Brown to step down as DIU director in September

By Briana Reilly / May 6, 2022 at 3:41 PM

The head of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit is planning to leave his post in September, Inside Defense has confirmed.

Director Michael Brown, who's served at the helm of DIU since fall 2018, first notified officials of his planned departure on April 27, Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmd. Tim Gorman said in a statement. Politico first reported the news this afternoon.

Brown will be exiting the job Sept. 2, when his two-year term as a DOD “highly qualified expert” ends, Gorman said. It’s unclear who his successor will be. Mike Madsen currently serves as the outfit’s deputy.

“DOD is invested in finding the next talented DIU director who can bring the continued level of leadership and experience needed at this intersection of technology and national security and ensuring DIU’s continued growth and success in the following years," Gorman added.

The statement doesn’t mention Brown’s future plans.

The move comes as the DOD inspector general continues its probe into Brown’s alleged misuse of government contracting authorities and dismissal of federal hiring regulations while at DIU -- an investigation that led Brown to withdraw his nomination for Pentagon acquisition chief last summer. He has denied all alleged wrongdoing.

Brown in recent months has been pushing his so-called “fast follower” strategy as he seeks buy-in to overhaul the military’s approach to requirements, acquisition and budgeting.

Meanwhile in April, DIU opened its first Midwest office in Chicago, marking the organization's fifth outpost as part of the unit’s shift toward a more regional outreach focus aiming to connect innovative companies with the Defense Department.