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Aprille Ericsson Named First Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science, Technology

Emerging tech oversight

Aprille Ericsson Named First Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science, Technology

Dr. Aprille Ericsson has been sworn in as the first-ever assistant secretary of defense for science and technology. Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and a 2024 Wash100 awardee, administered the oath at a Pentagon ceremony, Defense .gov reported.

Ericsson joins the Department of Defense after a distinguished career at NASA, recently serving as a senior executive focused on new business development. In her new role, she will guide science and technology initiatives central to maintaining U.S. defense capabilities, which include overseeing development in the critical emerging technology areas prioritized by the DOD.

The ASD S&T position is one of three created in 2023 within the Pentagon’s research and engineering division. Ericsson was nominated by President Joe Biden and was confirmed by the Senate in February.

Apart from being the first to assume the position, Ericsson also holds the distinction of being the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Howard University and the first to earn a doctorate in engineering from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

In her oathtaking speech, Ericsson emphasized her commitment to boosting technical advantages, strengthening the defense industrial base and safeguarding intellectual property.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: Aprille Ericsson Defense and Intelligence Department of Defense executive move Heidi Shyu science and technology