Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security Convenes Prominent Public-Sector Leaders, Futurists, Technologists, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs

ARLINGTON, VA., March 5, 2024 – The Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) today announced distinguished speakers and panelists for the second annual Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security, which will take place on May 7-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., alongside SCSP’s first AI Expo for National Competitiveness.

The Ash Carter Exchange, an innovation and national security forum organized jointly by SCSP and Mrs. Stephanie Carter, brings together pioneers and champions of innovation from the government, private sector, and scientific community to examine how to advance collaboration in pursuit of national security. The event honors and advances the legacy of former Secretary of Defense, Dr. Ash Carter, whose recognition of technology’s role in national security continues to inspire preparedness for tomorrow’s challenges.

“Our distinguished speakers in this dynamic forum will provide insights on the future of advanced technology and its relation to national security and military power,” said Ylli Bajraktari, CEO and president of SCSP. “Alongside the AI Expo, we look forward to exchanging ideas, forging strategic collaborations, and ultimately, solidifying the nation’s place as a leader in emerging technology and national security.”

Current list of confirmed speakers of this year’s Ash Carter Exchange includes:

● Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
● Gen. (ret.) Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
● Gen. James E. Rainey, Commanding General, Army Futures Command
● Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Tech
● Dr. Nadia Schadlow, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy
● The Honorable William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
● The Honorable Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Development
● The Honorable Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security
● The Honorable Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
● Michael Collins, Head of the National Intelligence Council
● Lt. Gen Karsten S. Heckl, Deputy Commandant, US Marine Corps
● Rear Adm. Kurt J. Rothenhaus, Chief, Office of Naval Research
● Doug Beck, Director, Defense Innovation Unit
● Dr. Catherine Marsh, Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)
● Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
● Dr. Evelyn N. Wang, Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
● Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, Director of The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)
● Gil Herrera, Director of Research, National Security Agency
● Dr. Meghan O’Sullivan, Director of the Belfer Center, Harvard University

For more information on SCSP, the Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security, and the AI Expo for National Competitiveness, please visit

About SCSP: SCSP is a non-partisan, non-profit project launched by Dr. Eric Schmidt and led by CEO Ylli Bajraktari. SCSP’s mission is to make recommendations to strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness as artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies are reshaping our national security, economy, and society.


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