Ben Taylor

Director of Business Operations

Ben is a full-time Army officer in North Carolina. His interest in defense innovation began while writing his masters thesis on the need for militaries to constantly innovate to support the power status of the countries they serve. His degrees are in political science and defense studies, but his passions include connecting disparate disciplines for social improvement, the value of networks and motivated people, and the transformative power of good leadership.

Kristen R. Hajduk

Director of National Programs

Kristen R. Hajduk works at the Pentagon and is an adjunct fellow with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies with expertise in counterterrorism, special operations, strategic war-gaming, and defense innovation policies. Kristen was co-founder and co-director of the No Exceptions initiative, a non-partisan coalition of post-9/11 military veterans and national security leaders who support full gender inclusion in the military.  She is German Marshall fellow and received her master’s degree at the University of Chicago.  In short, Kristen is a nerd who is passionate about those who serve our country – both in and out of uniform – and their ideas for making our world a better place.

Harlan Kefalas

Chief Financial Officer

Harlan is an active duty enlisted Army transporter whose intellectual curiosity led him to DEF. Knowledge is the equilibrium of opposing ideas. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University. After his DC day job, he ponders how to attract and involve more enlisted personnel to DEF. If you are enlisted and interested, shoot him a message.