Dr. Michael A. Kuliasha
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters


Dr. Michael A. Kuliasha Dr. Michael A. Kuliasha, a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters (DASD(NM)). He is responsible for planning and implementing life-cycle activities for the sustainment and modernization of the nuclear weapons stockpile and coordinating with the Department of Energy, other agencies, and international partners on all matters related to the acquisition, sustainment, and modernization of the nuclear stockpile; the control and exchange of information relating to the manufacture or utilization of nuclear weapons; and developing standards to ensure the survivability of DoD mission critical systems in a nuclear weapons effects environment. He is also responsible for the development and oversight of plans, policies, and procedures for nuclear weapons safety, security, survivability, transportation, use control, and nuclear weapon radiological accident and incident response, as well as working with interagency and international partners to develop and implement a layered defense to protect against nuclear or radiological threats delivered through any means including nuclear and radiological detection, interdiction, render safe, forensics, attribution, force protection against nuclear effects, and consequence management.

Before assuming his current role, Dr. Kuliasha served as the director of the Nuclear Technologies Department (J9NT) for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) located on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. As the Director of J9NT, Dr. Kuliasha served as the agency lead on all technical and programmatic issues related to the effects of nuclear weapons, and formulated and directed research, development, test and evaluation programs to: determine the effects of nuclear detonations; develop nuclear weapons effects testing and modeling capabilities; develop advanced radiation detectors to detect, identify, and locate nuclear and radiological threats; and develop forensic methods and practices to support post-detonation attribution. He served as the agency lead for nuclear standards and policies, vulnerability assessments, and testing. He also served as the DTRA principal on the Weapons Effects Strategic Collaboration and coordinated DoD nuclear weapons effects issues and programs with the National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Strategic Command, and the United States’ allies.

From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Kuliasha served as the Chief Technologist of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). As the senior science and technology (S&T) leader at AFRL, he had primary responsibility for the technical content and quality of AFRL’s $4.5 billion per year S&T portfolio and workforce of over 10,800.

Prior to 2007, Dr. Kuliasha held a variety of leadership positions over his 30-year career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) including Associate Laboratory Director for Computing, Robotics, and Education (acting); Director of the Computational Physics and Engineering Division; Associate Director of the Energy Division; Chief Scientist for National Security; and Director for Homeland Security.

Dr. Kuliasha has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of New Mexico. He is a graduate of The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.