Ian Watson

Chemical and Biological Defense
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
2022 CBRN Defense Conference and Exhibition : Federal Partners CWMD/CBRN Strategies and Priorities Panel

Mr. Ian Watson currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense (DASD/CBD). In this capacity he is the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs (NCB) and conducts 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 ensure our warfighters can fight and win in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) contested environments.

Previously, Mr. Ian Watson served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, and Director of the Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, and Requirements (SPPR), and for Industrial Base Expansion in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, Mr. Watson was responsible for leading the policy planning life-cycle, to ensure that ASPR’s preparedness and emergency response capabilities align with the ASPR’s mission, as well as broader policy and planning considerations to support the ASPR in protecting Americans from 21st Century health security threats. Mr. Watson was also responsible for the Department’s Industrial Base Expansion, supply chain management, industrial policy, and Defense Production Act (DPA) program for the pandemic response.

Mr. Watson previously served as the Assistant Director for Biotechnology and Biosecurity within the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) whose mission is to ensure America is the world leader in science and technology. While at OSTP Mr. Watson worked national security and S&T policy initiatives pertaining to the Bioeconomy, biodefense, planetary protection, scientific collections, biological sciences, etc.

Prior to being detailed to OSTP, Mr. Watson was in the Department of Defense, where he has previously served in multiple positions as a leader for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction research, development, implementation, policy; systems integration for missile defense; Countering Threat Networks and Counter Proliferation initiatives; and managing and developing interagency and international relationships under Cooperative Threat Reduction, foreign military sales, and international armaments cooperation. Mr. Watson’s graduate background includes degrees in international relations, biodefense, and public health.