Dr. Thomas Russell
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology) and Army Chief Scientist
S&ET Executive Breakfast
Dr. Thomas Russell was selected as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology and Army Chief Scientist in April 2016. He is responsible for policy and oversight of the Army’s Research and Technology program, which spans 16 Laboratories and Research, Development and Engineering Centers, employs nearly 12,000 scientists and engineers, and has an annual budget that exceeds $2.4 billion.
In this position, Dr. Russell is charged with identifying, developing, and demonstrating technology options that inform and enable effective and affordable capabilities for the Soldier. His science and technology portfolio covers basic research to demonstrating component, subsystem, manufacturing technology, and technology system prototypes. It is executed by the Army’s research, development and engineering laboratories and centers; academia; and industrial and international partners.
Prior to this assignment, Dr. Russell served as the Director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory for three years. In this position, he led 3,000 military, civilian, and contractor employees providing the Army innovative science, technology, and analysis to enable full-spectrum operations with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.
Prior to joining the Department of the Army, Dr. Russell served as Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) from 2010–2013 where he oversaw the management of the Air Force’s basic research investments. He led a team of 200 scientists, engineers, and administrators located in Arlington, VA, and in the foreign technology offices in London, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile. He managed the AFOSR’s the investment portfolio that exceeded $500 million, and he transitioned the resulting discoveries to other components of the Air Force Research Laboratory, to defense industries, and to other federal agencies. Dr. Russell served as the Director of the Aerospace and Material Sciences Directorate within AFOSR where he was responsible for the Air Force’s basic research program in aerospace, chemical, and material sciences.
From 1997-2006, Dr. Russell served with the Department of the Navy as the Director, Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation Directorate at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, MD; Section Head, High Energy Materials Section, Chemistry Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., and as a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. and at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, White Oak Laboratory, White Oak, MD.
Dr. Russell received a Ph.D.in chemistry, University of Delaware and a B.S. in chemistry, Muhlenberg College. He is the recipient of a Navy Superior Civilian Service award.
Dr. Russell was selected in 2006 to the Senior Executive Service and is Defense Acquisition Workforce Level III certified in Engineering. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps, the Joint Department of Defense/Department of Energy Munitions Technology Development Program, the Joint Insensitive Munitions Program, and the Joint Fuse Technology Program.