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Cara LaPointe    

Director of Strategic Assessment at US Department of the Navy

Cara LaPointe is a futurist who explores how the intersection between technology, policy, ethics and leadership can shape a better future for humanity. She serves as the US Department of the Navy’s Director of Strategic Assessment, where she leads a team conducting data-driven evaluations and recommendations to help promote a balanced total force that stands ready to deter conflict while simultaneously protecting and advancing the global maritime interests of the US.

At Georgetown University, where she is an Adjunct Professor, LaPointe teaches future leaders in the Science, Technology and International Affairs program of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She also previously served as a Senior Fellow within the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, where she co-designed the “Blockchain Ethical Design Framework” to provide a tool for ensuring that blockchain applications create positive social impact.

During more than two decades in the US Navy, she served as a Surface Warfare Officer and an Engineering Duty Officer, holding numerous roles in the areas of major defense acquisitions, ship design and production, naval force architecture design and analysis, shipbuilding industry analysis, robotics and autonomous systems, unmanned vehicle technology integration, and power and energy systems. Prior to her return to government, LaPointe co-founded the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy, a research center dedicated to making autonomous technologies safe, secure, ethical and trustworthy.

As a global expert on autonomy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other frontier technologies, LaPointe advises and speaks at various international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development and the United States’ National Academy of Medicine. She has previously served in the White House under three administrations and as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and the Department of the Navy’s Science and Technology Board. She holds degrees from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Oxford, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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