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DHS’ S&T Head Dimitri Kusnezov Shares Emerging Tech Priorities

Shifting global dynamics have underscored the importance of homeland security for the United States in recent years, and some of the country’s top security leaders are taking a closer look at how emerging technologies are shaping the competitive landscape.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology directorate serves as the research and development arm of the agency and is tasked with developing and transitioning technologies that support warfighters and national security missions.

At the head of the directorate is Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, who was confirmed to the role in September 2022, and recently, he shared his thoughts on the technologies that are posing the greatest risks to the country, as well as those that may be most promising for our technological advantage.

Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov will headline GovCon Wire’s virtual Defending the Homeland: Science & Technology Forum on April 18. Register here to be a part of the timely conversation.

“I focus on how new technologies can combine to create new functionality or threats. Take adversarial AI and how smarter systems, enabled by next-generation networks, ubiquitous sensors, and smarter edge devices, can create gaps in enterprise systems,” Dr. Kusnezov told Signal Magazine.

“To prepare for the future, we must stay ahead and engaged in areas like quantum technologies, autonomous systems and nanoscience which allow us to do things we never thought possible,” he added.

Dr. Kusnezov shared that globalization and rapid commercial advancements in these areas have simultaneously unlocked new opportunities and threat vectors, and he warned that we must “keep a broad perspective and consider the opportunities and risks” associated with these developments.

“Global connectivity accelerates open innovation, allowing anyone to participate. Tools, affordability and user connectivity empower people to create low-cost, disruptive surprises limited only by their creativity. Many of these technologies raise serious ethical, regulatory and treaty issues,” he revealed. 

Going forward, Dr. Kusnezov’s top priorities for the directorate encompass “strengthening the workforce, delivering to operational components, preparedness for the future and fostering innovation.”

“I’d like to see more organization around innovation, risk for emerging technologies, impacts and opportunities, and form the right partnerships to accelerate progress and prepare for complex missions. Our team is ready for this exciting time,” he added.

Join Dr. Kusnezov and other key homeland security figures at GovCon Wire’s Defending the Homeland: Science & Technology Forum on April 18. Register here

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