SparkCognition of Austin, TX announced on August 9 the addition of Wendy Anderson to its executive team. Serving as general manager, defense and national security, Anderson brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of defense, foreign policy, homeland security, and intelligence. Anderson joins a growing rank of industry-leading personnel, including General John Allen (USMC, Ret.), executive board member; Dr. Bruce Porter, chief science officer; and Major General Ken Wisian, Ph.D. (ANG, Ret.), chief architect of defense.
“We are honored to have Wendy join our leadership team. She has served our country at the highest levels of government and made lasting contributions to national security and defense policy,” said Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition. “As our partnerships across the U.S. Government grows, Wendy is exactly who we want leading these critical engagements.”
Anderson served in the Obama administration in key leadership roles in the U.S. Departments of Defense and Commerce, including as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. While at the Defense Department, Anderson was twice awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Department’s highest civilian service award. She also held senior positions in the U.S. Senate, as professional staff on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as with three U.S. Senators on intelligence, foreign and defense affairs, and veteran’s issues.
“Wendy Anderson is an astute and effective leader,” said Gen. John Allen. “I had the honor of working with Wendy when she served in the Defense Department, and I am honored again to work alongside her at SparkCognition. Her knowledge, experience, exceptional judgment, and network will serve us well as we continue to build leading AI solutions for our government and private sector partners.”
As general manager, defense and national security, Anderson will lead SparkCognition’s growing defense and aerospace business, in addition to government. The company’s Defense and National Security Team also includes retired U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer Timothy Stefanick, as director of federal operations. In addition to multiple combat deployments, Stefanick had tours in the White House as military aide for Vice Presidents Richard Cheney and Joe Biden and, most recently, in the intelligence community leading an interagency organization countering terrorist financing. Sam Septembre recently joined SparkCognition’s defense team as technical director, after serving as Fleet Cyber Command’s science advisor for the U.S. Office of Naval Research.
“SparkCognition is building highly-advanced, innovative solutions for critical challenges. The company’s defense and security applications promise to provide our government and private sector partners with unparalleled capabilities, and I’m proud to contribute to that effort,” said Anderson. “There is not another company in the world right now with a greater proven track record of success in deploying AI technologies than SparkCognition.”
Anderson received her BA from Hendrix College, a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University, and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.