Mission History Image

Mission History

As of February 1, 2018, Section 901 of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 abolished the roles of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) and subsidiary Assistant Secretaries. It established an Undersecretary for Research & Engineering, who will assume most of the duties currently exercised by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, and an Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment who will define the policies, procedures, and direction of the acquisition process. Also established is a Chief Management Officer at the Undersecretary level who will conduct the business operations of the Department, including the actual acquisition of goods and services and products.

Through the Years

2017 - Present

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering

Mary Miller Jan 20, 2017 - Present


2011 - 2017

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering

Stephen Welby Dec 14, 2015 - Jan 19, 2017
Zachary Lemnios
Jul 2, 2009 - Nov 30, 2012


1986 - 2011

Director, Defense Research & Engineering

John Young, Jr. Nov 2, 2005 - Jun 2008
Ronald Sega Aug 14, 2001 - Aug 3, 2005
Hans Mark Jul 1, 1998 - May 10, 2001
Anita Jones Jun 1, 1993 - May 23, 1997
Victor Reis Dec 3, 1991 - May 31, 1993
Charles Herzfeld Mar 12, 1990 - May 18, 1991
Robert Duncan Dec 17, 1987 - Nov 30, 1989


1977 - 1986

Under Secretary of Defense for
Research & Engineering

Donald Hicks Aug 6, 1985 - Oct 10, 1986
Richard DeLauer May 7, 1981 - Nov 4, 1984
William Perry Nov 4, 1977 - Jan 20, 1981


1958 - 1977

Director, Defense Research & Engineering

William Perry Apr 11, 1977 - Oct 21, 1977
Malcolm Currie Jun 21, 1973 - Jan 20, 1977
John Foster, Jr. Oct 1, 1965 - Jun 21, 1973
Harold Brown May 8, 1961 - Sept 30, 1965
Herbert York Dec 30, 1958 - Apr 30, 1961


1957 - 1958

Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Research and Engineering)

Paul Foote Sept 10, 1957 - Oct 31, 1958
Frank Newbury Mar 18, 1957 - May 17, 1957


1953 - 1957

Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Research and Development)

Clifford Furnas Dec 1, 1955 - Feb 15, 1957
Donald Quarles Sept 1, 1953 - Aug 14, 1955

Assistant Secretary of Defense (Applications Engineering)

Frank Newbury Aug 18, 1953 - Mar 17, 1957


1947 - 1953

Chairman, Research & Development Board

Walter Whitman Aug 1, 1951 - Jun 29, 1953
William Webster Mar 15, 1950 - Jul 31, 1951
Karl Compton Oct 15, 1948 - Mar 14, 1950
Vannevar Bush Sept 30, 1947 - Oct 14, 1948


Dept of Defense US Air Force OASAALT RDECOM ONR NRL US Air Force Joint Chiefs of Staff Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Force Health Protection & Readiness Defense Threat Reduction Agency Missile Defense Agency Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization Chemical & Biological Defense Program