Dr. Terry C. Pierce

Captain, USN, Ret.
Former Director, the Center of Innovation at USAFA

Dr. Terry C. Pierce (Captain, USN, Ret.) was the Director of the Center of Innovation located at the United States Air Force Academy, where he championed disruptive innovations for the Federal Government. Previously, he was Associate Dean and research associate professor of Information Sciences at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). In the Navy, he commanded USS Whidbey Island, LSD-41; Chief of Staff for Amphibious Forces 7th Fleet; and was speechwriter for Admiral Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations.

Terry C. Pierce photo

As Commanding Officer of USS Whidbey Island LSD-41, his warship was ranked best in its class in the Atlantic Fleet.  Dr. Pierce is author of the book, Warfighting and Disruptive Technologies: Disguising Innovation and he has published 27 award winning articles.  In 1992, the Navy awarded him the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement in addressing the subject of maneuver-warfare amphibious doctrine.

During his 28-year Navy career, he earned doctorate and masters degrees from Harvard, where he focused on private and public sector disruptive innovation. He also earned a masters degree in national security affairs strategic planning from the Naval Postgraduate School. Captain Pierce attended several warfighting schools including Marine Corps Command and Staff College.  His ship, USS Okinawa LPH-3, deployed to the Persian Gulf combat zone during the mid-1980s Iran-Iraq war. His highest award is the Legion of Merit medal.


During his Navy career, Captain Pierce was involved in several technological and warfighting innovations including championing Expeditionary Strike Group. Since retiring from the Navy, Dr. Pierce has championed three major innovations: Intel Corporations Secure Enclaves, (SGX), Intel’s Provenance Anti-Malware Search Engine, and Inverse Provenance.

Dr. Pierce was a guest speaker on disruptive innovation for Intel Corporation’s senior leadership and the Business Innovation Factory Conferences (BIF-3 & BIF-4) and briefed the Prime Minister of Ireland in Maynooth, Ireland, in June 2011 on achieving disruptive innovation.


  • “The Navy Needs a New Innovation Engine,” USNI Proceedings, November 2018
  • “Learning to Ride Tsunamis: The Power of Public Private Partnerships in Achieving Disruptive Innovations,” (Innovation Contest Winner), USNI Proceedings, November 2015
  • “Combined Effects Power,” Erv Rokke, Tom Drohan, and Terry Pierce, Joint Force Quarterly 2014
  • “Crafting and Managing Effects: The Evolution of the Profession of Arms,” James Stavridis, Erv Rokke, Terry Pierce, Joint Force Quarterly, 2016
  • “Toward a Unified Metric of Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Actions: Meaning Fields and the Arc of Effects,” Brad DeWees, Terry Pierce, Erv Rokke, and Tony Tingle; Joint Force Quarterly, 2017