avatar for Lauren Knausenberger

Lauren Knausenberger

United States Air Force
Deputy Chief Information Officer
Lauren Knausenberger recently joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense, speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, and the venture community. Prior to joining the government, Lauren was founder and President of a consulting firm specializing in solving problems of national security importance and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission. An enthusiastic Angel investor, Lauren is active with NextGen Angels, has invested in emerging technology companies, such as Graphene Frontiers, and is now applying the VC model to the Air Force through Spark Tank, a DoD version of the Shark Tank television series.
In her role as Chief Transformation Officer she has actively fought to bust traditional barriers to capability development, including shifting the risk equation for cybersecurity accreditation to incentivize rapid adoption of modern, secure systems. As a champion for Kessel Run, Lauren generated the Continuous ATO concept, which helped set the bar for excellence in DevSecOps and enables Air Force software factories to accredit and deploy systems at commercial speed. She was also a major contributor to the recent Fast Track ATO, which emphasizes pen testing and threat/vulnerability assessment over compliance. Through her work with DevSecOps community, Ms. Knausenberger saw a major gap in the way we train and retain our most technologically savvy Airmen and has become a driving force behind the Computer Language Initiative and Digital University, which will be a key delivery mechanism to democratize access to best in class digital learning, gameify the experience, and operationalize the platform to drive future career path decisions, placements, mentorship, special projects, and other retention incentives. Finally, Ms. Knausenberger has collaborated across the Air Force to help drive initiatives such as EITaas, Cloud One, Iron Bank, BYOAD, and others to ensure a seamless strategy to truly deliver value to the warfighter. Finally, Lauren acts as an advisor to AFWERX and connector across the Air Force community to enable projects, remove barriers to entry for best in class businesses, test innovative concepts, and bring new voices and capabilities to the table.
She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, has served as an executive for a large defense contractor, and has extensive experience supporting the intelligence community. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys traveling, trying new cuisine, and chasing two little girls. She also recently founded a STEAM non-profit focused on serving underprivileged HS students. Ms. Knausenberger received a Jimmy Doolittle Fellowship award for Inspiring Air Force Innovation and is included in Fedscoop’s Top Women in Technology.
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