CSIS Names Daniel Roelker Chief Technology Adviser to the Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 18, 2023 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) today announced that Daniel Roelker will serve as chief technology adviser to the Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies. 

Roelker brings world-class tech and national security experience to the Wadhwani Center’s growing roster of talent on AI and emerging technologies. The Wadhwani Center was launched in the spring of 2023 to address the most urgent policy questions about the future of AI amid a technological revolution with the potential to transform the world. 

“Dan’s proven track record of innovation, leadership, and technological expertise will play a leading role in driving the cutting-edge research that defines our work on AI governance,” said Gregory C. Allen, director of the Wadhwani Center. “This moment requires sound policy recommendations that provide policymakers with a comprehensive understanding of today’s rapidly evolving technology ecosystems and their impacts on U.S. national security. Few understand this landscape better than Dan, and the Wadhwani Center is thrilled to benefit from his strategic counsel."

Roelker is currently cofounder and CEO of OurSky, a space startup building a developer platform for space applications providing real-time observational data and analysis for objects in space. He was previously vice president of software engineering at SpaceX, where he led a team of more than 350 engineers responsible for building software across all the corporation’s activities, including orbital launch vehicles and human-rated spacecraft, as well as the Starlink satellite network. He led the team that developed the operational software for the first successful return of a rocket booster to a recovery site for subsequent reuse. His team also developed the first Starship prototype. More recently, Roelker served as vice president of engineering at OpenSea, the world's leading NFT marketplace, quickly scaling the team and product through a singular period of growth in the company and Web3 industry at large. He also assembled and led the team of software engineers at Riot Games, which delivered a new desktop client for League of Legends.

Roelker started his career in cybersecurity as a lead developer at Sourcefire (later acquired by Cisco), where he wrote over half of the code for the open-source project Snort ID and was granted six patents. From there, he was recruited by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for its cyberwarfare division as one of its youngest program managers, where he created a $350 million portfolio of advanced offensive computer security technologies. His flagship program, PlanX, was adopted as a formal program of record in the Department of Defense. 

The Wadhwani Center’s recent portfolio of research includes groundbreaking analysis of U.S. technological competition with China, export controls and enforcement technology, and the G7’s role in AI governance. To learn more about the CSIS Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies, visit here.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.