Dr. Mica Endsley assumed her new duties and responsibilities as the 34th chief scientist June 3 in support of Air Force senior leaders and Airmen across the service.
“Having served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board for many years, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the current and several former Air Force chief scientists,” Endsley said. “I know this is a tremendous opportunity to help the Air Force excel in its goal of maintaining the critical technological edge that gives our Airmen a strategic advantage.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III emphasized the important role she’ll play in continuing the Air Force’s legacy of innovation.
“I’m pleased to have Dr. Endsley as a part of the Air Force team,” he said. “She follows in the footsteps of many superb minds that have advanced our technological edge and provided much-needed capabilities to our Airmen. Although she arrives at a very challenging time, I’m confident she’ll continue a proud legacy of chief scientists who use innovation and strong leadership to keep our Air Force the world’s finest.”
Successfully maintaining that technological edge Welsh mentioned is a key job, Endsley said, and she plans to use every available resource to effectively and cost efficiently get the job done in support of Airmen.
“This involves working with the top scientists and engineers within the Air Force as well as in academia, industry and the other armed services,” she said. This will “ensure that the Air Force’s research and development efforts are being directed at the right problems.”
Endsley said she plans to ensure the Air Force continues to develop technologies and systems that will truly support Airmen and their missions.
“I know that in many cases, we can dramatically improve our mission effectiveness by using the science of human performance to design technology, “she said. This will “better support the way people work.”
As Endsley takes the helm of an office that has made large strides over recent years, she’s motivated to push the envelope even further.
“My goal will be to continue with these efforts, making sure that we are implementing their recommendations and achieving the needed milestones in our science and technology portfolio,” she said. “To stay competitive in the future, we need to make sure that Air Force systems keep up with this rapid pace of change, particularly in computers, cyber and all across the information spectrum.”
Endsley feels that along with the growth of the organization, she has a duty as the first female chief scientist to reach out to the younger generation, speaking on the advantages of a career in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“I want to share with the young women I speak to, the many advantages of a science, technology, engineering and math career,” she said, and that it will “make many more interested if they knew how very creative and team-oriented engineering work is and how satisfying it is to be able to solve real problems that affect people’s lives.”
She said she is excited to begin looking across the Air Force, ensuring the needs of Airmen are understood and met. At that point she can help bring that technology to bear in the right ways to solve the problems they face.
“I deeply respect the challenges and sacrifices that all of our Airmen, at every level, make daily in service to our nation,” she said. “To be asked to join them and do what I can to support them was simply an opportunity I could not pass up.”