Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky - allgov.com
The first woman to lead the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is headed to the private sector, leaving behind accusations that she enriched her company while running the agency. DARPA funds projects that explore the cutting edge of technology as they relate to national security.
Regina Dugan, who was appointed three years ago to run DARPA, will be moving to Google. A defense spokesperson said her departure had nothing to do with the ongoing probe by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
The Defense Department Inspector General is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts that DARPA gave out to RedX Defense, a bomb-detection firm that Dugan co-founded, and still partially owns.
Another audit is examining some of the 2,000 other research contracts DARPA awarded during Dugan’s tenure to see if the agency adequately followed procedures for contracts and grants. It remains to be seen if Dugan’s resignation will put an end to the investigations into her financial activities.
The issue of Dugan’s involvement in questionable contracts was first brought to light in March 2011, when AllGov revealed that DARPA was awarding contracts to RedXDefense, which Dugan co-founded in 2005 with her father, Vince Dugan, and her uncle, John Dugan. The Project on Government Oversight catalogued $1.75 million in DARPA contracts that have gone to RedXDefense.