Regina E. Dugan is an American business executive, engineer-artist, scientific coach, taskmaster, and product developer. She has designed and built world-class, international teams, and led hundred-million to multi-billion dollar efforts to deliver breakthrough products at Facebook, Google, Motorola, and as the 19th Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Dugan is known internationally for operational excellence, speed in execution, and motivational leadership. A recent FORTUNE article described her as one of the world’s leading experts on disruptive innovation, “the kind that unhinges old ways of operating, juices competition and creates new growth.” The NYTimes noted that Dugan is “credited with having a knack for inspiring, and indeed insisting on, creative thinking,” and for her unwavering approach to innovation that advances research and solves practical problems.
Most recently, Dugan served as VP of Engineering at Facebook, where she led Building 8, the team responsible for developing and shipping breakthrough products. In less than 2 years, Dugan assembled a world-class product development and shipping organization with six projects ranging from brain-computer interfaces to advanced haptics, and multiple product development activities. Building 8 combined ambitious research with rapid product development, technologies that blend physical and digital, and aggressive, fixed timelines to deliver consumer electronic products to market at scale.
From 2012 to 2016, Dugan led ATAP (the Advanced Technology and Projects team) at Google; served as a member of the senior leadership team at Google-owned Motorola Mobility. She led diverse product development efforts including modular electronics, novel authentication methods, and new forms of storytelling. ATAP shipped several products including the first-ever, 360-degree, interactive augmented reality short films. Dugan was executive producer for 9 shorts, winning 4 Annies, an Oscar nomination, and an Emmy.
Dugan served as the Director of DARPA from 2009 through 2012. With an annual budget of $3B, the Director is charged with execution of the Department’s most cutting-edge projects. During her tenure, the Agency advanced diverse products from synthetic biology to hypersonic vehicles. Recognized for her “roll-up-the-sleeves” fieldwork, Dugan has cleared landmines in Bosnia and Africa and, as Director, visited Afghanistan 5 times to catalyze the Agency’s first operational deployment since the Vietnam War. For ‘outstanding heroism during war’, the Agency received the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, typically reserved for combat units. She was the first woman to lead the Agency.
Dugan is an experienced public speaker at events ranging from Code Conferences D9 and D11, World Maker Faire, PopTech, SXSW, FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, and the Washington Post summit on U.S. Competitiveness to TED where her 2012 talk was one of the top 10 trending Twitter topics worldwide.