The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced leaders and staff joining the CHIPS for America team who will play key roles implementing the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act’s historic investments in the semiconductor industry. The CHIPS for America team pulls together talent from across the public and private sectors, including leaders with experience managing large federal programs, experts from the semiconductor industry, and executives with financial sector experience. These individuals will serve in the CHIPS Program Office, which is housed within the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“We are building a team of experienced experts who will ensure CHIPS for America spurs manufacturing and innovation and revitalizes our domestic semiconductor industry, while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This group of accomplished leaders brings the diversity of experience, ideas, and backgrounds needed to secure our position as the global leader in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D for decades to come.”
“CHIPS for America will put our country at the forefront of semiconductor innovation, R&D, and technology implementation, and we are excited to welcome these accomplished individuals to DOC and NIST,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio. “These leaders have decades of experiences across government, industry, and the R&D space and will play an essential role standing up this historic program.”
The new CHIPS for America staff sitting in the CHIPS Program Office are:
The Biden-Harris administration previously announced key leaders charged with guiding implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act, including Director of the CHIPS Program Office Mike Schmidt and Interim Director of the CHIPS Research and Development Office Eric Lin. Both offices are housed within NIST at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The staff announcement comes as CHIPS for America prepares to release its first Notice of Funding Opportunity this month and ahead of additional funding opportunities this year. CHIPS for America will continue hiring key staff from across public and private sectors to ramp up implementation efforts. As positions become available, vacancy announcements will be posted on WWW.USAJOBS.GOV.
Rebecca Callahan, Director of Legislative Affairs
Rebecca Callahan most recently worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as professional staff on the Science, Space, & Technology Committee for Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Callahan worked on microelectronics, manufacturing, and innovation policy for the committee, including legislation that became a part of the CHIPS and Science Act. Callahan first worked in the federal government as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. She holds a doctorate in materials chemistry from the University of Colorado – Boulder and performed research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Callahan also completed postdoctoral research at the Washington University School of Medicine in the Department of Neuroscience. Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Callahan has followed her love of science and learning from chemistry to policy.
Morgan Dwyer, Chief Strategy Officer
Morgan Dwyer is the chief strategy officer for the CHIPS Program Office. Prior to joining the CHIPS Program Office, Dwyer led the National Security Division at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). At OSTP, Dwyer led initiatives to implement the CHIPS and Science Act, improve science and technology-focused intelligence, build the world’s best technical workforce, accelerate defense modernization, and enhance investment security and export controls. Prior to OSTP, Dwyer served at the Department of Defense, where she spearheaded Department-wide innovation initiatives and oversaw multi-billion-dollar investments in cyber and other defense technologies. Dwyer has also worked as an engineer in industry, an adjunct professor in academia, and a technology policy analyst at a D.C. think tank. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a master’s degree from Stanford University, and a doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Adrienne Elrod, Director of External and Government Affairs
Adrienne Elrod is a veteran of three presidential campaigns and was most recently President of Elrod Strategies, a strategic communications firm specializing in influencer engagement and public affairs. During the 2020 general election, Elrod served as Biden for President’s director of strategy and operations and served as Director of Talent and External Affairs for the Biden Inaugural. Elrod served as Hillary for America’s Director of Strategic Communications during the 2016 primary and general presidential election. She served nearly six years as chief of staff to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. During Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Elrod served as regional press secretary, Texas communications director, and deputy director of the congressional delegate selection office. Elrod began her career in President Clinton’s administration, serving in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She later returned to her home state to join the Arkansas Democratic Party as communications director and worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as several other Congressional offices and campaigns. Elrod is a graduate of Texas Christian University.
Todd Fisher, Chief Investment Officer
Todd Fisher had a 30-year career in the finance and investment industry, including nearly 25 years at KKR & Co. Inc., a global New York Stock Exchange-listed investment firm, where he was a private equity investor, a founding member of both KKR’s real estate investment business and European private equity franchise, chief administrative officer, and chaired the Management Committee and Risk Committee. In 2017, Fisher left KKR to serve as a fellow in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative and then joined Year Up, a workforce oriented non-profit, where he was managing director of scalable solutions from 2019-2021. He joined the Department of Commerce in 2021, becoming the program director for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds at the Economic Development Administration (EDA) where he was responsible for all aspects of the implementation of the EDA’s $3 billion ARP programs, including the Build Back Better Regional Challenge and the Good Jobs Challenge. Following the successful completion of these competitive grant programs, he joined the CHIPS Program Office. Fisher holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School.
Matt Hill, Communications Director
Matt Hill was the senior associate communications director for the White House during the first two years of the Biden-Harris administration, developing and coordinating strategic communications plans for the President's key priorities and legislative victories. Prior to joining the administration, he was a senior spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Biden campaign’s deputy national press secretary throughout the primary and general elections. Hill has also worked as a media relations manager at Georgetown University and a communications and public affairs associate at Global Strategy Group. Hill is from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in political science and communication.
Dan Kim, Chief Economist and Director of Strategic Planning and Industry Analysis
Dan Kim joins the CHIPS Program Office as the chief economist and director of strategic planning and industry analysis. Kim has unique expertise on economic competitiveness and national security matters related to the semiconductor industry, having served in senior roles in the U.S. government and executive positions in industry. At the United States International Trade Commission, Kim served as the senior international economist and semiconductor industry analyst, leading investigations for the Executive Office of the President and various congressional committees on economic competitiveness issues. In industry, Kim was director of economic strategy for Qualcomm, and most recently, vice president and chief economist for SK Hynix, leading the company’s economic and growth strategy team. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and a master’s degree, doctoral degree, and post-doctorate from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College), as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar. Kim is a first-generation immigrant from South Korea.
Brad Koenig, Senior Relationship Director
Brad Koenig worked at Goldman Sachs from 1984 to 2005 where he became a senior partner and business leader in the firm’s investment banking division. From 1990 to 2005, Koenig was the head of Goldman Sachs’ Global Technology Investment Banking Group and, from 2002 to 2005, he served as the co-head of Goldman Sachs’ Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group. Following his career at Goldman Sachs, Koenig co-founded and served as chief executive officer of FoodyDirect.com, an online specialty food marketplace, from 2011 until 2018 when the company was acquired by Goldbelly, Inc. From 2019 until 2021, Koenig served as co-chief executive and a director of Apex Technology Acquisition Corp, a blank check company (SPAC) that consummated an initial business combination with AvePoint, Inc., an enterprise software company. Koenig has served as an independent director for Theragenics Corporation, a private medical device company serving the surgical products and prostate cancer treatment markets since 2013, and as a director of Hercules Capital, a business development company focused on venture lending. From 2009 to 2011, he was an advisor at Oak Hill Capital Management, a private equity firm. Koenig received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Lauren, reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three children aged 26 to 32.
Andy Kuritzkes, Chief Risk Officer
Andrew Kuritzkes joined the Department of Commerce in January 2022 as a senior advisor in the Office of the Secretary, where he helped strengthen the department’s risk management practices and design the financial structuring framework for the CHIPS Program Office. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, he served as the chief risk officer of State Street Corporation, one of eight U.S. Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBS), where he led the enterprise risk management and compliance functions. Before joining State Street, Kuritzkes was a senior partner and vice chairman of Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm. He served on the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, where he chaired the subcommittee on Risk Management, the New York Fed’s Financial Advisory Roundtable, and as a trustee of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge, and a bachelor’s degree from Yale College.
Atissa Ladjevardian, Chief of Staff for External and Government Affairs
Atissa Ladjevardian most recently served as senior associate director for the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House where she led Presidential appointments to economic agencies and independent boards and commissions. Prior to her role at the White House, Ladjevardian worked for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Biden-Harris campaign as a regional deputy finance director and finance director for Women for Biden. Ladjevardian also worked for Fulkerson Kennedy & Company, advising on the campaigns of Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and for the Clinton-Kaine campaign. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and originally is from Houston, Texas.
Nikita Lalwani, Senior Advisor to the Director
Nikita Lalwani is a Senior Advisor in the CHIPS Program Office. Prior to joining CHIPS, she was a law clerk to Judge J. Paul Oetken on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Raymond J. Lohier, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Nikita began her career as a journalist, writing for the Wall Street Journal in New Delhi and serving as an editor at Foreign Affairs magazine in New York. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a master’s degree in American history from the University of Cambridge, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale.
Sara Meyers, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff
Sara Meyers is a public sector leader with over a decade of experience managing complex government programs. Prior to joining the CHIPS Program Office, Meyers was the deputy superintendent for the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education, overseeing operations and key public facing services for the agency. Before joining local government, Meyers served as deputy assistant secretary for operations and chief of staff at the Federal Housing Administration, and in 2014 Meyers was awarded the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal for her work as director of the Program Management Office of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. She is a native of New York City and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s in public policy from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.
Mike O’Brien, Senior Relationship Director
Mike O’Brien was recently the vice president of aerospace and government at Synopsys, Inc., the largest Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software and Interface IP supplier to design companies and manufacturers in the semiconductor industry. He has a combined 40 years of experience in the semiconductor, software and computer industries. In his 27 years in EDA and IP at Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems, Inc., O’Brien helped build new lines of business including outsourced design services, research collaborations and a government focused vertical. During this time, O’Brien led teams that executed joint development and go to market agreements in process development, AI hardware, design enablement and security while working with many of the industry’s leading foundries, IP providers, design companies and research labs. O’Brien started his career with Wang Laboratories, Inc. He is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics.
Sara O’Rourke, Head of Operations and Chief of Staff to the Chief Investment Officer
Sara O’Rourke is the chief of staff and head of operations for the CHIPS Investment Office. Before joining, she spent a decade at McKinsey & Company, where she was a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. O’Rourke’s work at McKinsey focused on driving major financial and operational transformations, especially for governments. She was co-founder of McKinsey’s Reinvesting in America initiative, which helps governments and businesses drive transformative change by leveraging major federal investments in infrastructure, clean energy and technology. She also led McKinsey's work improving women's leadership in the public and social sectors. O’Rourke holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard College and a master’s degree in international affairs and finance from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Kylie Patterson, Senior Advisor for Opportunity and Inclusion
Kylie Patterson (she/her) was the director of the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters. Previously, Patterson served as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, chaired by Senator Ben Cardin. She was a key member of the policy team that negotiated the 2021 Minority Business Development Act that codified the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as the reauthorization and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program. Patterson’s career is characterized by her commitment to centering and supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and people living in underserved and rural areas. Prior to serving on Capitol Hill, she spent more than 10 years directing multi-million-dollar programs, investigations, and evaluations to address racial, gender and wealth inequality at Johns Hopkins University and Health System, Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), management consulting firm BCT Partners, the City of Minneapolis, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the AFL-CIO. Patterson graduated from Temple University, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, where she was awarded a Truman Scholarship. She also holds a master's degree in public policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Fayrouz Saad, Director of Public Engagement
Fayrouz Saad most recently served as Director of Public Engagement at U.S. Agency for International Development where she led engagements with external audiences on behalf of Administrator Samantha Power and the agency. In this role, Saad expanded the agency’s engagements to domestic audiences, including diaspora communities, students, and international development partners. Saad has almost 20 years of experience working in public service at the state, local, and federal level. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, she spent five years in Michigan working on economic integration programs for immigrant and refugee communities. In Michigan, she served as the first Director of Immigration Affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and later was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer as the Executive Director of Global Michigan. Saad also served in the Obama-Biden administration at the Department of Homeland Security. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Saad lives in Washington with her husband and son.