c/o Noah Schactman at WIRED's DANGER ROOM
Former Darpa director Tony Tether is joining a Washington-area lobbying firm best known for its influence on Capitol Hill. But Tether — who served for more than seven years as the head of the Pentagon’s premiere research arm — says he won’t be doing any lobbying in his new role.
“I won’t be going to the Hill or otherwise,” he tells Danger Room. Instead, Tether says he’ll serve as a part-time technical consultant and “strategic advisor” for the influencers at The Livingston Group.
Earlier in September, Tether joined an advisory panel of Scientific Systems Company, Inc., which works on robotics projects for the Pentagon. In June, he joined the board of Aurora Flight Sciences, Inc., developers of military unmanned aircraft.
The company was founded by Republican Congressman Bob Livingston in 1999, after he stepped down as Speaker-elect of the House following his admission of marital infidelity. Today, the company “has an extensive network of over 60 principals and consultants” and “over 50 domestic and international clients,” the firm’s website notes. Those clients include defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, CACI International, Raytheon, and Accenture, according to SourceWatch. The Republic of Turkey, the Cayman Islands, and the Council for a Democratic Iran have also enlisted The Livingston Group’s services.
“What TLG (and their clients) need is someone to assess technology solutions that the clients are usually sure is the best thing since sliced bread,” Tether e-mails. “This gives the TLG folks a better idea what the client has and therefore who might be interested, and what the issues are if any. It also helps the clients re-set their expectations (upward or downward).”
Joining Tether at TLG is former Darpa program manager Art Bruckheim. “Our clients will benefit from their knowledge and expertise,” Livingston says in a statement.