Heather Price | DEF Community
The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum includes brilliant and motivated civil servants, military members, academics, entrepreneurs, policymakers and technologists working in national security. This series highlights some of them in order to forge connections across networks in an ever-widening virtuous insurgency.
How did you first learn about the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum? At one of the Defense Innovation Board meetings I’ve attended, I saw Morgan Plummer’s bio on the program and became curious about DEF. Around the same time, a friend forwarded me the information about the Firestarter Fellowship and encouraged me to apply. All roads seemed to keep leading to DEF.
What inspired you to join? I didn’t know that joining was an option at first. I thought everyone was appointed, something like a Board of Directors. Specifically I thought it worked like the Defense Innovation Board, where you’re specifically appointed or you work for it as a federal civilian/in a military assignment. But I did some more digging and found a way to be a part of it as a member. Glad I was mistaken!
Would you say that you’re an “entrepreneur” or an “innovator”? So I essentially have two lives — I have my life on my resume as a defense Acquisition professional, and my non-9 to 5 as a tech startup owner. My projects I work on are more of a creative outlet than anything related to what I do in DoD. However, my experience as an entrepreneur informs a lot of how I think about innovation in DoD.
What has been your favorite part of the DEF Community so far? How it’s an ongoing dialogue about the things DoD SHOULD be talking about, and we’re all here because we want to be!
Who are your role models? Eric Fanning, the previous Secretary of the Army. My ambition — my calling in this life, the reason I get up in the morning — is to be Secretary of the Army one day. Before Fanning, the first openly out confirmed Secretary in the Army’s history, the idea of a woman in the role seemed unfathomable. Fanning blazed a trail and I hope to be worthy of his legacy.
What does innovation mean to you? Innovation means not using yesterday’s tools to solve tomorrow’s problems.
How do you approach learning new skills? I study music and languages as a hobby. When I’m struggling to master something, I revisit skills I DO have in the subject, and increase my mental confidence, faculties, and muscle memory to build up to what I’m trying to learn.
If you were limited to only a single selection for the rest of your life, what one song would you choose to play? Play as in play the instrument or play a recording? If I’m the one playing, Silent Night on the violin. I started learning violin to surprise my aging grandfather last thanksgiving, an accomplished player. That was the song we played together on our violins for the first time. Was a really special memory. Playing a recording, I’d pick “Sky Full of Stars” cover by The Piano Guys.
What do you hope to bring to the community? I hope to bring a diverse perspective, informed by my time in Army Acquisition, Department of the Air Force, the private defense industry, and now OSD.
Why do you think people should be excited about DEF? Because it’s a community like DoD has never seen. We’re young, motivated, inclusive, and we have a diversity of thought that’s unmatched in the government.
Heather Price has had a diverse consulting portfolio across the Pentagon, including providing solutions in weapons systems acquisition, strategic communication, private industry outreach, and business management to the U.S. Army, the Air Force, and the Department of Defense.
Previously, she was International Business Development Manager for Raytheon Company, focused on expanding Raytheon’s global growth and international weapons sales. She has also served as a Business & Industry Specialist on the Iraq/Afghanistan Investment & Reconstruction Task Force at U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC and Baghdad, Iraq, and has worked with the Office of Iraq at U.S. Department of State.
Heather holds a Master’s in Foreign & Defense Policy from American University, a Bachelor’s in International Politics from American University of Paris, and will begin the Disruptive Strategy executive education program through Harvard Business School in fall 2018. In her spare time, Heather is a classical musician, a passionate student of languages, and a mediocre runner. She is a member of the Department of Defense Senior Professional Women’s Association and the Association of the U.S. Army.
The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that inspires, connects and empowers people by convening events, forging partnerships and delivering tangible solutions. Our mission is to promote a culture of innovation in the U.S. national security community.
If you are a military member or veteran, government employee, entrepreneur focused on national security, or just find the idea of helping solve tough problems enticing, we’d love to have you join the DEF Community!