Institute honors longest-tenured NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin and global telecom innovator Africell for using trusted technology to advance freedom
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At its inaugural Tech Freedom Awards, the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue recognized the Honorable Daniel S. Goldin, the ninth and longest-tenured NASA Administrator, and mobile network operator and infrastructure company Africell, for their tech diplomacy work in advancing freedom through trusted technology.
“The Institute was launched with the simple but profound belief that technology must advance freedom. The Tech Freedom Awards was born also out of this belief,” said Keith Krach, the Chairman and Co-founder of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, at the awards gala. “I can think of no better tech diplomat than my dear friend of many years, Dan Goldin. In recognition of your dedication to advancing and securing our national and economic security, and freedom for all people, through your work on critical technologies, we salute you, love you, and honor you with the Tech Freedom Award.”
This year’s individual awardee, Dan Goldin, served as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s longest-tenured Administrator from 1992 to 2001, where he led a 16-nation team that designed, constructed and began initial operations of the $120 billion International Space Station without an in-space injury or loss of life. He guided NASA through the development of a new generation of spacecraft to enable the extended exploration of our solar system, deeper observations of our known universe, and more precise observations of the physical and biological dynamics of our own planet. He dedicated his tenure to building America’s major astrophysical observatories of our time, including the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Chandra X-Ray Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope rescue mission, Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope, and most recently the James Webb Space Telescope.
“Dan Goldin has taken his wealth of experience to guide brilliant young technology entrepreneurs who are working to ensure America’s supply chain vitality and global leadership,” said the Hon. Bonnie Glick, Director of the Krach Institute. “His mentorship will have a profound impact on space exploration, astrophysics, and advanced technology sectors and ensures that American innovation will continue to advance trusted democratic principles for decades to come.”
The Krach Institute honored Africell, the only U.S.-owned mobile telecommunications operator in Africa, with the inaugural corporate award for its work to prioritize secure network equipment in its African telecommunications operations. By partnering with trusted technology suppliers such as Nokia, Africell’s network infrastructure offers benefits of security and resilience in addition to speed and reliability. Africell currently operates in four markets: Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, and Gambia.
“By providing an alternative to China’s attempt to monopolize telecommunications to compromise the security of African nations, Africell exemplifies the tech diplomacy initiative that we developed at the State Department to drive the global adoption of trusted technology by building the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies,” said former Under Secretary of State Keith Krach.
“Africell is taking the lead in prioritizing equipment from organizations and countries which respect individual rights and the rule of law,” said Bonnie Glick. “Telecommunications is a highly strategic sector in Africell’s operating markets. Indeed, for emerging market countries to compete, they need access to broadband connectivity. The presence of more trusted technology in these markets, thanks to Africell, makes them freer and more secure.”
The Tech Freedom Awards also coincides with the first anniversary of the founding of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, the world’s preeminent institution focused on Tech Statecraft, a new model of diplomacy that integrates high tech strategies with the foreign policy tools to advance the adoption of trusted technology.
“The Institute for Tech Diplomacy has rapidly become the leading authority on the training and application of tech statecraft. Our mission of advancing freedom through trusted technology represents the fifth pillar in Purdue’s reputation as the foremost national security university,” said Krach at the gala. “The other four pillars are: leadership in national security technologies research, lab to fab commercialization capabilities, preeminence in STEM education and retraining the workforce, and track record of innovative corporate partnerships. During this week’s historic visit to Purdue by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, we had the opportunity to showcase those five national security pillars and demonstrate the University’s leadership in semiconductor engineering and manufacturing.”
During their visit to Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center, Secretary Blinken remarked, “Purdue is the most exciting human fab that I have ever seen. If you need a jolt of optimism about our country, optimism about the future—it’s all right here at Purdue.” When Purdue President Mitch Daniels asked him about the importance of tech diplomacy, he responded, “We want to make sure that technology is not used for ill. To ensure that technology is used in a way that reflects our values and make sure that we have the organization and the talent to carry the day. All of this is part of tech diplomacy.”
Secretary Raimondo remarked, “Purdue’s cutting-edge research and workforce development programs are at the forefront of helping us shape the future of innovation in America’s semiconductor manufacturing industry.” She concluded, “I have to tell you all how blown away we have been with what we have seen at Purdue. Incredible. This is what America needs; public sector working with the private sector working with universities tapping into the next generation of talent, solving problems in an interdisciplinary way. You have all the ingredients.”
ABOUT THE KRACH INSTITUTE FOR TECH DIPLOMACY AT PURDUE:
The nonpartisan Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue is committed to the mission of advancing freedom through trusted technologies and democratic principles. The Krach Institute leverages Purdue’s leadership in innovative research, commercialization, STEM education, corporate partnerships and national security to advance the field of tech diplomacy and tech statecraft. It is the world’s preeminent institution focused on tech-statecraft, a new model of diplomacy that integrates high tech strategies and foreign policy tools with the aim of rallying allies, leveraging private sector, and amplifying democratic values based on trust.
Editors/Producers: Photos from The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue Tech Freedom Awards are available upon request. Experts are available for media interviews to discuss the following topics: semiconductors, 5G/6G, artificial intelligence, energy/climate, hypersonics, quantum computing, rare earth elements, synthetic biology, composite manufacturing, agricultural technology, global supply chains, cryptocurrency, and global financial security.