Christopher Kirchhoff

Christopher Kirchhoff is a strategist in emerging technology and expert in technology policy who has worked as an advisor to the President, National Security Advisor, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Kirchhoff created and led the Pentagon's Silicon Valley Office, Defense Innovation Unit X, with its $1 billion investment portfolio harnessing emerging commercial technology for national security innovation. 

As Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, he was the NSC’s lead strategist on technology and head of the Strategic Planning Small Group, which advised the President on strategic trends.

Earlier he served as Special Assistant to General Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he led Dempsey’s strategy unit, served as point person on the Ebola response, and was the first to inform Dempsey of Edward Snowden. Kirchhoff also served in the White House Chief of Staff’s office as Senior Advisor to Presidential Counselor John Podesta. 

An expert on innovation, technology adoption, and learning organizations, he authored the White House report on Big Data & Privacy, the National Security Council after-action report on Ebola, the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation report, and the U.S. government history Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience, coined “the Iraq Pentagon Papers” by the New York Times

Kirchhoff graduated with highest honors in History and Science from Harvard College and holds a doctorate in politics from Cambridge University, where he was a Gates Scholar. 

He has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Service and the Civilian Service Medal for hazardous duty in Iraq.  From 2011-2014, he was the highest ranking openly gay advisor in the U.S. military. 

Kirchhoff is a member of Madeline Albright’s 34th Street Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and a participant in the Aspen Strategy Group.