The following is a blog post from Kathleen Fisher (Tufts University). Fisher is a former CRA-WP board member and currently serves on the CRA Board of Directors and the Computing Community Consortium Council.
Going to DARPA as a Program Manager (PM) is a great opportunity to make a difference by creating and managing a program much bigger in scope than what an individual faculty member can do at a university. Other PMs are talented and innovative thinkers who come from a broad range of backgrounds. Exposure to them and to the range of problems DARPA is reckoning with can be eye-opening. In the following paragraphs, I describe my experiences serving as a PM to convey a sense of what the job is like and why it might be an attractive career option.