News Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth Cutler, Communications Program Manager

Tim Kao Promoted to CNA Vice President, Data Science Division

Arlington, Va. — CNA has named Tim Kao as the new vice president and director of the organization's Data Science Division. Kao has been with CNA since 2015 in research roles of increasing management responsibility, most recently as research program director for the Data Science Predictive Analytics Program.

Tim Kao

Prior to joining CNA, Kao served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for twenty years. His service included leadership roles in special operations, space command, jungle warfare, and operations research. He is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with deployments to Iraq in 2003 and 2007. He also deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012.

He holds an M.S. in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and an MBA from the University of Colorado. He received his bachelor's degree in operations research from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

"Tim played a critical role in advancing CNA's Data Science Division to where it is today. His management skills and technical expertise make him an excellent fit for this leadership role," said Jeff Peterson, acting executive vice president of CNA's Center for Naval Analyses.

Kao leads the newest CNA division — established in 2020 — which uses design thinking, machine learning, advanced analytics, and agile methods to help improve performance for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. In his first six years at CNA, Kao has led projects for a variety of Navy and Marine Corps sponsors including the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, United States Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Marine Forces Pacific, and Marine Forces Africa.

"It's a privilege to lead such a talented team of data scientists here at CNA and a greater privilege to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with relevant, impactful, and actionable data science support. As I step into this leadership role, I look forward to building on our strong partnership with the naval services to solve hard problems through data-informed decisions and actions," Kao said.

In addition to his research and management accomplishments, Kao has dedicated significant time to the CNA community by serving as an instructor in the training program for new analysts, project directors, and data scientists. He also volunteers with CNA's Educational and Charitable Fund Committee efforts.

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to the safety and security of the nation. It operates the Center for Naval Analyses — the only Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) serving the Department of the Navy — as well as the Institute for Public Research. CNA is dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and crisis centers, working side-by-side with operators and decision-makers around the world. CNA supports naval operations, fleet readiness and great power competition. Its non-defense research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security and data management.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."


Elizabeth Cutler
Communications Program Manager

Liza Cordeiro
Senior Advisor Marketing