Lauren Knausenberger recently joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense, speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, and the venture community. Prior to joining the government, Lauren was founder and President of Accellint, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in solving problems of national security importance and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission. An enthusiastic Angel investor, Lauren is active with NextGen Angels, has invested in emerging technology companies, such as Graphene Frontiers, and is now applying the VC model to the Air Force through Spark Tank, a DoD version of the Shark Tank television series.
In her role as Director of Cyberspace Innovation she has actively fought to bust traditional barriers to capability development, including shifting the risk equation for cybersecurity accreditation to incentivize rapid adoption of modern, secure systems. As a champion for Kessel Run, Lauren generated the Continuous ATO concept, which helped set the bar for excellence in DevSecOps and enables Air Force software factories to accredit and deploy systems at commercial speed. She was also a major contributor to the recent Fast Track ATO, which emphasizes pen testing and threat/vulnerability assessment over compliance. Finally, Lauren acts as an advisor and connector across the Air Force community to enable projects, remove barriers to entry for best in class businesses, test innovative concepts, and bring new voices and capabilities to the table.
She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, has served as an executive for a large defense contractor, and has extensive experience supporting the intelligence community. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys traveling, trying new cuisine, and chasing two little girls. She also recently founded a non-profit that encourages excellence in education at the intersection of Art and STEM – STEAM. Ms. Knausenberger received a Jimmy Doolittle Fellowship award for Inspiring Air Force Innovation and was included in Fedscoop’s 2018 Top Women in Technology.