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Regina Dugan recognized with 2022 University Distinguished Achievement Award

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Regina Dugan '84 was recognized with Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Achievement Award May 12. This award recognizes achievement that is nationally significant, and has enduring benefit to society. 

Virginia Tech alumna Regina Dugan is a leading technology developer. She was the first female director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. "She led some amazing programs at DARPA. And there was, you know, this is after 9/11, there was a lot of uncertainty about things in a biological weapon side, but also the pandemic side. And how does a nation respond to biological issues like we're seeing today. And she and her team launched a program that was really focused on these big questions and that's what's Regina is really great at, it's like, 'what if?' questions. Why can't vaccines be deployed rapidly?" A double Hokie earning her bachelor's and master's at Virginia Tech, Regina led technology development at Google and Facebook, bringing the same skills to the table to make things happen. "She's amazing at synthesising these big ideas. And it's more about 'why not?' as opposed to 'how?' And that really motivates the scientific community, so she's got a really great way of inspiring people and talent, and gathering talent and making things happen." Virginia Tech also benefits from Regina's leadership. Her experience and expertise is invaluable as a member of the Innovation Campus Advisory Board. "I think she brings a perspective of a fast-moving organization and currently now a new organization, which is qualitatively very similar to what's going on on the Innovation Campus. So I appreciate her experience very much. Director Lance Collins shares Regina often brings unique advice that complements the work of the board. "There are many times that I repeat a lot of the ideas that she said, because they just bring this freshness and vibrancy to the whole discussion around the Innovation Campus. Really a unique individual. I can certainly understand why she was recognized as Outstanding Alumna. She's really a terrific individual." "When you look at who really moves the needle, there's a handful of people and she's, when you think about the people in the White House and OSTP, or people at DARPA, or different organizations that really move the needle for the nation, for the world, She's one of those top people. And I'm proud to know her, I'm proud she's a Hokie. And she she does us all very proud."