DIU recruits Apple’s Doug Beck as new director

Beck joined Apple in 2009 and most recently has reported directly to CEO Tim Cook in his VP role overseeing the company's government, health and education markets.
(DIU image)

The Pentagon’s Silicon Valley-based Defense Innovation Unit finally has a new leader in Doug Beck, a vice president of Apple Inc.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday named Beck as the new director. Austin also announced an elevation of the role, reporting directly to the secretary himself rather than to the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. As such, “DIU will be under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense,” per a release from the DOD.

“DIU’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology at speed and scale, and these changes will further enable it to effectively execute this critical mission,” Austin said in a statement on Beck’s appointment.

Beck joined Apple in 2009 and most recently has reported directly to CEO Tim Cook in his VP role overseeing the company’s government, health and education markets.


This isn’t Beck’s first experience with DIU. From the unit’s inception in 2015 through 2019, he founded and led DIU’s joint reserve component.

He is also a U.S. Navy Reserve captain with 26 years of service, which includes tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and time spent in the Indo-Pacific region, during which he commanded a joint reserve unit supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

And, according to the DOD, for more than 15 years Beck has served as “a formal and informal advisor to senior uniformed and civilian leadership across the Department.” Finally, he was a nonpartisan appointed member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, an executive adviser to three chiefs of naval operations and to special operations leadership, and an adjunct lecturer on strategy and innovation for flag and general officers at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Beck replaces Mike Brown, who left the DIU in the September of 2022 after leading the unit for four years. Since then, Mike Madsen, the deputy director, led DIU in an acting capacity.

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