Energy Names Inaugural Director of New Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office

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The agency launched the center in September to coordinate and streamline its heaps AI-focused efforts.

Less than a half-year into its existence, the Energy Department’s new Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office officially unveiled its leader. 

According to a Thursday announcement, the agency’s undersecretary for science officially swore in Cheryl Ingstad as the inaugural director of AITO on Feb. 4. 

“AI technologies will be as transformative to our daily lives as electricity was to American society more than a century ago, and as a world-leading AI enterprise, [Energy] has the power and the obligation to ensure that it is used as a force for good,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement. He added that Ingstad’s “proven public and private sector leadership in driving crosscutting, breakthrough technologies at the nexus of energy and national security” made her the agency’s “ideal candidate” for the role. 

According to her LinkedIn profile, Ingstad is an Army veteran and has experience in the Defense Department’s cyber operations. The agency also said she was an “early leader” in the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Information Operations Branch. More recently, Ingstad led commercialization efforts at 3M Company, which specializes in AI and machine learning research and development. 

Energy stood up AITO last September, to coordinate and oversee the massive agency’s (and its national labs’) myriad of AI-focused efforts—and to ultimately accelerate the development and adoption of the blossoming technology.

“[Energy] and its 17 national labs are uniquely positioned—and already hard at work—to lead in AI’s application to our core missions,” Ingstad said, adding that she looks forward to helping ensure all the efforts “are focused on accelerating the wise adoption of this emerging technology.”