picture of Dr. Brandi Vann

Dr. Brandi Vann

Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense
CBRN Quarterly Forum : Keynote Speaker

Dr. Brandi C. Vann currently serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense (Acting ASD (NCB)). In this capacity, she is the principle advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S) on nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and chemical biological defense.

Prior to her acting role she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (DASD (CBD)) where she conducted Department-level research, development, and acquisition (RDA) activities from concept and requirements development, through early science and technology, to advanced development, testing and evaluation, and procurement. These efforts focus on reducing risk from emerging threats and fielding sustainable capabilities to all Services in accordance with Department, Service, and Combatant Command priorities for chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) defense (CBRD) and ensure our warfighters can fight and win in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) contested environments.

Previously, Dr. Vann worked for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) where she served as the Chief of Advanced and Emerging Threats. At DTRA, she led the assessment of future chemical and biological (CB) combat threats to aid in the prioritization of capability investments to provide protection, situational awareness and recovery to the future force, as well as inform the creation of CB Doctrine and Concepts of Operations. During her tenure she also led the development of medical countermeasures, environmental detection and medical diagnostic systems. She has received numerous commendations for her work including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Meritorious Achievement Award for her management of an innovative program to detect contaminated battlefields.

Prior to her joining the Department of Defense, Dr. Vann served as the Director of Laboratories for Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC). While there, she was responsible for the start-up of new state-of-the-art facility for the manufacturing of generic respiratory therapies and sterile pre-filled medications for hospitals and medical facilities. In this role, she was responsible for the build of laboratory infrastructure and the regulatory clearance to commence full operational capability.

Dr. Vann was a visiting scientist at the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While at the FBI, Dr. Vann provided research expertise in forensic toxicology and trace analysis in support of the FBI Laboratory Division mission to include development of novel methodologies for chemical and biological agent analysis in environmental and clinical samples.

Dr. Vann also worked at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture Livestock Poultry Health as a Veterinary Forensic Toxicologist where she provided clinical and research expertise for the protection of the food supply system and health of state public and agricultural industry.

Dr. Vann received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina where she studied analytical chemistry and applied statistics. She also held a Senior Executive Fellowship from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.