Alexis Bonnell, Chief Information Officer, Air Force Research Lab (AFRL)

Alexis Bonnell is the Chief Information Officer and Director of the Digital Capabilities Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. She is responsible to develop and execute the AFRL Information Technology strategy, leading the strategic development of highly advanced next generation technologies and platforms for AFRL. Her focus includes catalyzing the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for air, space, and cyberspace forces via digital capabilities, IT infrastructure and technological innovation across the lab’s operations and culture.

She was one of the first employees of the Internet Trade Association, contributing to the early development and growth of the digital landscape. She has served in challenging environments, including warzones with the United Nations to support over $1B of critical DOD operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other operational theaters. She has contributed to dual-use technology and innovation culture across the DOD Innovation community including: AFWERX, AFRL, Kessel Run, NavalX, Marine Innovation Unit, Army Futures Command, DIU, Army Software Factory, DARPA and more. Prior to her current position, she was the Emerging Technology Evangelist at Google, driving the use of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, cyber security/zero trust, API First, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and others to drive efficiency and innovation within government organizations, including tackling digital transformation in defense, healthcare, education, COVID response, natural disasters, supply chain, system/process modernization, hybrid workforce and more.

Bonnell co-founded the Global Development Lab, the premier innovation lab of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), leveraging Global Allied Nation partnerships in Science, Technology, and Innovation, reviewing over 25,000 game changing innovations and technologies, funding 1,200 of them. She served as USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer, receiving the first 10/10 for innovation in the Results For America Rankings. She was named in the Fed 100 in 2020. She also assisted with major platform and technology transitions, drove hybrid work adoption, countering malign nation initiatives and global cyber security programming.