Plans for reorganizing the Pentagon’s top acquisition and technology office are well under way, and now Department of Defense officials have announced who will lead the transition.
Ben FitzGerald, who most recently served as a professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee, is expected to step in on Jan. 2 as director of the office of strategy and design within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Ahead of a February 1, 2018, deadline, FitzGerald is charged with splitting the role of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, sustainment and technology into two smaller organizations: the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, or USDR&E, and the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, or USDA&S.
Prior to heading to Capitol Hill in March 2017, FitzGerald was senior fellow and national security program director at the Center for New American Security. In that role, he “led CNAS efforts to explore the national security implications associated with the rapid pace of technological change by exploring the nexus of strategy, technology and business,” according to his CNAS bio.
His recent CNAS publications include Future Foundry: A New Strategic Approach to Military-Technical Advantage; Open Source Software and the Department of Defense; and Creative Disruption: Technology, Strategy and the Future of the Global Defense Industry. He’s a well-known commentator on and contributor to military technology strategy.
DoD officials were directed to split AT&L as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which created the two new undersecretary offices as well as a chief management officer. FitzGerald will “determine how current AT&L functions fit into the overarching objectives of the new structure and whether those functions should transition to R&E, A&S, another OSD functional lead, the military services or be divested altogether,” according to a DoD release.