Don Widener is the Director of the Advanced Analytics Lab and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for BAE Systems. He is responsible for defining strategies to accelerate the adoption of key technology priorities for the Intelligence & Security (I&S) Sector, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and automation to augment BAE Systems’ more than 2000 intelligence analysts supporting the Intelligence Community (IC) today. He is CTO for three major intelligence programs and manages the Sector’s Advanced Analytics Laboratory driving innovation into mission-enabling solutions across the organization.
Prior to this role, Dr. Widener and served as Technical Director and Chief Engineer of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) portfolio which he helped grow from four employees to over 800 today providing Full Motion Video (FMV) Imagery Intelligence Analysis for counterterrorism operations. As a technology leader, he successfully transitioned numerous research projects involving platforms, sensors, and software. Don has also led the application and use of new analysis and data management methods, such as activity-based intelligence and structured observation management for software development.
Dr. Widener joined BAE Systems in 2002 after serving in several leadership positions for the U.S. Department of Defense. He served as the Branch Chief of ISR Assessments for U.S. Forces-Iraq, responsible for tracking and validating ISR platform and mission assessments and driving ISR collection strategy and asset utilization for the region. He also conducted counterterrorism targeting operations for the U.S. Air Force while stationed in Hawaii. At the U.S. Army’s Night Vision Laboratory, Dr. Widener supported sensor /system development and acquisition initiatives.
Dr. Widener participates in The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF)’s Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Working Group (MLAI WG).
Dr. Widener completed his Ph.D. in systems engineering from The George Washington University and currently serves as an adjunct professor. He also holds a bachelor of science in imagery intelligence technology from Wayland University, and a master’s of science in systems engineering management from The George Washington University.