Dr. Joel Rynes

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, Department of Homeland Security
Deputy Assistant Secretary
2022 CBRN Defense Conference and Exhibition : Federal Partners CWMD/CBRN Strategies and Priorities Panel

Dr. Joel C. Rynes is the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the Systems Support Directorate and the Lead Technical Authority (LTA) of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Rynes leads a team to develop, assess, acquire, deploy, support, and improve counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and health security capabilities that meet current and emerging DHS operational mission needs.  As LTA, he provides subject matter expertise across all CWMD programs related to systems engineering and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). He is also the acting Chief Information Officer and Authorizing Official for CWMD’s information technology programs.

Prior to working at CWMD, Dr. Rynes was the Assistant Director for Transformational and Applied Research of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).  In this role he led an aggressive research and development program to fill gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and to dramatically improve the performance and reduce the operational burden of nuclear and radiological detection and technical forensics technologies. Prior to this assignment, he was a DNDO Program Manager responsible for developing next generation radiography and active interrogation technology to detect special nuclear material.

From 1999 to 2006, Dr. Rynes was a Program Manager at General Dynamics where he led several programs in support of nuclear treaty monitoring.  These programs included the development, installation, and maintenance of nuclear sensors in the global International Monitoring System network and data center analysis, visualization, and reporting software for the U.S. National Data Center and the International Data Centre in Austria.  Prior to General Dynamics, Dr. Rynes was a scientist on the Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis cargo inspection system program at SAIC.  Here he developed a dual particle neutron and gamma-ray radiography system, developed automated decision algorithms to find contraband in cargo, and was the chief accelerator technician.

Dr. Rynes has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.  His dissertation was titled “Gamma-ray and Neutron Radiography for a Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis Cargo Inspection System.”  He received his Senior Executive Service career appointment in June 2011.