Dr. Derek Tournear

Space Development Agency, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Research & Engineering)
2021 Pacific Operational Science & Technology (POST) Conference

Dr.  Derek  Tournear  is  the  Director  of  the  Space  Development Agency (SDA). Established in March 2019,  SDA  is  responsible  for  unifying  and  integrating  the  Department’s space development efforts, monitoring the  Department's threat‐driven future space architecture, and  accelerating  fielding  of  new  military  space  capabilities  necessary  to  ensure  U.S.  technological  and  military  advantages in space. 

Dr. Tournear most recently served as Assistant Director of  Research and Development for Space within the Office of  the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering  where he was responsible for coordinating all DoD efforts  in space, and initiating programs to address critical gaps. 

Dr. Tournear previously held leadership roles in industry, most recently the director for Harris Space &  Intelligence (SIS) research & development.  SIS was a $2B business focused on providing advanced  technical solutions addressing the top National Security threats from underwater to outer space. 

Prior to industry, Dr. Derek Tournear was a Senior Program Manager (SNIS‐HQE) at the Intelligence  Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  At IARPA, Dr. Tournear served as a senior scientist for space activities and space technologies in the Office  of Smart Collection. 

Dr. Tournear was previously a Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  (DARPA), Tactical Technology Office and Strategic Technology Office. At DARPA, he initiated and directed  a large portfolio of program, with an emphasis on sensors and space.  
He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and  defense programs. 

Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University. In 2010 he  received  an  “Outstanding  Alumnus”  award  from  Purdue  University  and  a  2008  DARPA  award  for  “Outstanding Accomplishments in a Systems Technology Area.” Dr. Tournear is a 2011 recipient of the  Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and a 2012 recipient of the Office of Director  of National Intelligence Award for Exceptional Public Service.