Ericsson Swears-in as First-Ever Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology

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Dr. Aprille Ericsson took the oath-of-office to become the first ever Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology. The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu administered the oath at the Pentagon today.

Ericsson comes to the DOD after more than 30 years at NASA, where she most recently led the new business portfolio for the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Instrument Systems and Technology Division. As ASD (S&T), Ericsson will oversee a broad range of S&T portfolios aimed helping the department achieve leap-ahead defense capabilities, including the 4 areas of critical emerging technology Shyu prioritized as critical for national security.

In July, the Pentagon announced the establishment of three assistant secretary of defense posts under R&E: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities, and the post Ericsson now holds. She assumes duties after being nominated by President Joe Biden last year and receiving Senate confirmation Feb. 28.  

Although Ericsson is the first R&E ASD to officially take the position, this isn’t the first time the Brooklyn native has broken new grounds. Her resume includes being the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in mechanical engineering from Howard University, and the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in engineering from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

“I welcome and congratulate Dr. Ericsson as the first ASD S&T,” Shyu said. “She brings a distinguished record of service as a technologist from her time at NASA and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility outreach with the HBCU and STEM K-12 communities. I look forward to working with Dr. Ericsson as the department remains focused on fielding the best technology investments across the critical technology areas.”

While new to R&E, Ericsson is already well-versed in the organization’s priorities and said she will focus energy on the lines-of-effort articulated in the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy.

“In this complex and rapidly evolving security environment, my vision aims to boost our technical advantages by shepherding our critical and emerging technologies, strengthening our industrial manufacturing base and protecting our intellectual property,” she said.

Despite the tasks ahead, Ericsson paused to acknowledge the people who were most central to her achievements.

“To my family, none of what I’ve done could have happened without you,” she said. “Your nurturing, encouragement, guidance and love are what drove me and allowed me to where I am today.”

The original post of this article was published on this site - RLTW

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