Sha-Chelle Manning Chief of Commercial Strategy DARPA


Sha-Chelle Manning currently serves as the Chief of Commercial Strategy for DARPA, DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency with a +$3.8B annual budget for technology investments with leading researchers for national and economic security. Manning is a co-founder of 1920 Group, a women-led investment, transaction, and growth firm for social impact; and co-founder of Lithos, a critical material extraction company. Prior, Manning was an executive for two leading US public energy companies, Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) and Cimarex NYSE: CTRA), who led technology, innovation, and LP/venture investments that advanced the US as a “global energy powerhouse” and pioneered the industry for backing many climate tech companies.

Manning was co-founder of investment firm Malibu IQ, which had an IPO on GAN microelectronics (NASDAQ: NVTS). Manning was Managing Director of Nanoholdings, a clean-tech venture fund backed by Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB); and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s $483M Emerging Tech Fund, which was the in the top 25 percent quartile of its vintage, although it wasn’t focused strictly on returns.

Manning started her career as an entrepreneur in several successful nanotechnology startups, including Zyvex and Authentix (acquired by the Carlyle Group), as well as Winstar, who brought to market wireless broadband service and media streaming, starting in New York, and was a DOD backhaul 38 GhZ technology. Manning was voted as one of the “Top 25 Women in Technology” in Texas.

Manning has served on several boards and non-profits such as Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC), a satellite space processing and International Space Station services company (division acquired by Lockheed Corporation NYSE: LMT); the US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary’s Advisory Board for Innovation (SEAB); DOE’s + $240M Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation; Worlds.IO, an AI startup backed by Chevron and Piva (Petronas); the University of Oklahoma System Strategic Research Board; the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Board and Tech Titans Executive Board, focused on art, engineering, and science scholarships and experiences for kids.

Manning splits her time between Colorado and Washington, DC.