Michael Holthe

Director, Platforms and Weapons Technologies Office of the Director for Defense Research and Engineering
2022 Breakthrough Energetics Conference : The Why: The National Energetics Study

Mr. Holthe was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in April 2020 and currently serves as Director for Platforms and Weapons Technologies in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this role, Mr. Holthe serves as senior expert, consultant and manager, as well as a top advisor to DoD on platforms and weapons technology areas. Mr. Holthe is responsible for strategy, coordination and oversight of science and technology efforts and developments in aerospace technologies and propulsion, directed energy, munitions, nuclear delivery systems, operational power and energy, materials, and unmanned systems, across platforms and weapons in the domains of Air, Land, Sea and Space within the Office of the Director for Defense Research and Engineering (Research and Technology).

Previously, Mr. Holthe served as the Director for Lethality Portfolio in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology). In this role, Mr. Holthe was responsible for lethality science and technology efforts including energetics, propulsion and warheads for increased range and decisive effects, guidance and seekers for improved precision in GPS denied or degraded environments, both Kinetic and Directed Energy Weapons for affordable air defense, missile and cannon artillery for extended range precision fires, and Soldier weapon technologies to enable overmatch by Army forces against any enemy. In 2016, Mr. Holthe was assigned as the Acting Tier I SES Director for Technology and Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology). Mr. Holthe served as the principal Science and Technology (S&T) strategic planner and as the top-level liaison, coordinator, manager and spokesperson for the Army's 6.1 (Basic Research), 6.2 (Applied Research), 6.3 (Advanced Technology Development), 6.4 (Technology Maturation Initiative), and 6.7 (Manufacturing Technology) Budget Activities of the Army's Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) program. He was responsible for program development, evaluation and oversight of these programs and served as the Army's principal S&T advisor, consultant and spokesperson, formulating and defending to the Department of the Army, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Congress selected Science and Technology budgets, programs, plans, priorities and investment.

Mr. Holthe received a B.A. in Sport Science with an emphasis in Sports Medicine from Saint Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota in 1995. He received a M.S. in Exercise Science (Biomechanics) from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa in 1999. Mr. Holthe completed the Advanced Acquisition Program from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2003 and graduated from the Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship Program in 2014 where he served as Assistant Product Manager and Systems Integrator at PEO Soldier, as the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center Liaison Officer in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology), and as a Budget Analyst for Missile Procurement and RDT&E in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller)/Army Budget Office.

Mr. Holthe became a member of the Army Acquisition Corps in 2006 and is a 2018 graduate of the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Executive Institute Leadership for a Democratic Society program. During his career, Mr. Holthe has been awarded an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, two Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service, an Army Superior Unit Award, and the Order of Saint Maurice – Civis Level.