July 13 (UPI) -- White House Chief Technology Officer Michael J.K. Kratsios will be the acting head of Pentagon research and engineering, the Defense Secretary said on Monday.
"In seeking to fill this position we wanted someone with experience in identifying and developing new technologies and working closely with a wide range of industry partners," said Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a statement. "We think Michael is the right person for this job and we are excited to have him on the team."
Kratsios will be the acting under secretary of defense for design and research, a position created in 2018. He is preceded by Mike Griffin, who resigned the post on Friday, as did his deputy, Lisa Porter, to lead a Virginia-based company, Logiq Inc.
Griffin said that "a private-sector opportunity has presented itself to us, offering an opportunity we have decided to pursue together."
As Chief Technology Officer, Kratsios advised the President "on a broad range of technological policy issues, and United States technology priorities and strategic initiatives," a White House statement said.
"Under his leadership, the White House launched initiatives in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G and broadband communications, autonomous vehicles, commercial drones, STEM education and advanced manufacturing."
Kratsios has also led U.S. delegations at international G7, G20 and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development conferences.