Brett Vaughan

Brett Vaughan

Chief AI Officer for the US Navy

US Navy
As the US Navy implements widespread AI initiatives, we spoke to their Chief AI Officer, Brett Vaughan

Chief AI Officer for the US Navy, Brett Vaughan has been involved with security, defence and the military applications and implications of AI across several years. Although he modestly states that his greatest skill lies in communicating with various departments about the benefits of AI rather than the nuts and bolts of its coding, he is clearly a leading, global authority on the benefits of this cutting-edge technology within the defence and military space. 

A civilian who originally qualified as a cartographer but went on to cut his teeth in military intelligence at the Pentagon, Vaughan is no stranger to balancing the potential of AI with the strictly classified protocols of military management.  “It’s an expansive role. It essentially means I'm part ambassador, strategic communicator, and architect for AI for the service. My purview spans our Navy's war fighting capabilities, our readiness, our corporate activities, and our training and education as they relate to AI. Essentially anywhere the service is interested in designing, developing, or deploying AI-enabled activities or capabilities, that falls in my job jar.”

Vaughan is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, earning a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.   He also holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors Degree in Geography from the University of Mary Washington where he also completed five semesters of Russian language studies.

Prior to joining the Department of the Navy, Mr. Vaughan spent a twenty-year career with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).  Prominent assignments with NGA included: NGA Pentagon Liaison Division Chief, NGA Defense (2009-2010); NGA Liaison to the CNO N2 Staff (2003-2009); NGA Liaison to the JCS Joint Staff (1997-2002) and Operations Engineer (1995-1997).  Mr. Vaughan entered federal service in 1989 after working as a cartographer for the City of Virginia Beach Mapping and Surveying Department.

Mr. Vaughan is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, earning a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.   He also holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors Degree in Geography from the University of Mary Washington where he also completed five semesters of Russian language studies.

His honors and awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation (two awards), the James V. Forrestal Award for Excellence in Strategy and Force Planning, the Marine Corps Association Writing Award, the NIMA Superior Service Medal, the DCI Meritorious Unit Citation and several letters of appreciation and commendation from OSD and the JCS Joint Staff.


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