Peter Villano

Peter Villano is the Director of Global Strategy within Microsoft’s Strategic Missions and Technologies division and positions Azure, Azure Quantum, and other emerging technologies for success in U.S. and international markets.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Pete served as a Professional Staff Member with the House Armed Services Committee and advised Members of Congress on issues related to emerging technologies, cyber operations and policy, information technologies, counterterrorism, special operations, Intelligence programs, and related interagency activities.

He was the principal staff author of ground-breaking quantum science and Artificial Intelligence legislation, including the creation of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. He was a recipient of Federal Computer Weekly’s “Fed 100” Award in 2020 for contributions to the Department of Defense related to emerging technology, information technology, and cyberwarfare.

Before the Committee, Pete served in senior staff positions at the U.S. Department of State and managed foreign assistance programs throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa. His largest programs resided in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as an emergency response capability with global reach. Pete additionally served in senior staff positions within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as the founding Deputy Director of a program that improved National-level Intelligence and information sharing with State and Local partners in support of counterterrorism programs and other activities.

A former Naval Officer with extensive operational experience, Pete is a veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and several other countries in support of national security objectives. He led specialized Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) “Bomb Squad” teams throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, and also served in technical and operational capacities with U.S. and British Intelligence elements.

Pete holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from The George Washington University and The Johns Hopkins University, respectively, and has held fellowships with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Brookings Institution.

He is a Visiting Fellow for Emerging Technology and Cybersecurity with the National Security Institute at George Mason University, and a Board Advisor to Hacking4Defense, an emerging technology accelerator that enables students and universities to rapidly address the nation’s emerging threats and security challenges.

Pete lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, two children, and two kayaks.