One of the most top-secret Pentagon departments — the same that spawned America’s drones, military robots, electromagnetic guns and other sci-fi weaponry — is about to lose its top officer to Google.
Regina Dugan oversaw the development of some of the US military’s most marvelous high tech accomplishments as director of Darpa, but the head of the DoD’s research lab is parting ways with the Pentagon to take on a role with Google.
Not even three years after she took on the role as the first female director of the America’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, Regina Dugan is now walking away to join the ranks of America’s other innovative powerhouse. Dugan will be relinquishing her top roll at the Defense Department’s Darpa program and trading in the Potomac River for Silicon Valley, and says it is a natural decision to move somewhere where the possibilities seem endless. Apparently within the cogs of the war machine, there is only so much left to explore.
Confirming the move to a “senior executive position” with Google, Darpa spokesman Eric Mazzacone tells Wired that Dugan couldn’t refuse an offer with such an “innovative company” as the search engine giant. Until the latest news broke, however, Darpa had been touted as a creative — yet controversial — research lab for space-age technology only once imaginable. Darpa has developed technologies used across the globe that can take away lives and, as seen with cutting-edge robotic limbs, practically create them.
“There is a time and a place for daydreaming. But it is not at Darpa,” she told a congressional panel in March of 2011. “Darpa is not the place of dreamlike musings or fantasies, not a place for self-indulging in wishes and hopes. Darpa is a place of doing.”
While this might seem like a common sense statement coming from any other agency, when it is coming out of the mouth of the director of DARPA, which is behind such technologies as the militarized hallucination technology known as “battlefield illusions” (among many other strange and unbelievable technologies) it is remarkable indeed.
While Google already has established connections with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) (which refuses to disclose the true nature of their relationship with Google) and other government agencies, Dugan’s move will just serve to reinforce these links.