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2020/09/02 Episode 32: The Opportunity Hunter

2020/09/02 Episode 32: The Opportunity Hunter

In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, Air Force Lt. Col. C. David Lewis, a program manager since 2018 in the agency’s Defense Sciences Office, takes listeners on a tour of the amazingly diverse portfolio of programs he oversees. The foci of these range from the deep math underlying optimization challenges, such as planning complex routes and managing supply chains, to using untapped signals in the atmosphere as indicators of both natural and human activities on the planet’s surface. He also shares a chronicle of his navigation, as a Black person, through the individual and systemic racism that confronted him as he pursued his love of science (which his sixth-grade teacher and key educational ally recognized) and later his ambition to become a fighter pilot (and even an astronaut), a physicist, and then to land what he calls his “dream job” as a DARPA program manager. Amidst the vexing challenges to fully open educational and professional opportunities to all Americans, David has a forward-looking message for listeners. “We are going to evolve,” he says. “It’s important for all Americans now to think about what they want the future to look like.”

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