Dr. Cara LaPointe is a futurist who focuses on the intersection of leadership, technology, policy and ethics. She spent over two decades in the United States Navy, most recently serving as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems. In that position, Cara helped lead the Navy’s efforts on unmanned and autonomous systems in all domains. Over her naval career, she held numerous roles in the areas of autonomous systems, acquisitions, ship design and production, naval force architecture, power and energy systems, and unmanned vehicle technology integration. She is a patented engineer, having co-designed a passive diver thermal protection system for deep-sea divers. At the Deep Submergence Lab of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Cara conducted research in underwater robotics, developing sensor fusion algorithms for deep-ocean autonomous underwater vehicle navigation.
Cara is currently a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation where she created the “Blockchain Ethical Design Framework” as a tool to drive social impact and ethics into blockchain technology. Cara also serves as the Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy at the university’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Cara served at the White House within the office of First Lady Michelle Obama, developing public-private partnerships in support of veterans and military families, and Cara later returned to the White House as the Interim Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships across a presidential transition. She is a French-American Foundation Young Leader and the Program Director of the French-American Foundation’s Cyber Security Program. Cara holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Oxford, and the United States Naval Academy.