Episode 75: When in Rome: Innovate

Ms. Karen Roth joins the podcast to discuss open innovation, community partnerships and her role as Chief Engineer of the AFRL Information Directorate in Rome, New York.


By Justin Hayward, Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Ms. Karen Roth guest starred on the Lab Life podcast to discuss open innovation, community partnerships and her role as the Chief Engineer of the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, Information Directorate, or RI, in Rome, New York.

The Lab Life podcast, hosted by Michele Miller and Kenneth McNulty, focuses on bringing its audience behind the scenes with the Air Force and Space Force scientists, engineers and professionals who are developing tomorrow’s technology today.

“The great part about the Information Directorate is not only do we innovative new computing structures, but we also work on forward reaching communications techniques, decision making, and so it has been great because we get to keep track of various enabling capabilities not only for the Air Force but the rest of our directorates as well,” said Roth.

Roth states that in her role as chief engineer, she performs various tasks, including supporting roles, security functions, instructions on compliance system engineering and more. Roth feels that being a senior leader and a director allows her to also serve as the community liaison for her directorate.

“As a community liaison, I get to build partnerships, open innovation, and work with our compatriots in the Integrated Capabilities Directorate, or RS, on the war tech process and make sure our capabilities are a part of Vanguard capabilities for the future of the Air Force,” said Roth.

When discussing the critical responsibilities of RI, Roth expressed the importance of partnerships. Working alongside industry, academia and other government organizations, RI must ensure they are pushing technology forward and creating an open innovation system to allow them to work with their partners more effectively through their Innovare program.

“Working under the RI umbrella and leaning into the concept of Innovare, we worked with the various economic development agencies to make sure that they were empowered to talk on our behalf about all the great stuff that we have here at RI and to help us find partners that would allow us to pull together a technical community here in Rome, New York,” said Roth.

Listen to the full Lab Life podcast episode to learn more about Ms. Karen Roth and the fascinating research conducted at the Information Directorate, or RI.