Whitney McNamara is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense program of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. In this role, she supports the Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption, for which she is the lead author on assessing critical technologies and their barriers to adoption in the Department of Defense (DoD). McNamara is also a vice president at Beacon Global, where she supports disruptive technology companies working with the DoD and intelligence community.

She previously served in the DoD’s Defense Innovation Board, whose mission is to provide the secretary of defense, deputy secretary of defense, and other senior leaders across the department with independent advice and recommendations on emerging technologies and innovative approaches that DoD should adopt to ensure US technological and military dominance. Before that, she was an emerging technologies policy subject matter expert supporting the DoD’s Chief Information Office. Prior to that, she was a senior analyst at the national security think tank Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments for four years, focusing on emerging technologies, future operating concepts, and informationized warfare in the context of long-term technological and military competition with adversaries.

She received her master’s degree in strategic studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she was a Bradley fellow and a Presidential Management Fellowship finalist. Prior to that, she spent four years working in the Middle East as a project manager and consultant. She has written for or been quoted in the Washington Post, the New York Times, BBC News, the Cipher Brief, Real Clear Defense, Breaking Defense, C4ISRNET, Air Force Magazine, the Center for International Maritime Security, Aspen Review, and the National Interest.