Tackling the NSA’s Innovation Challenge

Innovation in Government isn’t generally a phrase that rolls off the tongue, but in a relatively unconstrained threat environment, innovation has become synonymous with survival.

A few years ago, the world’s most secretive signals intelligence agency underwent a significant reorganization effort that combined elements of the Agency’s offensive and defensive cyber components.  The NSA was looking to realign the organization so they could better integrate with their military component, the Central Security Service (CSS).  They also needed to better integrate with their contractor base and all of their partners.

As part of that reorganization, the NSA created the Office of Innovation, which today, is headed by the NSA’s Chief of Innovation, Kevin Keaton.

For an Agency that would rank in the top 10% of Fortune 500 companies in terms of size and budget, it would be difficult to ever shift on a dime. The NSA is not a startup, but Keaton and the Agency’s leadership, knew that it had to think like one.

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