Research Directorate: Leadership

Mr. Dale Ormond
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Dr. Dale Ormond
Principal, Director
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
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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. John W. Fischer
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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 Technology Program.

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 system.

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