Jennifer Walsmith: NSA Eyes Acquisition Innovation Through ‘Skunk Works’ Office, Women-Owned Businesses

acquisition policyJennifer Walsmith, senior acquisition executive at the National Security Agency, has said NSA has started to establish a “Skunk Works” or rapid innovation office in an effort to introduce novel approaches to its acquisition process, Federal News Radio reported Wednesday.

“It’s not for Skunk Works technologies, but rather for Skunk Works just thinking about acquisition,” Walsmith said at a National Defense Industrial Association event in Virginia Wednesday.

Scott Maucione writes Walsmith noted that the agency has started to reach out to women-owned businesses amid the industrial base concerns that NSA faces.

“[Women-owned companies] give us that diversity of ideas, that innovation,” she added.

Walsmith told her audience that NSA continues to collaborate with the director of national intelligence and the Defense Department to identify waivers that can be integrated with the procurement process, according to the report.

NSA has also introduced a culture of experimentation to its cryptoanalysis work in an attempt to promote innovation, Walsmith noted.

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