Research Directorate: Leadership
Dr. Melissa L. Flagg
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research
Dr. Melissa Flagg joined the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research on 26 October 2015. Dr. Flagg is responsible for policy and oversight of DoD Science and Technology (S&T) programs from Basic Research through Advanced Technology Development. She 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. Flagg was a senior program officer within the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellows program with a primary focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Fellows program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits across all disciplines and endeavors.
Prior to joining the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Flagg served as the Director for the Office of Technical Intelligence within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Flagg served in roles within the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of State leading efforts on global technology awareness, technical intelligence, and international S&T cooperation.
Dr. Flagg has served on a range of Boards including the Emerging Technology Research Advisory Committee at the Department of Commerce, the National Academy of Sciences Air Force Studies Board, and served as Executive Secretary for the Defense Science Board. She also served as the Chief Technology Officer of a small startup company, PocketTea LLC from 2014 to 2015.
Dr. Dale Ormond
Principal, Director for the Research Directorate Office
Mr. Dale Ormond is the Principal Director, Research, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering). Mr. Ormond is responsible for the integration and oversight of Department of Defense science and technology (S&T) investment. He ensures the long-term strategic direction of the Department’s S&T program and develops those technologies needed for continued technological superiority of United States forces. As one element of this responsibility, Mr. Ormond leads the Reliance 21 planning effort, the overarching framework of the Department’s S&T joint planning and coordination process. Mr. Ormond also oversees Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and coordinates international S&T activities.
Prior to December 2014, Mr. Ormond served as the Director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which includes the Army Research Laboratory and six Army Research, Engineering & Development Centers. As Director, Mr. Ormond oversaw a command budget of more than $6.2 billion and led a highly skilled technical workforce of 14,000 employees encompassing a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines that enabled the development of integrated systems for the Soldier.
From July 2008 to February 2012, Mr. Ormond served as Deputy to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, which included 18 subordinate organizations and the eight U.S Army Training and Doctrine Command Centers of Excellence. Mr. Ormond acted as the principal executive overseeing the Combined Arms Center actions that facilitated its role as the intellectual center of the Army and the engine of change for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Mr. Ormond was selected for the Senior Executive Service in July 2004. From July 2004 to July 2008, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons), where he provided executive level policy and oversight of the Chemical Demilitarization Program, for the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology)/Army Acquisition Executive. His responsibilities included oversight of the planning, programming, budgeting and execution of U.S Chemical Weapons Destruction Program and the operations of our chemical weapons destruction plants to meet our international treaty obligations for elimination of all chemical weapons. As an additional duty, during the period of January 2007 to January 2008, he served as the Acting Director, U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency , where he managed a $1.5 billion annual budget and had line management authority and responsibility for the operation of three chemical weapon storage depots, four chemical weapon storage activities and five operational chemical weapons destruction facilities. As an additional duty, during the period from February 2008 to June 2008, Mr. Ormond served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Policy and Procurement, where he was responsible for Army contracting and acquisition policy.
A former submarine officer, Mr. Ormond is a 1985 graduate of the US Naval Academy and holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University.
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.