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The Contest for innovation 

Strengthening America's National Security Innovation Base in an Era of Strategic Competition


The inaugural Reagan Institute Task Force builds on the policy conversations that took place at the 2018 Reagan National Defense Forum by convening prominent thought leaders, public officials, and industry executives to produce a report detailing recommendations to ensure the United States is technologically prepared to meet 21st century challenges and possesses the National Security Innovation Base (NSIB) workforce required to promote America’s security and prosperity, as well as a peaceful international order.

Key Recommendations 

● A “National Security Innovation Committee,” a new U.S. government interagency coordinating body responsible for enabling, developing, guiding, and safeguarding the NSIB.
● A national “STEM Corps,” where students receive free university tuition in national-security-relevant fields and commit to spending several years working within a component of the NSIB ecosystem.
● A “National Security Innovation Base Visa” that would encourage appropriately vetted, highly skilled foreign workers to contribute their education and talents to the benefit of the NSIB.
● A “Partnership for a Strong Innovation Base,” a new international framework to help the NSIB capitalize on the capabilities of the United States’ most trusted allies.
● A number of reforms to the way the Department of Defense does business, with the goal of acculturating its technology acquisition to the more risk-positive nature of the NSIB and driving incentives for private-sector actors to participate more purposefully and robustly in the NSIB.

task force Members

The Honorable JIM TALENT


Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center
Former U.S. Senator, (R-MO)

the honorable ROBERT O. WORK


Senior Counselor for Defense, Center for a New American Security
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense

Ms. Lisa Atherton 

President and Chief Executive Officer, Textron Systems

Mr. Christian Brose

Head of Strategy, Anduril Industries and Former Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI)

Captain (Ret.), U.S. Marine Corps

congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (d-FL)

Former National Security Specialist, Department of Defense

Dr. Nadia Schadlow

Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute and Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy

Mr. Matthew Waxman

Professor, Columbia Law School and Former Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning, Department of State

congressman Jim Banks (R-IN)

Lieutenant, U.S. Navy Reserve

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman

Counselor, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ)

Former National Security Official

Mr. Donald J. Rosenberg

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Qualcomm Incorporated

Mr. Raj Shah

Chairman and Co-Founder, and Former Head, Defense Innovation Unit

Senior Advisors

Robert Atkinson || Founder & President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Samantha Clark || Former Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel, Senate Armed Services Committee
Jeffrey Dressler || Former National Security Advisor, Office of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Ben FitzGerald || Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security
Alex Gallo || Executive Director, The Common Mission Project
Bill Greenwalt || Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Col. Wesley Hallman, USAF (Ret) || Senior Vice President, National Defense Industrial Association
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon || Partner & Chief Marketing Officer, Shield AI
John Luddy || Vice President for National Security Policy, Aerospace Industries Association
Dr. Zachary Mears || Former Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense
Dr. Larry Rubin || Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
Trae Stephens || Partner, Founders Fund
Nate Walton || Principal, Sachem Strategies
Keith Webster|| President, Defense and Aerospace Export Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Ali Wyne || Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation 

Task Force Updates

Rep. Banks in National Defense Magazine “Taking on China Requires a Strengthened Workforce”

Task Force commissioner Chris Brose and Reagan Institute Policy Director Rachel Hoff both appeared on the CSIS “Defense 2020” Podcast

Reagan Institute Director Roger Zakheim published an op-ed in The Hill on the British 5G decision and working with allies and partners in the competition against China.

Senator Talent discussed the report’s findings and recommendations on our own “Reaganism” podcast.

Chris Brose published a book on the future of high-tech warfare, “The Kill Chain.”

House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Future of Defense Task Force