Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is joining the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, a 15-member panel that’s meant to help the Pentagon adopt some of the private-sector ideas that have fueled America’s tech industry.
The panel is chaired by a tech titan who’s arguably one of Bezos’ biggest competitors: Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Other members include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Instagram COO (and Facebook veteran) Marne Levine, Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Bezos’ appointment this week, and numbered him among “the most innovative minds in America.”
In addition to founding Amazon, Bezos owns The Washington Post and the Blue Origin space venture. During an April fireside chat at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Bezos told me that he was “very excited” about Blue Origin’s potential involvement in space missions for the Defense Department.