Regina Dugan directs the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the DoD innovation engine responsible for creating and preventing strategic surprise.
With a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Caltech and master's and bachelor's degrees from Virginia Tech, Dr. Dugan is a business woman, inventor, and technology developer who rolls up her sleeves and goes directly to a problem whether it's in the lab or in Afghanistan. She's been called a "technogeek" with a knack for inspiring creative thinking, an artist-engineer. Many credit Dugan as a scientific coach, mentor, cheerleader and taskmaster. As a 2010 New York Times article explained, there are four stages to an encounter with Regina Dugan - "being a little scared, really scared, frustrated and then enlightened." Vision alone is insufficient for Dugan. Rather, vision must be paired with the power of execution in order to make impossible things possible.
"Our singular mission is the prevention and creation of strategic surprise."Regina Dugan
“Since we took to the sky, we have wanted to fly faster and farther. And to do so, we've had to believe in impossible things and we've had to refuse to fear failure.”
“If you don't already have a nerd in your life, you should get one.”
“The path to truly new, never-been-done-before things always has failure along the way.”
“At Mach 20, we can fly from New York to Long Beach in 11 minutes and 20 seconds.”
“[We're making materials] so light that you can make a car that two people can lift, but so strong that it has the crash-worthiness of an SUV.”
“Scientists and engineers can indeed change the world. So can you. You were born to.”
“We think someone else, someone smarter than us, someone more capable, someone with more resources will solve that problem. But there isn't anyone else.”
“It would be inconceivable for us to do [our] work if we didn't make people excited and uncomfortable with the things that we do at the same time.”— on DARPA