Nand Mulchandani has been named Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. Mulchandani brings more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry as a serial entrepreneur and senior executive in the enterprise infrastructure and security software industries to his service in the government to help transform the Department of Defense in adopting next-generation AI and software technologies.

Lieutenant General John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan turned over duties as director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center June 1 to Mulchandani, Chief Technology Officer, who will serve as the interim director until a permanent three-star general or flag officer is confirmed later this year. Shanahan departs the JAIC after serving as the organization’s first director. Shanahan will officially retire from the U.S. Air Force on August 1.

“As I walk out of the Pentagon for the final time, as the director of the JAIC, I am convinced more than ever that our future national security, economic security, and preservation of ideals embodied in the Constitution depend on embracing artificial intelligence across every element of the Department of Defense and society,” said Shanahan. “I want to thank all of our partners, across government, in the private sector, and academia, for your support. The JAIC’s future success depends on these partnerships. I am excited about the potential for them to expand significantly over the next year.”

“Lt. General Shanahan leaves behind an incredible legacy as an AI pioneer for the Department of Defense. His 36 years of faithful service to our nation culminating in the establishment of Project Maven and the JAIC is truly inspiring,” said Mulchandani. “As all great founders would do, we've worked together to assemble a great team of leaders and specialists in AI and data science, product builders, policy and strategy, and operations to help scale our AI efforts across the Department of Defense. We're inspired and excited to build on this foundation to win in this exciting new area of technology."

Mulchandani joined the JAIC team as Chief Technology Officer in 2019 after more than 25 years working in Silicon Valley as a senior executive in the enterprise infrastructure and security software industries.  Prior to government service, Mulchandani was at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and remains a non-resident Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Mulchandani also served as the Vice President of Market Development and Strategy for Citrix, a leading provider of desktop virtualization and networking infrastructure. He joined Citrix through its acquisition of ScaleXtreme, where Mulchandani was the CEO and co-founder. Prior to his tenure at ScaleXtreme, Mulchandani served in various capacities as CEO, co-founder, senior executive, and entrepreneur-in-residence for a number of technology startups and companies including the venture capital firm Accel Partners, OpenDNS (funded by Sequoia Capital and Greylock, acquired by Cisco), VMware, Determina (funded by Bessemer Venture Partners, Mayfield and USVP, acquired by VMware), and Oblix (funded by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, acquired by Oracle). Mulchandani started his career at Sun Microsystems as a compiler architect and holds a patent on dynamic code generation.

Mulchandani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Mathematics from Cornell University, a Master in Science in Management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.