Catherine Marsh will serve as the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, a research organization within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence charged with developing new tools to solve the intelligence communities most difficult problems, the office announced Nov. 22.

Marsh replaces Stacey Dixon, who left that position to become deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Dixon’s move was announced in May, and IARPA’s Deputy Director for Research Catherine Cotell has served as the agency’s acting director in the interim.

Marsh is no stranger to IARPA. From 2013 to 2015, she was the agency’s deputy director. However, she first joined the intelligence community as a senior scientist with the CIA in 2001, where she helped develop power solutions. She has also spent time in industry, where she led the team that put lithium-ion technology on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

Most recently, Marsh served as the CIA’s chief scientist in the Directorate of Science and Technology, ensuring leading-edge science and technology was incorporated into CIA mission capabilities. She has held several positions in that directorate over the years, including serving as the primary science adviser.

“We are happy to welcome Catherine back to the ODNI,” said Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Strategy & Engagement Corin Stone in a statement. “Her impressive experience, previous service at IARPA and career of innovation make her the right leader for this important position."

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.