Advisory Board

Dr. David A. Bray

David A. Bray, Ph.D. is the Inaugural Director of the Atlantic Council GeoTech Center since 2019.

The Atlantic Council helps nations, economies, and societies to embrace new technologies and data to empower people, increase development and prosperity, and secure peace. The new global GeoTech Center encourages global tech collaborations and educates world leaders and the public on issues related to global tech competition.

David was named a 5-year World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader for 2016–2021 where he coauthored a major research study on the USG workforce erosion.

He is an Advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense, focused primarily on increasing overall Adaptability of the Military Services for potential ‘bad day’ scenarios, and was named Senior Fellow with the Institute for Human-Machine Cognition — both starting in 2018. He was selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow for 2017–2018 and traveled to Europe in 2018 to discuss Trans-Atlantic issues of common concern including exponential technologies and the global future ahead.

Later in 2018, he was invited to work with the U.S. Navy and Marines on improving organizational adaptability and to work with the U.S. Special Operation Command’s J5 Directorate on the challenges of countering misinformation and disinformation online. As well, he was chosen to be an Eisenhower Fellow to meet with leaders in Taiwan and Australia on multi sector cyber strategies for the “Internet of Everything” and Artificial Intelligence in 2015.

David was named to the Corporate Board of a pioneering AI stealth startup and as Advisor to Guardians.AI countering the spread of misinformation by semi-autonomous means in 2019. He was invited to film a video address to Arizona State University’s counter-misinformation workshop and present on countering polarizing social wedges.

In 2018, David was both named to the Corporate Board of — an industrial automation and computer vision company and selected as N Square Advisor for tackling nuclear challenges.

He accepted an invitation from the co-creator of TCP/IP, Vint Cerf, to become the Executive Director for the People-Centered Internet coalition that partners with the World Bank, World Economic Forum, and IEEE to provide support, expertise, and funding for demonstration projects that measurably improve people’s lives using the Internet. David was invited to Co-Chair the AI Governance, Big Data, and Ethics Summit in D.C. in 2019, and to give the 2019 UN Keynote on the future of AI & IoT governance.

In 2013, David became an International Advocate of Data and Privacy Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations focused on international issues intersecting with disruptive technologies and socioeconomic impacts. He was also a mentor and coach to Young Government Leaders as well as to for seven years. He was awarded the NextGen Public Service Leadership award in 2016 and awarded the prestigious Arthur S. Flemming and Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership in 2013.

Between 2013 and 2017, David was the Senior Executive and Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission and while there he was named top “24 Americans Who Are Changing the World” under 40 by Business Insider in 2016 for his ambitious efforts to bring the FCC’s infrastructures to a cloud-based system.

Prior to the FCC, from 2010, David was the Executive Director for the National Commission on R&D and the Senior Executive at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. From 2010 to 2011, he chaired the initial White House subcommittee efforts to improve relations among the information integration, network interoperability, and civil liberties activities of the U.S. government.

David was deployed to Afghanistan voluntarily in 2009 as a Special Advisor to a Brigadier General for 120 days overseeing STRAT EFFECTS for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan. He was the Senior Strategist and Defense Researcher on Global Security for the Institute for Defense Analyses between 2008 and 2010 and was awarded the NATO Service Medal in 2009, and the DOD’s Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, the highest-ranking joint civilian service award under the authority of combatant commanders, in 2010.

In 2005, David became an Expert & Senior Strategist on Scaling Startups, Leadership, and Artificial Intelligence for, an online knowledge ecosystem of more than 70k physicians. His advisory role resulted in improved medical situational awareness leveraging large-scale Internet and human-centered design advances, national information sharing related to U.S. healthcare, peer-to-peer healthcare innovations, and enhanced decision making across U.S. hospitals and primary care providers. As well, he pioneered innovative organizational and technology strategies for the BioPHusion pilot at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Until 2005, for 5 years, David was Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response IT Chief and Associate Director of Informatics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He led the CDC’s Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program’s (BPRP) technology response to 9/11, anthrax, West Nile, SARS, monkeypox, ricin, and other international emergencies. David received the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award in 2002 for anthrax response the year prior and was nominated as Federal Employee of the Year for the National Center for Infectious Disease at the CDC and shared a similar award for SARS and monkeypox response in 2004.

David began working for the U.S. government at age 15 on computer simulations at a high-energy physics facility investigating quarks and neutrinos. In later roles, he designed new telemedicine interfaces and space-based forest fire forecasting prototypes for the Department of Defense. From 1998 to 2000, he volunteered as a part-time crew lead with the Habitat for Humanity International in the Philippines, Honduras, Romania, and Nepal while also working as a project manager with Yahoo! and a Microsoft partner firm.

He earned his Ph.D. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School where he researched innovative organizational, knowledge, and technology strategies for turbulent environments to improve national security and crisis response. He defended his doctoral dissertation on “Knowledge Ecosystems: Technology, Motivations, Processes, Performance” in 2008.

David earned his Master’s Degree in Science from Public Health Informatics focused on Crisis Response in 2005. In 2001, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Computer Science and Biology where he continues to volunteer for the scholar program as an alumni.

He later completed two postdoctoral associateships at MIT’s Sloan School Center for Collective Intelligence and at Harvard University’s Leadership for a Networked World Program in 2008. David is the author of 40+ academic papers and published publications.

His passions include complicated, near-impossible missions involving humans and technology in challenging circumstances. Through the efforts of a team of “positive change agents”, he led the transformation of the Federal Communication Commission’s legacy IT with more than 207 different systems to award-winning tech. This included rolling out new cloud-based IT that achieved results in 1/2 the time at 1/6 the cost.

He was the recipient of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award for the Civilian Government. He also received the global CIO 100 Award twice, which usually is awarded to private sector Fortune 500 companies, both in 2015 and 2017, for his transformational leadership in change-adverse settings. In 2019, he was invited to give the AI World Society Distinguished Lecture to the United Nations on UN Charter Day.

David’s passions include the Future of Work, Future of Governance, and the Future of Augmented Communities that maintain a human focus on collaboration, pluralism, and individual choices. Over the years for six different startups, he has served as President, Chief Strategy Officer, and Strategic Advisor roles. He has been serving as a Visiting Executive In-Residence at Harvard University since 2015 and as a Faculty Member giving talks on Impact and Disruption at Singularity University since 2017. He has been an invited keynote speaker to CEOs, world leaders, and crowds of more than 3,000 participants at events in India, Vietnam, Australia, Taiwan, Dubai, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Watch some of his popular talks:

Watch What lessons can we learn about COVID-19 from responding to other outbreaks? Watch Our People-Centered Digital Future & the Exponential Era Ahead at Global Summit 2018. Watch i and FCC’s David A. Bray on sharing behind the scenes data successes.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, Singularity University page, and PPI page. Read his NSI Team profile, Cybersecurity Capacity Portal profile, and People-Centered Internet profile. Follow him on Twitter.