance to intelligence priorities,” Coats said in a statement. “I look forward to her continued work in delivering breakthrough capabilities to partners throughout the national security community.”

Over the last 15 years, Dixon has occupied a number of technical and policy roles across the intelligence community.

Before coming to IARPA, she served as deputy director of InnoVision, the research arm of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency that has since rebranded as the NGA Research and Development Directorate. She also worked as a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee for more than three years and held research positions in the CIA’s National Reconnaissance Office from 2003 to 2007.

She holds doctoral and masters’ degrees in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

IARPA conducts and funds cutting-edge research in technologies that benefit the intelligence community. As the agency’s chief, Dixon will oversee efforts to prevent terrorist attacks with machine learning, store data within molecules, predict epidemics and uprisings through crowdsourcing and explore other innovative technologies.