Pentagon’s AI and MoD’s digital transformation journeys

15 October 2020

1:30-3:00pm London

Virtual roundtable

Meeting overview

We will discuss the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence and the Ministry of Defence’s digital transformation journeys.

For extremely large organisations real innovation can be hard to achieve. Our conversation will also focus on the culture change and leadership that’s required for such transformational projects to be successful. Sourcing the tech is often the easy part.

Lt. Gen. Shanahan has been responsible for accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities to help the Pentagon run more efficiently and keep its technological edge. He was Project Maven’s first Director and the inaugural Director of the JAIC.

Project Maven was the United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) pathfinder Artificial Intelligence (AI) fielding project. Established in 2017 the project was responsible for accelerating the augmentation, automation, and analysis of intelligence collection through AI-enabled technologies.

Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) was established in 2018 as a centralized organization within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to accelerate delivering AI-enabled capabilities, scale the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronize AI activities across the entire Department of Defense. During Lieutenant General Shanahan’s tenure as the Director, the JAIC grew from a five-person organization with no programmed funding, to a 150-person program with a $1.3Bn five-year budget. The JAIC’s primary divisions include missions; product development and management; programming, budgeting, and acquisition; intelligence; strategy and policy; testing and evaluation; and infrastructure and platforms. The JAIC Director is a direct report to the U.S. DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO).

The Royal Navy is a £10Bn global business, operating in the most extreme environments and reliant on access to the most cutting-edge technology. Lt. Col. Drinkwater will share his experience in speeding up Royal Navy’s procurement process of working with startups and adopting the latest technologies. Digital, Autonomy, Lethality, Agility and more.

Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan

Artificial Intelligence Chief @ The Pentagon


Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan is the inaugural Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Office of the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. Lt. Gen. Shanahan is responsible for accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the department-wide impact of AI, and synchronizing AI activities to expand joint force advantages.

Lt. Gen. Shanahan received his commission in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Michigan. He has served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments, most recently as the Director for Defense Intelligence (Warfighter Support), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He was also the Director of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (Project Maven), where he established and led the department’s AI pathfinder fielding program charged with accelerating, augmenting, and automating intelligence collection and analysis.

Lt. Col. Ross Drinkwater MBE

Head of Royal Marines Equipment @ Royal Navy


Lt Col Ross Drinkwater is the head of Royal Marines Land equipment. He is leading the strategy and procurements of a new generation of AI enabled autonomy, weapon and surveillance systems for the Future Commando Force project to transform the UK Royal Marines.

This meeting is open to Innovation Partnership members and partners. If you wish to apply to join please email