Partnerships and Executive Moves

Mark Lewis to Act as DOD’s Undersecretary for Research, Engineering

Mark Lewis

Modernization director

DOD

Mark Lewis to Act as DOD’s Undersecretary for Research, Engineering

Mark Lewis, the Department of Defense's director of defense research and engineering for modernization, will serve as the Pentagon's acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.

The appointment followed the June 23 announcements by Undersecretary Mike Griffin and his deputy, Lisa Porter, that they would step down from their roles to join the private sector, Defense News reported.

“Until the official designation of an acting Under Secretary of Defense and an acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Dr. Mark Lewis, the current director of defense research and engineering for modernization, is designated as the individual performing the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering,” DOD Spokesperson Robert Carver said in a statement.

In his upcoming role, Lewis will be responsible for overseeing the Pentagon's key modernization priorities, including hypersonic weapons, 5G and artificial intelligence. 

Lewis' appointment could be effective as soon as next week, but it is uncertain whether Lewis will hold the position long-term either as undersecretary or deputy secretary. 

According to a recent report by Politico, DOD Secretary Mark Esper, a three-time Wash100 awardee, is looking for someone with Silicon Vallery experience to hold Lewis' upcoming position.

The deputy is normally the first in the succession line for the role of undersecretary, but Porter's resignation left the modernization director as the next person in line.

Lewis currently serves under Porter alongside two other officials: Jim Faist, the director of defense research and engineering for advanced capabilities, and JihFin Lei, the director of defense research and engineering for research and technology. 

Lewis, a technology industry veteran, began serving in his current role on November 2019. He previously served as the Institute for Defense Analyses' Science and Technology Policy Institute. From 2004 to 2008, he was the chief scientist for the Air Force. 

Category: Partnerships and Executive Moves

Tags: 5G Air Force artificial intelligence Defense News Department of Defense IDA Lisa Porter Mark Esper Mark Lewis Mike Griffin Partnerships and Executive Moves Politico Robert Carver