By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, has hired an Intel Corp. manager with a background in cyber security as its new chief executive.
Christopher A.R. Darby, 47, has led and sold three technology companies and has "demonstrated leadership as a successful entrepreneur," said Lee A. Ault III, chairman of the In-Q-Tel board.
Darby replaces Amit Yoran, who resigned in April after less than four months on the job. Yoran was also a businessman with a background in cyber security.
"I'm an operator at heart," Darby said in an interview yesterday. "I've been hired over the years to nurture and build companies."
In-Q-Tel, an Arlington-based not-for-profit organization, was created by the CIA in 1999 to help the intelligence agency gain access to advanced technologies being developed by entrepreneurial companies in places such as Silicon Valley. In-Q-Tel invests in start-ups and other companies alongside traditional venture capitalists and assesses commercial technologies for use in the intelligence community.
Darby became general manager of an Intel Corp. division after Intel acquired the software company Sarvega Inc., which Darby headed, last year. Before that, Darby headed @stake, an Internet security consulting firm that was bought by Symantec, and Interpath Communications, which was acquired by US Internetworking.
In a 2003 article in Harvard Business Review titled "The Myth of Secure Computing," Darby and a co-author wrote about the hazards hackers pose to corporate networks.
Born in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Darby, a naturalized U.S. citizen, said he was recruited for the In-Q-Tel job by an executive search firm. He said he already had the required security clearances.
Darby said he had not spent much time in Washington and was looking forward to doing so. He spoke in the interview in only general terms about his priorities at In-Q-Tel, saying he had a mandate to listen to his customers and expand In-Q-Tel's business.
Ault, the board chairman, said the most pressing needs facing In-Q-Tel and its government clients include developing nanotechnologies and batteries with longer lives.