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2018 William D. Carey Lecture with Dr. Arati Prabhakar

The 2018 William D. Carey Lecture was presented by Dr. Arati Prabhakar, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and former director of DARPA. 

About Dr. Arati Prabhakar


Arati Prabhakar has contributed to U.S. research and development in a wide variety of ways during a career spanning public service and the commercial technology sector. She joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the first time in 1986 as a program manager in advanced semiconductor technology and then was the founding director of DARPA’s Microelectronics Technology Office. In 1993, she was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she led the 3,000-person organization in its work with companies across multiple industries. 

Dr. Prabhakar moved to Silicon Valley in 1997, first as chief technology officer and senior vice president at Raychem, and later vice president and then president of Interval Research. From 2001 to 2011 she was a partner with U.S. Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she identified and served as a board member for startup companies with the promise of significant growth. 

In 2012, President Obama appointed her director of DARPA, a position she held until January 2017. She focused the agency’s efforts on rethinking complex military systems in fundamental ways; harnessing the information explosion to address national security challenges; and planting new seeds of technological surprise in fields as diverse as mathematics, synthetic biology and neurotechnology. 

Dr. Prabhakar received her B.S. in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, and her M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology. She began her career as a Congressional fellow at the Office of Technology Assessment and is now completing a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.