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Dr. Catherine Cotell, Acting Director & Deputy Director for Research

Dr. Catherine Cotell is IARPA’s deputy director for research. In this role, she leads a multidisciplinary team of scientists managing research and development programs. Dr. Cotell’s career, which began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, has been dedicated to delivering innovative, technology-based solutions to both the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense. From 2016 – 2019, she was a senior advisor to the director of research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. From 2014 – 2016, she headed the Office of Incisive Analysis at IARPA, where she oversaw a portfolio of research projects in data analytics including text, image, video, speech, and remotely sensed data. She has held leadership roles at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Noblis, and was vice president at In-Q-Tel from 2003 – 2010. She launched IQT’s university outreach program and managed their largest technology practice focused on data analytics. Dr. Cotell was issued seminal patents in the field of laser deposition of biocompatible coatings for medical implants. She holds doctorate and master’s degrees from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s in chemistry and mathematics from Wellesley College. She is the winner of the ODNI S&T Professional Individual Award.

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Ms. Cheri Benedict, Deputy Director for Operations

Ms. Cheri Benedict is IARPA’s deputy director for operations. Before joining IARPA in January 2019, Ms. Benedict was a program manager for ODNI’s Acquisition, Procurement, and Facilities directorate from 2015 to 2019 and established IC common contract-related enterprise licensing agreements with commercial IT vendors. From 2010 to 2015, Cheri served in various ODNI roles in the IC Chief Information Office. These roles included overall IC IT budget lead to the Office of Management and Budget, IC IT enterprise management, IC-wide cloud computing studies, and counterintelligence or DoD mission-focused support. Before entering federal service, she worked in various government contracting firms consulting on IT modernization issues. She also served in the U.S. Army from 1995 to 2006, with numerous assignments as a signal officer. Ms. Benedict holds a master’s degree in information and telecommunications systems from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She is a Wisconsin native and now resides in Bethesda, MD, with her husband and three children.

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Ms. Marianne Kramer, Chief of Technology Transition

Marianne Kramer is IARPA’s chief of technology transition. She joined IARPA in December 2017 from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where she held the position of Technology Transition Lead for NGA Research. Prior to that, Ms. Kramer served as the Division Chief for Planning and Transition in InnoVision at NGA. Ms. Kramer represented NGA or its predecessor organizations (National Imagery and Mapping Agency and Defense Mapping Agency) by supporting geospatial intelligence and research efforts while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1995 – 2015. During that span, she spent two years with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Central Measurement and Signature Intelligence Office. Ms. Kramer holds a master’s in analytical geography from Binghamton University and a master’s in leadership and change from Antioch University. She received her bachelor’s in humanities and anthropology from Providence College. Currently she is pursuing a doctoral degree in leadership and change at Antioch University. In 2017, she received the Sharon Parish Leader Award from NGA and she was party to an Intelligence Community Science and Technology team award in 2013.

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