Become a Program Manager


It Starts with Your Ideas!

IARPA attracts world-class Program Managers (PMs) who bring exceptional imagination and proven expertise to address cross-community challenges. PMs are vital to the success of IARPA. They are more than just advocates for their program(s); they are the originators of the innovative concept at the heart of the program that they shepherd.

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IARPA Program Manager positions are term-limited with an anticipated term of three to five years to ensure a constant infusion of fresh thinking and new perspectives. Those interested in becoming a Program Manager should submit a letter of interest, resume, and responses to the rigorous Heilmeier Questions via email to

The Heilmeier Questions

The Heilmeier Questions provide future IARPA PMs high-level guidance for what information should be included in their proposals as well as allow PMs to communicate to IARPA leadership what they hope to accomplish with the program.

  • What are you trying to do?

  • How does this get done at present? Who does it? What are the limitations of present approaches?

    • Are you aware of the state-of-the-art and have you thoroughly thought through all the options?
  • What is new about your approach? Why do you think you can be successful at this time?

    • Given that you've provided clear answers to 1 & 2, have you created a compelling option?
    • What does first-order analysis of your approach reveal?

  • If you succeed, what difference will it make?

    •  Why should we care?

  • How long will it take? How much will it cost? What are your mid-term and final exams?

    •  What is your program plan? How will you measure progress? What are your milestones/metrics? What is your transition strategy?

Each IARPA program starts with a good idea and a good person to lead it. Without both, IARPA will not start a program.

Program Managers are the key to IARPA’s success!