Director of Defense Accounts
Ms. Polley joined the Starburst team in 2020 as Director of Defense Accounts, leading engagements with defense clients to identify emergent technology solutions for current and proposed defense projects. Prior to joining Starburst, she served as a defense and policy researcher at the RAND Corporation where she worked on cyber and defense-related science & technology projects spanning the DOD, DHS, and the IC; topics of research included emergent/disruptive technology application to the military, information operations, electronic warfare, cyber test ranges, cyber strategy, multi-domain operations, AI, ML, wargames, defense acquisition, counter-terrorism/counter-violent extremism, risk characterization, infrastructure analysis, and process reviews of mission support functions.
Before RAND, Ms. Polley served briefly with NIST where she co-led the environmental scanning research team for Executive Order 13800 – “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure” – for the “American Cybersecurity Workforce Development” section, and also served as the Senior Assistant Editor for the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy.
Through the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Ms. Polley’s doctoral research looks at the United States’ Vulnerabilities Equities Process for assessing cyber vulnerabilities, and the intricacies of balancing the various equities involved (including military and social). In addition, she holds a Master’s in Philosophy for Policy Analysis (from Pardee RAND Graduate School), a Master’s in Public Administration (from California State University, San Bernardino), a Bachelor’s of Art in Cultural Studies (from the University of California, Davis), and a Certificate in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies (from the University of Leiden).