Defense Under Secretary for Research and Engineering Resigns; U.S. Chief Technology Officer Assumes Interim Role

Jul 31, 2020

by ASME.org

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios has assumed the role of acting under secretary of defense for research and engineering after Mike Griffin resigned from the post after serving for two years. Griffin, along with his deputy Lisa Porter, stepped down in mid-July and since the two have started a new private-sector business together. The position of the under secretary of defense for research and engineering was created by Congress in 2018 in an effort to quicken the pace of defense technology development.
 
While Kratsios as served in a major position in the Trump White House since 2017, he as an unusual choice to head the Pentagon’s research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) portfolio given that he has no prior experience with the defense sector. In a statement put out by the Department of Defense (DoD) announcing the change, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper states, “In seeking to fill this position we wanted someone with experience in identifying and developing new technologies and working closely with a wide range of industry partners. We think Michael is the right person for this job and we are excited to have him on the team.”
 
As acting under secretary, Kratsios will work with Dr. Mark Lewis as his deputy. Dr. Lewis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics, Bachelor of Science degree in earth and planetary science (1984), and both a Master of Science degree (1985) and a Doctor of Science degree (1988) in aeronautics and astronautics. Since 2019, Lewis has worked as an assistant to Mike Griffin. His full career history can be found here: https://www.defense.gov/Our-Story/Biographies/Biography/Article/2016569/dr-mark-j-lewis/.

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