Former DIU head Brown joins Shield Capital as venture partner

By Briana Reilly / October 18, 2022 at 11:32 AM

Michael Brown, the former head of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit, has joined Shield Capital as a venture partner, the firm announced today.

Brown served at the helm of the small-budget outreach unit for four years up until his departure last month. He had previously announced plans to be a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Center for a New American Security’s Board of Advisors next year.

“Having worked in start-ups and large public companies, I look forward to helping SHIELD identify and build innovative companies with impactful missions,” Brown said in the release. “As we are seeing in the Ukraine conflict, commercial technology is becoming even more important in advancing national security. Our military can leverage this technology to modernize capabilities and save taxpayer dollars.”

With the news, Brown joins another former DIU leader at Shield: Raj Shah, currently a managing partner at the firm. Shah, one of the first heads of the unit who now leads a cybersecurity startup, praised Brown and fellow new venture partner and startup adviser John Jack, who was included in today’s announcement.

At DIU, Brown’s replacement as director hasn’t yet been named, but acting leader Mike Madsen indicated in recent weeks that the search -- which now involves the deputy secretary of defense -- is expected to take another four to six months.