Former Cyber-Security Chief to Head CIAs Venture Capital Arm

Amit Yoran is named president and CEO of In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm.

After a brief stint at the Department of Homeland Security, former cyber-security czar Amit Yoran has gone to work for the CIA.

More specifically, Yoran this week was named president and CEO of In-Q-Tel Inc., the CIAs venture capital unit. In-Q-Tel, based in Menlo Park, Calif., was established in 1999 as a way for the government to invest in novel technologies by providing equity, product development funding, innovative intellectual property arrangements and contracting guidance.

Yoran is the outfits second chief executive, succeeding Gilman Louie. His experience blends private and public sector endeavors. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and went on to earn a masters degree from George Washington University.

Yorans venture capital knowledge dates to his founding of RipTech Inc. in 1998, which he sold to Symantec Corp. in 2002. His government expertise includes a stint as director of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security and a job early in his career with the Pentagons Computer Emergency Response Team. Yoran resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in 2004.

"Amits lifetime experience—as an entrepreneur, a venture investor and leader in commercial companies and national security—makes him the perfect fit for our organization," Louie said. "His critical understanding of key technologies and security needs will position In-Q-Tel to continue to serve as a unique tool driving innovation across the broader Intelligence Community."

In-Q-Tel has invested in at least 80 companies over the last six years, generally providing between $1 million and $3 million, according to the organizations Web site. Its stated mission is to not only nurture technologies for government use, but also to look for commercial counterparts to the intelligence communitys enterprise challenges.

Specific areas of interest include software for search and categorization, translation and simulation, as well as wireless, security, semiconductor and nanotechnology infrastructure. Additionally, In-Q-Tel invests in biotechnology, power and sensor technologies.


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.