New Executive Director for The Common Mission Project

Defense innovation expert to enhance Hacking for Defense® program and support national security solutions

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hacking for Defense® (H4D), the global academic course that has transformed how national security challenges are solved, is poised for greater impact with the appointment today of a new executive director for the Common Mission Project, the nonprofit arm of BMNT Inc.

Defense innovation expert Maria Tranquilli is CMP’s new executive director, BMNT CEO Pete Newell announced.

Tranquilli brings over 20 years of experience at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship and defense. Most recently, she served as the National Senior Director of Venture Innovation at the Mission Acceleration Center, overseeing national new venture engagement, defense portfolio services, and investor partnerships. Previously, as the Founding Director of Defense Ventures, Tranquilli played a pivotal role in fortifying defense-industrial partnerships crucial to America’s national security and economic vitality, earning recognition in the 2023 National Defense Science and Technology Strategy.

CMP delivers the curriculum and educator training for H4D, which is offered at more than 62 universities; provides monetary support for student teams through its Impact Fund; and maintains a growing H4D alumni network.

Newell explained that Tranquilli’s focus will be on growing CMP’s Impact Fund to expand grants that support H4D student teams as they work to solve national security problems; improving H4D course curriculum, teaching materials, and educator support to ensure a high-quality experience for H4D students and instructors; and strengthening the H4D alumni network to provide continued support to and engagement with entrepreneurs around the country.

“We’re thrilled to have Maria on board. Her experience, passion and track record working in the defense innovation ecosystem make her the best possible fit for this position,” said Newell. “Under her guidance, CMP’s work with university students, the private sector, government and academia to solve critical real-world challenges will continue to grow and expand.”

Said Tranquilli: “I am thrilled to step into the role of Executive Director at the Common Mission Project. Our nation’s security challenges demand bold, innovative solutions, and I am committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. By expanding our Fund, strengthening our programs and scaling our top-tier alumni talent network, we will empower the next generation of problem solvers to tackle the toughest issues facing our country and our international allies. Together, we’ll ensure the preservation of our greatest asset amongst a new generation: the spirit of American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

About BMNT Inc.BMNT is an innovation company for governments and their partners that uses startup methods to create new capabilities.

About The Common Mission ProjectCMP is the international platform supporting mission-driven entrepreneurs.

Contact: Terri S. Vanech, BMNT communications manager,
 or 203-918-1270.