Kathleen Fisher, PhD

1994 Hertz Fellow
Find me on LinkedIn

Kathleen Fisher is the office director for DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.

Kathleen assumed the role of office director for DARPA’s Information Innovation Office (I2O) in May 2022. In this position, she leads program managers in the development of programs, technologies, and capabilities to ensure information advantage for the United States and its allies, and coordinates this work across the Department of Defense and U.S. government.

Fisher was previously the deputy office director for I2O from October 2021 to April 2022. This is Fisher’s second tour at DARPA, having previously served as a program manager in I2O from 2011 to 2014. As a program manager, she conceptualized, created, and executed programs in high-assurance computing and machine learning. Her High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) and Probabilistic Programming for Advancing Machine Learning (PPAML) programs continue to benefit the Department of Defense and U.S. commercial industry.

Fisher joined DARPA from Tufts University, where she was a professor in the Department of Computer Science, and served as chair of the department from 2016 to 2021. Earlier in her career, she was a principal member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs Research.

She is a AAAS fellow and an ACM fellow. Fisher has served as chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) and as program chair for three of SIGPLAN’s marquee conferences: PLDI, OOPSLA, ICFP. She has also served as an associate editor for TOPLAS and as an editor of the Journal of Functional Programming.

Fisher has long been a leader in the effort to increase diversity and inclusion in computer science. She was co-chair of the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W) for three years, and she co-founded SIGPLAN’s Programming Language Mentoring Workshop (PLMW) series. Fisher is a recipient of the SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award. She is a past chair of DARPA’s Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Study Group and a member of the Board of Trustees of Harvey Mudd College.

Fisher holds a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University.

Graduate Studies

Stanford University
Computer Science
Type Systems for Object-Oriented Programming Languages

Undergraduate Studies

Stanford University


2007, Distinguished Member, Association for Computing Machinery
2010, Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery

Related News

Dec 15, 2023
The challenges facing our nation and world are tangible and urgent. Yet, Hertz Foundation President Robbee Kosak believes there is a path forward — and it requires our shared commitment.
Mar 26, 2019
With cars, elections, infrastructure, and military drones increasingly computerized and networked, knowing with a high degree of confidence that hackers can’t get into a system becomes a matter of life and death.
Apr 28, 2016
After first proving that it was possible for professional hackers to remotely take control of networked computer-based vehicles, Hertz Fellow Kathleen Fisher has been successfully leading research teams to counteract potential hackers that would exploit this vulnerability to cause physical harm in the real world.

How Kathleen is Making an Impact

Making Our Software More Secure Arrow Right