The Office of Naval Research has a new director for its Office of Transition, officials announced July 10, with extensive experience in leading Department of Defense science and technology (S&T) efforts.
Dr. Thomas H. Killion, the Army’s former chief scientist, will lead the ONR office charged with transitioning naval basic research into actual products in the hands of sailors and Marines. He previously led the Army’s science and engineering corps in discovering new materials that protect Soldiers from deadly roadside bombs.
“Tom will be a real asset to a directorate that has a large portfolio of products it’s working on and a robust commitment to getting these products to our warfighters as quickly, seamlessly and as inexpensively as possible,” said ONR Executive Director Dr. Walter Jones.
ONR’s Office of Transition manages the Future Naval Capabilities portfolio and facilitates technology transition to the fleet, force and acquisition communities. This support involves a full range of programs and methodologies, including efforts that streamline the manufacturing methods used to build naval warfare systems and programs that stimulate government-industry partnerships.
Killion joins ONR after serving as director of the Biometrics Identity Management Agency since October 2010. At BIMA, he executed Secretary of the Army executive agent responsibilities for DoD biometrics to deny anonymity to adversaries and enable identity management. From 2004 to 2010, Killion was the deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and chief scientist responsible for the Army Research and Technology program, which spans 21 laboratories and Research, Development and Engineering Centers.
“I’m really excited about being back involved in the S&T enterprise and looking at how we can ensure that the work being done in naval S&T can be transitioned to support Sailors and Marines who are out there and really need the technology in support of their jobs and their lives,” Killion said. “S&T is about the future-it’s about taking what’s only imaginable and turning it into a reality, into some capability that can be used by warfighters in the performance of their duties and their jobs. Our job is to provide the technology that will make a difference for them.”
Killion’s prior experience includes positions at the Army Research Laboratory, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Naval Air Systems Command.
“ONR has always been a model in my mind of how an S&T organization should be run in terms of delivering advanced S&T capabilities,” Killion said. “ONR has a great team of people, and I just hope to help make that team even more effective and more efficient than they are today. I have a good ability to communicate the importance of S&T as an advocate for the community and within the Navy for why and how we need to invest and what we must do to support Navy and Marine Corps needs.”
ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 30 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and more than 900 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,065 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.