Karen Hargrove is a retired executive at the Microsoft Corporation. During her tenure with Microsoft, Hargrove worked in research and advanced development for the company’s digital office systems. In her leadership role, she guided and helped to implement Microsoft’s vision for integrating personal computers with other office technologies. Hargrove was instrumental in creating new business worldwide and overseeing the growth of Microsoft product technology. Prior to joining Microsoft, Hargrove worked on software development for ATL and on advanced hardware design and software development for Digital Equipment Corporation. Her broad oversight and experience include government security and encryption, Intel chip design, 3D graphics, digital books, font technology, and natural language.
Hargrove is a graduate of the University of Kansas. Hargrove currently volunteers her time as a Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the NPS Foundation and chair of the funding committee. She has an interest in Green technology and continues to maintain an active involvement with high technology.
How were you first introduced to NPS and the Foundation? Why do you personally feel strongly about supporting NPS?
I was introduced to NPS through a friend who invited us to a dinner featuring a talk by one of the professors. I accepted the invitation because my father in law went to NPS, and so there is always this history about NPS. And my husband was in the Navy. And so we thought we should learn a little bit more about NPS. And the talk was on cyber and security and software and cyber. One of my areas of interest for sure.
Not only did my father in law go here, but my husband was in the Navy, and my father was in the military, there have been people that have served in my family and I never have. I probably wouldn't make a good military person, but I really love our country. I really believe that our country is special and I want to do what I can to help continue the country in a strong, successful way.
This is our country. We all have to do something. We all have to give. I might not be able to shoot a gun. I might not be able to defend. I might not be able to jump out of airplanes. But I know technology. I can work with companies and people, and I love education and helping the next generation. I can do that.
What benefit does industry collaboration provide to the DOD? Conversely, what benefit does collaboration with NPS and its students provide to an industry partner?
Industry partners are a part of the same country as us and you either need to work and be part of the country or not. Silicon Valley companies sometimes struggle with this, as some employees may not want to be associated with the military. However, they also desire peace, protection, and a sense of security in their neighborhoods. It's essential to explain to them that contributing to national duty is part of the deal, especially considering they are on the front lines of cyber attacks, dealing with threats from China, Russia, and elsewhere.
Take companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google. They are at the forefront of cyber defense. Recognizing their role in national security, they realize the importance of partnering with the military for mutual benefit. They seek our insights in cyber areas where they lack expertise, and we, in turn, can benefit from their advanced technology. It's a win-win situation where both parties gain.