Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

DARPA’s Regina Dugan Will Join Google

Regina Dugan, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is leaving to take a role at Google. We’d been working on this story independently and have confirmed it with Google; Wired has it up as well.

Dugan reigned over all sorts of fantastical creations at DARPA, including testing hypersonic vehicles. She was a huge hit at our D9 conference last year, and recently delighted the audience at TED with a presentation of an array of projects, including a remote-controlled flying hummingbird.

Dugan had an unusually entrepreneurial philosophy for someone in the government, for instance telling our own Walt Mossberg at D, “Failure isn’t the problem, it’s the fear of failure.”

A spokeswoman for Google said that Dugan would have a “senior position” at Google but wouldn’t confirm her role. A DARPA spokesperson told Wired that Dugan felt she couldn’t turn down a chance to join such an innovative company.

Here’s the official Google comment: “Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA. She will be a real asset to Google and we are thrilled she is joining the team.”

Google has recently — mostly in secret — combined some of its moonshot projects into a division called Google X, which is run by co-founder Sergey Brin. It is working on things like wearable computing devices and autonomous cars. Seems like a natural fit for Dugan, though of course Google wouldn’t confirm it.

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo