Steve Blank is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E). He teaches courses on Lean Startups, innovation, entrepreneurship, defense, and international policy. Blank served four years in the U.S. Air Force, was part of/co-founded 8 startups and is considered the father of modern entrepreneurship, Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany launched the Lean Startup movement. His Lean LaunchPad class ENGR 245 was adopted by the National Science Foundation to become the NSF I-Corps, now taught in 98 colleges and universities. His Hacking for Defense class MS&E 297 (co-authored with Joe Felter and Pete Newell) was adopted by the Department of Defense and is now taught in 40 universities. His talk, The Secret History of Silicon Valley is the canonical history of how the DOD and intelligence community helped start Stanford's and Silicon Valley's innovation ecosystem.
Joe Felter is an educator, researcher and entrepreneur with over 30 years of organizational leadership and management experience including 15 years working at the nexus of Stanford University and Silicon Valley. He maintains teaching and research appointments at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, the Hoover Institution and Stanford Technology Ventures Program. From 2017-2019 Joe served as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia. Joe is co-creator of “Hacking for Defense,” a defense innovation focused academic curriculum he helped develop and pilot at Stanford in 2016. A retired US Army Ranger and Special Forces officer, Joe served in a variety of special operations assignments with combat deployments to Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. He received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, Graduate Certificate in Management from the University of West Australia, and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Raj Shah is a technology entrepreneur and investor. Most recently he was the Managing Partner of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. Raj led DIUx in its efforts to strengthen our Armed Forces through contractual and cultural bridges between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon. Previously he was senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks, which acquired Morta Security, where he was CEO and Co-Founder. He began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Raj serves as an F-16 pilot in the Air National Guard and has completed multiple combat tours. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School.
Course Development Team
David Hoyt is passionate about the nexus of technology, business, law, and national security. David earned his BA in International Relations from Stanford in 2013, with honors International Security Studies from the Center for International Security and Cooperation. After college David worked for the McChrystal Group in a combination of consulting, finance, strategy, and legal roles before helping work on an early-stage enterprise software startup. David returned to Stanford to complete both law and business degrees, while completing internships in cybersecurity law, automotive economics, and early stage venture capital investing. After passing the California Bar Exam, David has eagerly returned to Stanford to help launch the Gordian Knot Center as its inaugural assistant director.
William Healzer, from Los Altos, California, is pursuing a B.A.H. in political science and history at Stanford University and aspires to a career in defense policy and innovation. He has worked at the Center for Security and International Studies and the Preventive Defense Project where he focused on nuclear command and control, defense applications of metamaterials, and force development. William has served as a research assistant to LTG H.R. McMaster (Ret.), Col Mark F. Cancian (Ret.) Dr. Scott Sagan, and former Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry.