Director of Future Concepts and Innovation
U.S. Department of Navy
CAPT Christian Dunbar is a 27-year Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer assigned as the Director of Future Concepts and Innovation at the Naval Special Warfare Command. He leads the exploration, partnered ventures and development of Enterprise-level innovations focused on Disruptive and Transformational applications of horizon technologies for Special Operations and National Defense. CAPT Dunbar is a recognized leader for the strategic and practical applications of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Mobile Robotics in Human-Machine Teaming for asymmetric competitive advantage. As a graduate from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship and Strategy, CAPT Dunbar excels at bridging the academia-industry-DoD divides to enable innovation at scale and pace within Naval Special Warfare.
A native of Omaha Nebraska, as a third-generation Eagle Scout he is dedicated to a lifetime of service to community and country. Commissioned in 1993, as a graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Aerospace Engineering, he attended and graduated Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in class 191. With multiple combat leadership deployments over his career, his breadth of experience spans across international and interagency partnerships world-wide.
His tours of duty represent a significant cross section of leadership roles across Operations, Training and Personnel and the consistent innovative applications of Science and Technology. He has multiple tours at diverse SEAL and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and leadership tours at SOCPAC, NSW Group ONE, the NSW CENTER, NSWTG-AP, SOTF-W(IZ), CJSOTF-A and SOJTF-A. As the Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE, he designed groundbreaking methods and technologies supporting intelligence and operations solving national defense challenges globally.
CAPT Dunbar also holds an MS Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare) and an MS Space Systems Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School with a focus on optimizing technology in support of SOF. CAPT Dunbar is a Tillman Scholar, a John Wooden Global Leadership Fellow. His in-service professional awards include four Bronze Stars with Combat Distinguishing Device, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, other personal and unit awards and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
CAPT Dunbar is married to Mrs. Kelly (Smith), a former USMC officer and graduate of the USNA. The Dunbar’s have 5 children, Abigail (17), Amelia (13), Lenox (11), Eleanor (7), Evelyn (4).
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