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CIA’s In-Q-Tel Spies New CEO

Nanotechnology and longer-lived batteries will be at the top of Christopher Darby’s list of priorities once he assumes the helm at In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency’s non-profit venture capital arm.

Darby has all the security clearances he needs, vetting from an executive search firm, experience at processor giant Intel, and a background in cyber security. Now he will have to jump in and hang on at In-Q-Tel, a job that saw former CEO Amit Doran leave after four months.

Interim CEO Scott Yancey will cede the position to Darby. Yancey has been the company’s CFO and Senior Executive Officer since joining In-Q-Tel in January 2004. He took on the role of president and CEO temporarily while the firm sought a replacement for Doran.

Most recently, Darby served as Vice President and General Manager in Intel’s Middleware Products Division. On the cyber security side, Darby headed up security consulting firm @Stake as its chairman and CEO before that company was acquired by Symantec.

In-Q-Tel’s founding in 1999 came about when the CIA realized the Intelligence Community had been spending far less on information security investments than the commercial sector. Rick Yannuzzi’s overview of In-Q-Tel defined four problem areas where the firm could invest in unclassified work with commercial potential:

Information Security: hardening, and intrusion detection, monitoring and profiling of information use and misuse, and network and data protection.

Use of the Internet: secure receipt of information, non-observable surfing, authentication, content verification, and hacker resistance.

Distributed Architectures: methods to interface with custom or legacy systems, mechanisms to allow dissimilar applications to interact, automatic handling of archived data, and connectivity across a wide range of environments.

Knowledge Generation: geospatial and multimedia data fusion or integration, and computer forensics.

These four areas have the added and obvious benefit of spanning the needs of all the Agency’s directorates and, hence, its core business functions of collection and analysis.


The Washington Post cited In-Q-Tel chairman Lee A. Ault III on the firm’s priorities, although in an interview with the Post, Darby did not get into specifics about those.


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David Utter
About David Utter
David Utter is a business and technology writer for SecurityProNews and WebProNews.

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