DEREK TOURNEAR, DIRECTOR
Dr. Derek Tournear is the Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA). Established in March 2019, SDA is recognized as the Department of Defense's constructive disruptor for space acquisition. SDA will quickly deliver much needed space-based capabilities to the joint warfighter to support terrestrial missions through development, fielding, and operation of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
Before leading SDA, Dr. Tournear most recently served as Assistant Director of Research and Development for Space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering where he was responsible for coordinating all DoD efforts in space and initiating programs to address critical gaps.
Dr. Tournear previously held leadership roles in industry, most recently the director for Harris Corporation Space & Intelligence research & development. Prior to industry, Dr. Tournear held program management positions at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and defense programs.
Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University. In 2010 he received an Outstanding Alumnus award from Purdue University and a 2008 DARPA award for Outstanding Accomplishments in a Systems Technology Area. Dr. Tournear is a 2011, and 2020 recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and a 2012 recipient of the Office of Director of National Intelligence Award for Exceptional Public Service. Additionally, Dr. Tournear is the recipient of a 2021 Space News award, 2021 Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership award, 2021 Wash 100 award, as well as the 2022 Aviation Week Laureate. He was selected for the Senior Executive Service in 2019.
Dr. Derek Tournear - Director
RYAN FRIGM, DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Ryan Frigm is the Deputy Director of the Space Development Agency.
Established in March 2019, SDA is recognized as the Department of Defense's constructive disruptor for space acquisition. SDA will quickly deliver much needed space-based capabilities to the joint warfighter to support terrestrial missions through development, fielding, and operation of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
Mr. Frigm served as SDA’s first Technical Director. Prior to SDA, as contractor support to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Mr. Frigm assisted with the development and execution of office strategy, portfolio management, and technical operations in the Strategic Technology Office (STO) and Tactical Technology Office (TTO). Mr. Frigm provided technical support to the development of new TTO program initiatives, including the DARPA Blackjack program. Mr. Frigm previously supported NASA, providing technical leadership in collision risk management for its unmanned satellite missions.
HEATHER CAMPBELL, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER AND DIRECTOR OF STAFF
Heather Campbell is the Chief Operations Officer and Director of Staff of the Space Development Agency (SDA). Established in March 2019, SDA is responsible for unifying and integrating the Department’s space development efforts, monitoring the Department's threat-driven future space architecture, and accelerating fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space.
Ms. Campbell has a distinguished track record of providing strategic oversight of technology applications for U.S. Department of Defense investments. Currently, as the Chief Operations Officer, Ms. Campbell is responsible for ensuring SDA’s staff is aligned with SDA’s mission and vision for capability delivery, with a focus on corporate strategic planning and organizational effectiveness.
Prior to joining SDA, Ms. Campbell held long-term consulting assignments with both the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, where her responsibilities included development of new tools and processes that strengthened DOD’s ability to identify and leverage innovative independent research
and development projects across the defense industrial base. During her tenure in the Director's Office at DARPA, Ms. Campbell focused on the use of prize competitions to accelerate technology and product development and worked on high-profile projects to include the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges that accelerated autonomous vehicle technology development worldwide.
Ms. Campbell holds a Master’s of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis.
FRANK TURNER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Dr. Frank Turner is the Technical Director for the Space Development Agency. SDA is recognized as the Department of Defense's constructive disruptor for space acquisition. SDA will quickly deliver much needed space-based capabilities to the joint warfighter to support terrestrial missions through development, fielding, and operation of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
Dr. Turner has extensive public and private sector experience in the management and direction of advanced technology research, development, test, and evaluation of current and emerging military systems. He began his career as an officer in the United States Air Force, served as a Government Program Manager and certified acquisition professional, a senior leader in industry for both large and small companies, and as a senior analyst for both the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His expertise spans space systems, directed energy, nuclear weapons effects, systems engineering, architectures, and operational evaluation and employment. He has successfully led some of the nation’s most difficult and challenging RDT&E programs, creating technical advantage for America's warfighters.