Innovation Roundtable with Former NASA Astronaut, Wendy Lawrence

Dec 10, 2020
3:30pm ET

Join a small group of data leaders for an exclusive roundtable and deep, meaningful conversation with Wendy Lawrence, former NASA Astronaut, helicopter pilot and retired United States Navy Captain.

Living and working in space presents a commute and office environment unknown to many of us on Earth. Using personal stories, Wendy will bring to life the vision you need to thrive in a world where technology is accelerating faster than ever. We’ll discuss her time at NASA, lessons learned, innovation at NASA, and what you should be thinking about as we head into 2021 and a new way of working.

The space program’s success relies on placing big bets on innovations and ensuring reliable operation. This thought leadership discussion will focus on how emerging technology bets are being placed across by the federal government. Hear from Dan Nidess, Product Manager of AI/ML Portfolio at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), and leader of machine learning innovation projects for the U.S. government’s defense initiatives. The core of maintaining top defensive project initiatives is the health and quality of an agency’s data.

We’ll discuss:

  • What criteria to select your next big bets in emerging technology?
  • Key strategies to ensure innovation is embraced in the federal government.
  • With a heavy focus on extracting value from data, where is the federal government succeeding? And where is it not succeeding? How can industry help?
  • The new DoD Data Strategy delivers a clear mandate: Operationalize data as a strategic asset to provide a lethal and effective Joint Force. With the new mandate in hand, the next big question becomes, “how do agencies make the change?”

The MC for this roundtable is Andy Palmer, CEO at Tamr.

We look forward to hosting you!

DATE: 12/10 3:30-4:45pm ET


3:30-3:35 pm ET – Welcome & Introductions – Andy Palmer, CEO at Tamr
3:35-4:00 pm ET – Living & Working in Space – Wendy Lawrence, Former Astronaut at NASA
4:00-4:25 pm ET – Bringing Innovation to the Federal Government – Dan Nidess, Product Manager, AI/ML Portfolio at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)
4:25-4:45 pm ET – ‘Ask Me Anything’ Astronaut Q&A – Wendy Lawrence, Former Astronaut at NASA

This event is a closed session and will not be recorded.

Register Now

Speaker Info

Wendy Lawrence

Retired United States Navy Captain, Engineer, Former Helicopter Pilot & NASA Astronaut, Advocate for STEM Education

Wendy Barrien Lawrence is a retired United States Navy Captain, former helicopter pilot, an engineer, and a former NASA astronaut. She was the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to fly into space and she has also visited the Russian Space Station Mir. She was a mission specialist on STS-114, the first Space Shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Dan Nidess

Product Manager of AI/ML Portfolio at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

Dan Nidess is the Product Manager of AI/ML Portfolio at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), and leader of machine learning innovation projects for the U.S. government’s defense initiatives. Prior to joining DIU, Dan held several positions at Tesla including Chief of Staff of North American Service.

Andy Palmer

CEO at Tamr

Andy is the co-founder and CEO of Tamr. Previously, Andy was co-founder and founding CEO of Vertica Systems, a pioneering big data analytics company (acquired by HP). During his career as an entrepreneur, Andy has served as founding investor, BOD member or advisor to more than 50 start-up companies in technology, healthcare and the life sciences. He also served as Global Head of Software and Data Engineering at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) and as a member of the start-up team and Chief Information and Administrative Officer at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, he has held positions at Bowstreet,, and Trilogy.