Army Research Laboratory director tapped to act in senior Pentagon role

April 19, 2016

ADELPHI, Md. (April 19, 2016) - The Army will soon have a new senior researcher acting at the helm of its research and technology programs for the next four to six months.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory Director Dr. Thomas Russell announced today that he has been detailed to become the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, or DASA (R&T) effective April 25.

Russell told the ARL workforce about the move in a surprise town hall meeting at the Adelphi Laboratory Center today.

"The advocate in the building for Army S&T is the DASA (R&T)," he said. "It's really the person who represents the science and technology portfolio all the way to the chief. It's the person who sits in the budget meetings and defends the programs."

In his new position, Russell will be responsible for the entirety of Army research and technology programs, spanning 16 laboratories and research, development and engineering centers, with more than 12,000 scientists and engineers, and a yearly budget of more than $2 billion dedicated to empowering, unburdening and protecting Soldiers.

DASA (R&T) falls within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, which has the mission to provide Soldiers with a decisive advantage by "maintaining quality acquisition professionals to develop, acquire, field, and sustain the world's best equipment and services through efficient leveraging of technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs," according to its website. DASA (R&T) fosters invention, innovation and demonstration of technologies to enable future force capabilities.

The Department of Defense recently selected Mary J. Miller, who had served as DASA (R&T) since 2013, to serve as the principal deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

"This is a very dynamic time for Army S&T," Russell said. "I think it's important that we have somebody there that's supporting the laboratory."

During his absence, Russell appointed Dr. Philip Perconti to act as ARL director. Perconti has served as director for the ARL Sensors and Electron Device Directorate since March 2013.

Russell told the workforce that he intends to return to the laboratory after his temporary assignment to complete the transformation he set in place when he arrived in March 2013.

"When I came here, I told you the outside world doesn't really know who you are. They don't know how hard you work. They don't know how good the organization really is. We've changed that. That's not the way it is today," Russell said. "We did the opening of ARL West last week. You know the comments that were being's because of you. It's your commitment. You make this place great."


Last Update / Reviewed: April 19, 2016