Steven Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and a 2019 Wash100 winner, has resigned from his post in a move that will take effect on Jan. 10, Defense News reported Tuesday. Peter Highman, the deputy director of DARPA, will serve as the agency’s director on an acting basis until a full-time official has been selected.
Walker, who assumed the role of permanent DARPA director in 2017, will transition to the private sector in an undisclosed position.
During his tenure, Walker led efforts at DARPA encompassing hypersonic weapons, anti-ship missiles, artificial intelligence and space technologies including low-Earth orbit satellites. Previously, he served as the agency’s deputy director and eventually acting director following Arati Prabhakar’s departure.
Prior to rejoining DARPA in 2012, Walker spent time at the U.S. Air Force in roles such as deputy assistant secretary for science, technology and engineering at the service branch’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. He also held engineering-related responsibilities at the Air Force Research Laboratory.