Eric Haseltine, Ph.D., is a former intelligence officer and entertainment executive who was formally trained as a neuroscientist. He has applied new discoveries about the human brain to diverse fields such as aerospace technology, virtual reality, special effects, and most recently, intelligence and national security matters.
He got his Ph.D. studying the sensory neurophysiology of the brains of snakes (boas and pythons) that “see in the dark” via heat sensors around their lips.
After completing one year of post-doctoral training in neuroanatomy at Vanderbilt Medical School, Eric went to work for Hughes Aircraft Company as an industrial psychologist, where he used his training to design advanced fighter cockpit displays and flight simulation systems.
Haseltine’s research in military flight simulation gave him a strong foundation in the emerging field of virtual reality, so in 1992 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering to help found the Virtual Reality Studio, which he ultimately ran until his departure from Disney in 2002. When he left Disney, Dr Haseltine was Executive Vice President of Imagineering and head of R&D for the entire corporation, including film, television, theme parks, Internet and consumer products.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Eric joined the National Security Agency as its Associate Director, in charge of Research and Development, where he directed a broad range of projects, specializing in counter-terrorism technology.
When Congress created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Haseltine was promoted in 2005 to become its first CTO (Associate Director National Intelligence, reporting to the Director). In his two years there, Eric oversaw all Science and Technology efforts within the United States Intelligence Community as well as fostering development innovative new technologies for counter terrorism.
Through his consulting company Haseltine Partners LLC, Eric now helps intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense find and apply cutting edge technologies to problems such as counter terrorism and collaborative intelligence analysis.
Haseltine also consults for Fortune 500 companies, helping them develop breakthrough innovations and business practices. He serves on numerous boards, and is an active speaker and writer. His new book is Brain Candy.