Ash Carter's Innovation Gurus Say They Would Stay in a Trump Pentagon

By Klimas, Jacqueline | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, January 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Ash Carter's Innovation Gurus Say They Would Stay in a Trump Pentagon


Klimas, Jacqueline, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


A panel of innovators, including some who have been critical of President-elect Trump, said they will continue serving in the next administration if asked because of a commitment to a "higher mission" and to helping the troops.

The Defense Innovation Board, which Defense Secretary Ash Carter created as a way to drive culture change in the Pentagon and draw recommendations for industry leaders, met for the first time since the election on Monday to vote on several proposals, including appointing a chief innovation officer in the Defense Department and making computer science a career specialty in the military.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and member of the board, has been a vocal critic of Trump, saying that the president's questioning of climate science should put the country on a four- year mission to "Make America Smart Again."

Despite that, Tyson said he would continue to serve on the Pentagon board if asked by the next secretary because of a commitment to making the country better.

"All of the carefully-selected quotes that you find in these halls, they pledge allegiance to the Constitution. I have yet to see a quote that talks about the president, so I think there's a higher mission statement that we all live by here and expect that that will continue," Tyson told reporters following a 90-minute public board meeting.

Jennifer Pahlka, the founder and executive director of Code for America, said she too would continue to serve if asked because of the troops she's met during exploratory trips as a board member.

"It's those people personally who I feel very compelled to continue to serve if we can help them," she said.

Eric Schmidt, the chairman of the board and chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, also said he would be "very happy" to serve under Trump and his pick to be defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis, if he is invited to stay on and suspected that at least a majority of board members felt the same way. …

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