Christopher MacPherson

Professional Specialist and Lecturer, The Keller Center

Chris MacPherson is a Professional Specialist and Adjunct Lecturer at Princeton where he has taught ENT200, one of the Keller Center’s foundational courses for the entrepreneurship and design certificate programs, for the last four years. He has held a number of leadership, technical, client-facing and strategic roles in a career that has spanned government, industry, and academia. He currently runs his own innovation consultancy, Shadestream, and most recently led growth, strategy and government at Shift, an a16z backed startup, where he launched federal business practice and built a best in class venture capital and startup industry immersion program for innovators in the military. He was a key architect in developing the applied data and intelligence systems practice at Frog Design, built and led an internal talent research startup at Bridgewater Associates, oversaw counterterrorism and influence operations at the Pentagon, ran a team at the White House Situation Room, and was recruited out of college by the NSA. He is trained as a computer scientist and hold degrees from Hamilton College, Princeton’s SPlA, and the National Intelligence University.

"You can think about your career like a trail--either you are following someone else's trail, creating your own, or occasionally stepping off to explore something you are curious about. Any of those choices are fine, but after a while, the existing trails get worn down or become crowded, or new technologies are created that would let you blaze a new trail that leads you to somewhere faster than before or totally new. We are likely inside one of those moments where "the old way of doing things" isn't working so well anymore, which is going to create a lot of opportunity and uncertainty about what's next. Embrace the ambiguity, believe in yourself, and know that moving forward doesn't always happen in a straight line."


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