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An Interview With Tai Esteban Sunnanon, Strategic Engagement Director – California At NSIN

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Below is our recent interview with Tai Esteban Sunnanon, Strategic Engagement Director – California at NSIN:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to The National Security Innovation Network?

A: The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) solves national security problems with innovative solutions. We are a program of the U.S. Department of Defense that delivers results in a quicker, more agile manner than ever before. We are able to do so because we operate nationally, across 25 states.

Q: What makes your organization unique?

A: In response to the growing concerns and threats to our national security, NSIN was formed. We believe that a nimble and responsive approach to solving our most pressing defense issues generates new ideas and technology.

That is why we developed ecosystems across the country to include the defense, academia, and private sector. The nexus of our focused collaboration lends itself to resolving problems, such as the need for more improved technological capabilities, in a timely manner.

Q: What are some of the main objectives for your organization in the year ahead and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: Creating robust ecosystems across the country is key to our ability to find answers to our national security problems. What is a robust ecosystem? It’s ensuring collaborative partnerships that aim to resolve technology needs for proper offense and defense strategies. But we are also trying to resolve policy, economic and strategic challenges.

A robust ecosystem must answer the question, How do we make our world safer? That is constantly on our minds. That’s why we have NSIN directors, program specialists, and thought leaders embedded across the country. By developing local and regional ecosystems, we can roll up solutions and ideas that can serve our nation. Our ability to be nimble and solution-oriented, helps our partners do the same.

Q: Do you provide strategic support to tech start-ups?

A: As part of our work, we provide strategic support to tech start-ups that aim to support national defense. Big or small, these start-ups provide newness in thinking and with their innovative products. Our sweet spot is identifying diversity in talent. We believe that more diversity lends itself to new forms of being and collaborating.

We know there is a dearth of women CEOs, especially in tech start-ups. So, we find the best of them. We know there is talent in historically underrepresented communities. So, we go find them. In doing so, the makeup of our work and ability to execute has grown exponentially.

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