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Victoria Virasingh

NobleReach’s Victoria Virasingh on Building Connections Between Government, Technologists, Academia & Beyond

Victoria Virasingh has charted a unique course in the public and technology sectors. Upon exiting Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Latin American Studies, she saw a gap between the D.C. world and the tech world that needed to be bridged. After completing her Masters, Virasingh landed at Palantir as an international specialist. During her half-decade with the company, she contributed to a now more widely recognized acceptance of the interrelatedness of global affairs and technology, ascending to roles like public-private partnerships lead and co-founder of the innovation and jobs team.

Following her time at Palantir, she returned to her home district in northern Virginia and ran for U.S. Congress, taking inspiration from her experiences in the tech world and a growing belief that legislators should have direct involvement in technology issues. Post-election, she joined NobleReach Foundation, a nonprofit that synergizes activities in industry, academia and the public sector to drive technology and innovation to serve the government’s mission.

In a recent Executive Spotlight interview, Virasingh urged technologists to respond to the call of government and examined national security threats and how NobleReach is creating infrastructure to better facilitate interchange of talent and innovation between industry, government, and academia.

Potomac Officers Club’s monthly summits are essential spaces for commingling across industries. Join us for the 5th Annual CIO Summit on April 17 for hearty discussions about the government’s IT priorities and the 2024 Cyber Summit on June 6 to talk through solutions to the country’s most pressing digital security concerns.

What do you think are the most pressing national security threats we’re facing today? How is your organization addressing these threats?

I am particularly focused on making sure that next generation technology is used in warfighting and that the U.S. remains a leader in both next-generation technology  production and adoption. To maintain our economic competitive advantage, especially in the technology industry, collaboration between government, academia and industry is essential.

Progress has been made, but there is much more to do. Our organization, NobleReach Foundation, addresses national security challenges by implementing both a talent exchange and technology commercialization programs. The talent program brings technically talented, early-career professionals and places them directly into federal government roles. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders to view public service as a valuable part of their careers.

Another aspect of our efforts is through Emerge, our technology commercialization arm. Emerge works with government researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation, assisting them in reaching milestones to commercialize their research. Many of these areas are of immense interest to national security, and we are actively involved in ensuring the success of their products in the commercial market.

If we’re losing ground in any critical national defense priorities, how are we working now to catch up?

In considering the technology arms race and the evolving nature of global threats and warfare tools, it’s crucial that we stay at the cutting edge of technology advancements. Utilizing the best within our technological capabilities is vital to support our military, empower the warfighter overseas and boost the domestic and local economy. Emerging technologies, such as semiconductors, quantum, advanced manufacturing and bio, play key roles in this landscape.

To remain a global leader, collaboration is needed to make substantial investments that catalyze the development of factories and fabs and attract the right talent to ensure we remain at the forefront in the future. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, NobleReach acts as an intermediary, helping to de-risk some of the investments for the government.

Our democracy allows us to align institutions, the private sector, academia and the government to innovate and transform society. NobleReach, as a foundation, is focused on facilitating this collaboration. The foundation is engaged in conversations with individuals and entities willing to invest their money, resources and networks in addressing these challenges. The belief is that by coming together, whether in industry, venture capital, government, or academia, we can collectively rise to the challenge and emerge ahead in this rapidly evolving landscape.

What advice do you have for defense tech companies that are looking to partner with the government?

Currently, there’s a notable rallying cry for innovators in technology to focus on building solutions for defense. This doesn’t necessarily mean exclusivity for the defense community, but it highlights a critical moment in our evolving global landscape. Given the challenges faced by many of our allies abroad, there is a unique opportunity for technologists, innovators and entrepreneurs to address critical government problems.

For young entrepreneurs seeking to make a meaningful impact, now is an ideal moment to build solutions for critical government issues. It’s a chance to be driven by a mission to address these challenges.

There exists a middle ground where innovation and creation serve a purpose, contributing to mission-driven impact. This aligns with the ethos of what NobleReach is striving to achieve. We want to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to leverage their skills and talents, be mission-driven and collaborate with the government to address the problems it seeks to solve.

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