Battlefield Tech

New director takes over at Pentagon’s top research office

WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon’s top research arm, has a new leader.

Stefanie Tompkins, President Joe Biden’s appointee, was sworn in Monday as DARPA director. She served 11 years in various roles at the agency, including a stint from 2017-2018 as acting deputy director.

“I am honored and thrilled to return to DARPA, where breakthrough technologies are a near-daily occurrence. Such breakthroughs could not be more consequential for our national security, economic competitiveness, and our personal lives,” Tompkins said.

She also was a DARPA program manager and deputy director of the agency’s Strategic Technology Office, which is focused on future network warfare technologies.

“Stefanie is someone who really knows and respects the agency and its importance to our national security,” said DARPA acting Director Peter Highnam, who continue at the agency as deputy director.

Since leaving DARPA in 2018, Tompkins was vice president for research and technology transfer at Colorado School of Mines, a research university. She is a former Army intelligence officer.

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