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10/11/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

DMDII Appoints Executive Director

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Chandra Brown is expected to align DMDII’s activities with current national priorities and policy, such as 2017’s Presidential Executive Order 13806.


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The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), located in Chicago, Illinois, has named Chandra Brown executive director. She has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing, federal policymaking, international trade, and startup and small business management. At DMDII, she will be responsible for overseeing the institute’s research and development portfolio and fostering relationships with government and business to put newly-demonstrated capabilities into practice.

Collaborating with the U.S. Department of Defense and more than 300 partners in industry, academia and government, DMDII seeks to equip U.S. manufacturers with the digital tools and expertise needed to build every part better than the last and establish a more reliable, efficient and secure manufacturing capability, as the institute puts it.

“I am honored to join DMDII and further its mission of making U.S. manufacturers more capable, productive and secure,” says Ms. Brown. “A goal of this magnitude requires the best of both the private and public sectors, and I am excited to bring my experience to bear as DMDII helps to reinvigorate domestic manufacturing and ultimately create robust economic growth and high-paying jobs.”

As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce from March 2013 to January 2016, Brown played a leadership role in the U.S. Manufacturing Council and other advisory councils that shaped national manufacturing policy, including the initiative that established the network of 14 Manufacturing USA institutes including DMDII. While at the Department of Commerce, Brown promoted U.S. businesses worldwide, worked to remove trade barriers and oversaw a portfolio of programs aimed at increasing the international competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.

Before joining DMDII, Brown was the CEO and founder of Brown Executive Strategies, a strategic consulting firm focused on helping small businesses worldwide increase their competitiveness. She was previously president of Green Endeavor, Inc., a startup that helped industries replace harmful chemicals with more effective, affordable and greener alternatives.

Ms. Brown is expected to align DMDII’s activities with current national priorities and policy, such as Presidential Executive Order 13806, which directed the government to assess the capacity and resiliency of the nation’s manufacturing and defense industrial base as well as its supply chains. 

“The Manufacturing USA network welcomes Chandra to the team as we work together to bolster the U.S. manufacturing supply chain,” says Tracy Frost, director of manufacturing technologies in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “From improving cybersecurity and resiliency to ensuring small businesses and suppliers meet federal regulations designed for the digital age, the pioneering advances being delivered under DMDII’s leadership are benefiting warfighters and U.S. manufacturing workers alike.”

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