Every month we recap the biggest tech hires and departures in the D.C. area over the past month. To get hiring and other local innovation news daily, sign up for The Beat. Here’s our list of the top hires in D.C. innovation for December:

D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer

  • Archana Vemulapalli announced she would be stepping down as the District’s Chief Technology Officer, effective on Jan. 5. It’s unclear who is lined up to take her place. Vemulapalli plans to return to the private sector. Prior to her government post, she was a technology strategy consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, and Lucent Technologies.


  • Columbia, Md.-based cybersecurity company Bricata added a new chief financial officer and vice president of engineering, according to a press release on Nov. 29. Phil Salopek joined the team as the new CFO from Illumineto, where he was the co-founder, chairman and investor. Salopek has also had stints at BroadSoft and Notable Solutions. Orville Pike joined as the vice president of engineering from his most recent position at KoolSpan.


  • Law firm Cooley added a few tech-related partners to its ranks, working out of its D.C. and Reston, Va. offices, according to a press releaseBrian Burke advises high-growth, disruptive companies, along with investors. Derek Colla focuses on working with high-growth companies and investors through an exit. Josh Holleman practices corporate and securities law, focusing on representing strategic and financial buyers and sellers. Lastly, Brooke Nussbaum represents a wide range of private companies with all their legal needs, with a special focus on corporate and securities law. All have been with the company and started as official partners Monday.

Polaris Alpha

  • Defense and intelligence software company Polaris Alpha named two prominent military and government leaders to its board, according to a press release on Dec. 1. Lieutenant General James K. McLaughlin and Major General Robert H. Latiff, both retired, joined the company, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., but with significant office presences throughout the entire DMV. Most recently, Latiff was the director of advanced systems and technology at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va. McLaughlin joined from a stint as the deputy commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.

    Polaris Alpha formed a little over a year ago after Arlington Capital merged portfolio companies EOIR Technologies of Fredericksburg, Va. with Intelligent Software Solutions in Colorado Springs and PROTEUS Technologies in Annapolis Junction, Md.


  • Baltimore-based eOriginal brought on a new chief marketing officer, the company announced on Dec. 5. Michele Weber joined the financial services tech company after a stint as the senior vice president and head of global marketing at AppNexus.


  • Valerie Jarrett, the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama, joined the board of directors at Lanham, Md.-based 2U on Dec. 7. Jarrett oversaw the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls during her time in The White House. 2U said that Jarrett is the third woman and fourth person of color to join its 11-person board. Jarrett is also on the boards at Lyft and Chicago-based asset manager Ariel Investments.

Under Armour

  • While Under Armour hasn’t had the best of years financially, it does look like they’re still able to recruit top-notch employees. Kelley McCormick announced via Twitter on Dec. 12 that she is joining the Baltimore-based company as their new senior vice president of corporate communications. McCormick joins the team from SKDKnickerbocker, a D.C.-based public relations firm.


  • Ellucian brought on a new president and CEO according to reports on Dec. 13Laura Ispen has been named to the top post at the Reston, Va.-based education software company. Most recently, she was at Oracle as a senior vice president for the company’s cloud marketing division.