Steve Orrin, Intel Federal

The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Chief Officer Awards were announced March 28, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person May 10.

Next is Steve Orrin, chief technology officer and senior principal engineer at Intel Federal, and finalist in the Public & Private Company Chief Technology Officer category. Here, he shares key achievements, focus areas going forward, career advice and more.

What key achievements did you have in 2023?

Orrin has fundamentally influenced the evolution of Intel’s public sector AI, cyber, and secure supply chain strategies. He also leads customer-facing IT strategy, architecture, and solution engagements.

In 2023, Orrin was selected by the U.S. government to serve as a Special Government Employee on a task force mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act and directed by the chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force. The Microelectronics Quantifiable Assurance (MQA) study advances understanding of how the DOD can access the commercial semiconductor supply chain to meet its mission needs. As part of this public-private collaboration, Orrin worked alongside government and industry leaders to analyze and report on the viability and paths forward for MQA and the sourcing of trustworthy domestic microelectronics.

In a separate government-driven effort, Orrin led a taskforce on risk management in the software supply chain. Orrin’s task force delivered a two-part set of guidance to help organizations assess security practices pertaining to the software lifecycle.

What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the mission?

In 2024, Orrin will continue to spearhead Intel’s engagements on multiple contract awards in AI and cybersecurity. In AI, Orrin has been instrumental in an engagement developing advanced methodologies for AI model training, as well as AI miniaturization technologies for specific mission use cases at the network edge.

Orrin will work with his government customers to apply novel approaches to AI model training using highly sensitive datasets in national security scenarios. The goal is to improve model training on disparate datasets to achieve faster time to information.

In cybersecurity, Orrin will continue to educate and evangelize on the topic of hardware-based assurance for mission platforms. Initiatives like this will achieve an end-to-end platform for cybersecurity purely at the hardware level and include Intel innovations such as secure CPU enclaves that encrypt data in use. With Orrin’s leadership, the Intel team is applying novel approaches to achieve a new level of holistic, hardware-based cybersecurity.

What is your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?

“I recommend that aspiring tech leaders start by getting their hands dirty,” Orrin said. “Play and experiment with new technologies and concepts. Break things and put them back together. Then, get out of the lab and implement some things. Start small and see what happens. Finally, surround yourself with people smarter than you and listen to them.”

Fun Fact: What is something about you that most people do not know about?  

“I’m an avid poker player, and I’ve won a rated tournament,” Orrin shared.

Click here for more 2024 Chief Officer Award Finalists Q&As.