Greek-American Michael Kratsios, serves as one of the Pentagon's top tech officials

Greek-American, Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, was recently appointed the Under Secretary of Defence for Research and Engineering at the Pentagon.

Kratsios assumed the duties of Michael Griffin, a two-time Wash100 recipient who stepped down from his post in July.

The Greek-American became the country’s fourth CTO in August 2019. Since then, he has helped the White House launch national programs across the areas of artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum computing and autonomous vehicles. Some of those programs include the National Quantum Coordination Office, American AI Initiative and the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium.

Kratsios’ family comes from the village of Volissos, in northern Chios.

Commenting on their famous ‘son’, the president of the Community of Volissos, Sotiris Paradisis, said: “We know him from his frequent visits to his village, both the new deputy minister and his parents, Mr. Giannis Kratsios and Mrs. Mary Kotsaka. They are all loved in the small community of Volissos. This year, due to the coronavirus, Michalis Kratsios-Kotsakas could not come to Volissos, but last summer he had come for a short vacation, although he was already the director of the White House Technology Office.”

Kratsios announced three main priorities for the Office of Research and Engineering to advance America’s global technology leadership:

  1. Leveraging the DOD’s unique testing authorities to accelerate innovation
  2. Strengthening the department’s research and development partnerships with startups and smaller innovators
  3. Enhancing strategic R&D collaboration with America’s international allies

Upon Kratsios’s assumption of his new post, the council of the village sent the following letter congratulating him:

Dear Michalis,

The people of Volissos and Volissians around the world felt special joy and great pride as soon as they were informed of your appointment to the post of US Deputy Secretary of Defence.

These feelings are completely normal because both your family and you personally are people who from your childhood were fermented with the Volissian elements and you have the undivided appreciation of your fellow villagers.

For the appreciation of your person and your family, we do not rely on vague information from third parties but on the personal perception of the people who know you personally and are the vast majority of Volissians.

Your excellent studies, your scientific and technocratic experience and your ethos guarantee that in the future you will continue to honour Volissos with your successes.

Conveying the feelings of all the people of Volissos, we extend our warmest congratulations to you and we look forward, with anticipation, to the moment when the conditions and your obligations will allow you to be among us again, in order to welcome you with all our love and with all honour.