Ex-Solyndra Venture Capitalist Is Now Heading Pentagon’s Most Important Research Agency
July 10th, 2012
Reader Views: 174
Daily Sheeple editor’s note: The crony capital… errr socialism has no bounds in this administration.
Until last year, Arati Prabhakar worked for the venture capitalists who backed Solyndra, the green-tech firm that imploded in a scandal described by Mitt Romney as an example of the White House‚Äôs¬†‚ÄĚcrony capitalism.‚ÄĚ¬†Now Prabhakar has a new job, this one in the Obama¬†administration: running the Pentagon‚Äôs most important research agency. But being the geek-in-chief requires investing billions on risky, high-tech bets that aren‚Äôt so different from Solyndra.
Prabhakar, who starts in her new position at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on July 30, will be Darpa‚Äôs first Indian-American chief. And she boasts an impressive resume. Prabhakar¬†came to this country at the age of 3, grew up in Lubbock, Texas. She earned a Ph.D. in applied physics from Caltech and founded Darpa‚Äôs Microelectronics Technology Office. In 1993,¬†at the age of 34, she was appointed as the head the 3,000-person National Institute of Standards and Technology. From there, she left for Silicon Valley, where she became a top officer at a specialty materials company. She joined the venture capital firm U.S. Venture Partners in 2001, spending a decade investing in¬†green tech and IT start-ups.
‚ÄúDr. Prabhakar‚Äôs Department of Defense leadership, when coupled with her experience with technical communities in Silicon Valley and beyond, make her the ideal candidate to continue Darpa‚Äôs impressive track record of success,‚ÄĚ Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall wrote in a¬†memo to Darpa employeesthat Danger Room obtained.
But that experience may also draw fire from the White House‚Äôs political opponents. One of U.S. Venture Partner‚Äôs most famous bets was in¬†Solyndra, the solar firm that was championed by President Obama, backed by half a billion dollars in government loans ‚ÄĒ and soon thereafter went bankrupt. ¬†According to the¬†Wall Street Journal, it‚Äôs ‚Äúunclear whether Prabhakar was directly involved with the firm‚Äôs Solyndra stake.‚ÄĚ
But whether her involvement was direct or less so, Prabhakar‚Äôs appointment once again raises an issue the president‚Äôs reelection campaign would rather forget.
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Contributed by Noah Shachtman of Danger Room.
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