Dr. Reginald Brothers Director, Research
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research (ASD (R&E))
Dr. Reginald Brothers joined the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research on December 6, 2011. Dr. Brothers is responsible for policy and oversight of Department of Defense (DoD) Science and Technology (S&T) programs from Basic Research through Advanced Technology Development. He is also responsible for oversight of DoD laboratories, ensuring the long-term strategic direction of the Department’s S&T programs, and for developing those technologies needed for continued technological superiority of U.S. forces.
Before assuming this position, Dr. Brothers was a BAE Systems Technical Fellow in the areas of Communication, Sensor and Optical Systems. He was the Director of Mission Applications for the Communications and Networking Business Area, where he led a team developed to determine critical warfighter capability gaps, architect technical solutions and determine strategic alignment and business rationale for new opportunities.
Dr. Brothers also served on several committees of the National Academies of Science, including the Board on Army Science and Technology.
Dr. Brothers was a Program Manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO). While at DARPA, he led efforts in Wireless Communications, RADAR and LADAR systems and precision navigation and targeting.
Prior to his work at DARPA, he was the Group Leader of the Distributed Information Networks Group at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Chief Architect at Envoy Networks (a successful 3G wireless start-up company), and an assistant Group Leader at Lincoln Laboratory where he specialized in the areas of RF and Optical communications.
Dr. Brothers received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Robin Staffin Director, Basic Research
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E))
Dr. Robin Staffin is currently the Director for Basic Research in the Office of Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, where he has responsibility for oversight
of all basic research activities throughout the Department of Defense. Previously, Dr. Staffin
served as Associate Director of Science and Director for High Energy Physics at the Department
of Energy's Office of Science, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development in
DOE's Office of Defense Programs.
During the period 1998-2001, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy
for Science, Technology, and National Security.
From 1993-1996, Dr. Staffin was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for International Security Policy, focusing on nuclear test ban policy, science-based stockpile
stewardship, and nonproliferation. A physicist by training, he received his Bachelor of Science
from MIT and Ph.D. from Stanford University in particle physics.
Dr. Laura Stubbs Director, Science and Technology Initiatives
Director, STEM* Development Office
Dr. Laura Stubbs was appointed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a member of the Senior Executive Service in July, 2010. She currently serves as the Director for Defense Science and Technology Future Workforce Scholarship Initiatives. Dr. Stubbs is the most senior executive in the Department of Defense for scientific and technical (S&T) scholarship programs. As the Director of the STEM Development Office, Dr. Stubbs leads all aspects of the STEM initiatives assigned or delegated to Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering.
Before assuming her current role, Dr. Stubbs was the Chief Learning Officer for the Carderock Division at the Naval Surface Warfare Center where she provided the overarching strategy for technical learning and workforce development initiatives for 3200 employees. Prior to that position, she was the Branch Head for the Machinery Science and Technology Group where she led a team of engineers and scientists to develop cutting edge upstream technologies for the Navy.
Dr. Stubbs has over 25 years of military, private and public sector experience in Technology Transfer, Quality and Supply Chain Management. She entered the U.S. Navy as the first African-American Naval Nuclear Power School instructor and later transferred to the US Naval Academy as an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She left active duty and continued in the Navy Reserve until she retired as a Captain. Dr. Stubbs earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. She holds both her B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania.
*STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Dr. John Fischer Director, Defense Laboratories Enterprise
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E))
Dr. John Fischer earned a bachelor's degree (cum laude) in Chemistry from Lawrence University
in 1978, his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 1982, and served as a
post-doctoral research chemist at the Ohio State University from 1982 to 1984. He began his career with
the Navy in 1984 as a research chemist in the Research Department of the former Naval Weapons Center
at China Lake, California. His interests were in the development of new explosives, propellants, and
nonlinear optical materials.
Dr. Fischer assumed the position of branch head in the Soldering Technology Branch in 1990.
His responsibilities included providing electronics assembly product assurance for the production of Navy
missile and weapon systems. He also initiated an applied R&D program to develop environmentally
compliant materials and processes used in the production of Navy missiles. This effort resulted in Dr. Fischer being awarded the EPA Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection Award in 1993. In 1994, he was assigned as the head of the Chemistry and Materials Division at NAWCWD. In this position, he was responsible for the basic and applied research of materials and processes for Navy missile and weapon systems.
In 1996, he assumed the position of Advanced Technology Manager for the Tomahawk Cruise
Missile Project Office at NAWCWD. The focus of his efforts was on the identification of technology
requirements for the Tomahawk missile, development of technology programs to address these
requirements, and the subsequent transition of mature technology to Tomahawk production and
deployment. Concurrent with these duties, Dr. Fischer was leader of the NAWCWD Tomahawk Block IV
Integrated Product Team.
Because of his experience with the Tomahawk weapon system, Dr. Fischer was named Deputy of
the NAVAIR Uninhabited Combat Aerial Vehicle Advanced Development Project Office. His
responsibilities included development of a new weapon system concept to address future requirements of Naval Aviation.
Dr. Fischer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 1998 and served as the Associate
Director of the Naval Aviation Science and Technology Office (NAVSTO) and head of the Research
Department at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), China Lake, California. As
head of the Research Department, Dr. Fischer managed a program of research in physics, chemistry,
engineering sciences, and computational sciences; the Technology Advancement Group, which covers
coordination of the Center's Applied Research and Advanced Development Programs; the Technology
Transfer Program; and the Technical Library.
In 2001, Dr. Fischer was appointed as Director of the Naval Aviation Science & Technology
Office. His duties included planning and coordination of the Naval Air Systems Command's Science and
In 2004, he assumed the position of civilian director of the Research & Specialty Engineering
Department. In this role, Dr. Fischer is responsible for the Naval Aviation Enterprise's systems
engineering disciplines of standardization, metrology, mass properties, reliability and maintainability, electromagnetic environmental effects, survivability and threat lethality, materials engineering, manufacturing and quality, as well as research in chemistry, physics, and computational sciences. In December 2006, he was appointed civilian director of NAVAIR's Systems Engineering Department (AIR-4.1). In this position, he was the lead for Naval Aviation Systems Engineering tasking and functions for the complete life cycle of all aviation and aviation related systems. AIR-4.1 has >1800 personnel dispersed across 7 geographic locations including warfare centers and Fleet Readiness Centers. This organization supports aviation acquisition and in-service engineering programs for both Navy and Marine Corps. Direct budget responsibility was >$200M. In January 2008, Dr. was assigned additional duty as NAVAIR Chief Technology Officer (AIR-4.0T) responsible for the development and implementation of the Naval Aviation Enterprise Science & Technology (S&T) program. CTO responsibilities included the development of the Naval Aviation Enterprise strategic S&T plan, technology requirements, and advancement of innovative concepts and technology.
In March 2009, Dr. Fischer was selected as the Director of Defense Laboratory Programs. In this
position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of policies for DoD's laboratory