Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg was sworn in Wednesday to an advisory role with the Pentagon, taking a leadership post on a six-year-old board that provides recommendations to the Defense Department on innovative technology.
Bloomberg, who led New York City from 2002 to 2013, formally took his position as chair of the Defense Innovation Board in a ceremony presided over by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Pentagon said.
The Defense Department said in a statement that Bloomberg will helm a group “of renowned-experts and leaders from across the nation’s innovation base who will provide strategic insights and recommendations on technology and innovation.”
Bloomberg, a billionaire 80-year-old Democrat who joined the Republican Party for a portion of the 2000s, conducted a doomed bid for president in 2020.
The moderate technocrat has more recently emerged as a close adviser to the current New York City mayor, Eric Adams, who has described speaking weekly with Bloomberg in the early days of his administration.
In April, Adams, a Democrat, invited Bloomberg to return to City Hall for a chummy news conference. At the event, Bloomberg announced a $50 million donation toward summer programs at city charter schools
“I sit down and bounce ideas off of him,” Adams said at the news conference, describing his relationship with Bloomberg.
Now, leaders at the Pentagon are positioned to do the same.
The Pentagon said New York City’s 108th mayor is the first chair appointed to the Defense Innovation Board since Austin completed a review of all Defense Department committees and boards.
“The Department leaders look forward to working with Michael Bloomberg in his role as the Defense Innovation Board chair, as well as with all the esteemed members of the board,” the Pentagon said in its statement.