Ken Washington is the vice president of research and advanced engineering at Ford Motor Company, where he leads Ford’s worldwide research organization and oversees the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy and plans. In that role, Washington is bringing rocket science to the auto industry—literally. Prior to joining Ford in 2014, he was vice president of the Space Technology Advance R&D Laboratories at Lockheed Martin, where he was responsible for leading a team of 700 scientists and engineers in space science research and development. Before that, he was Lockheed Martin's first chief privacy officer. Washington was also Lockheed's chief technology officer for its internal IT organization. Washington's last space project was NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite, which is used to study the sun. He has a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University and is a fellow of the MIT Seminar XXI program on international relations. At Ford, Washington is using his science and engineering chops to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the auto industry right now: efficiency, safety, and intelligence. So far, he has led efforts to experiment on autonomous cars and the future of mobility.