Jeff Decker is managing director of the Technology Transition for Defense Program and co-instructor of Hacking for Defense course at Stanford University. Hacking for Defense uses the Lean Startup technique to tackle complex problems critical to the government around national security, energy networks, cyber security, and AI, and develop new technologies with teams of engineers, scientists, MBA’s and policy experts. With the program, Jeff has taught more than 300 students, faculty, and government personnel user-centered design from over 2 dozen colleges and universities, helping them solve more than 75 unique national security challenges for the Defense Department and related industries. Several student teams have gone on to form companies winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, gaining venture capital funding, and one team even became a program of record. Jeff’s work and research focuses generally on defense innovation and dual-use technologies, with a focus on developing go-to-defense market strategies for technology startups and fostering defense-industry partnerships. With his Lean Startup experience and expertise with Hacking for Defense, plus his military service, Jeff is a sought-after expert when it comes to national security and solving Defense Department challenges.
Jeff served in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Ranger Battalion light infantry squad leader in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his service, he earned a MS in International Relations (Laws), and a doctorate in International Relations before conducting national security and international affairs research at the RAND Corporation.