OUR LEADERSHIP

DR. DEREK TOURNEAR, DIRECTOR

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Dr. Derek Tournear is the first Director of the Space Development Agency Space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)).  Previously he served as the AD (Assistant Director) for Space where he was responsible for developing the research and engineering roadmap to address future gaps in the DoD space architecture.  AD space is also 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 the Harris Space & Intelligence (SIS) research & development.  SIS was a $2B business focused on providing advanced technical solutions addressing the top National Security threats from underwater to outer space.

Prior to industry, Dr. Derek Tournear was a Senior Program Manager (SNIS-HQE) at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). At IARPA, Dr. Tournear served as a senior scientist for space activities and space technologies in the Office of Smart Collection.

Prior to IARPA, Dr. Tournear was a Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Tactical Technology Office and Strategic Technology Office. At DARPA, he initiated and directed a large portfolio of program, with an emphasis on sensors and space.

He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and defense programs. During his time at LANL, he initiated a new field of study in gamma ray optics, and developed sensors for nuclear material detection.

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 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.

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RYAN C. FRIGM, DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Ryan Frigm is the Deputy Director of the Space Development Agency.

Established in March 2019, SDA is responsible for unifying and integrating the Department’s space development efforts, orchestrating the Department's future, threat-driven space architecture, and accelerating the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space.

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.

Mr. Frigm holds an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University. He was selected for the Senior Executive Service in May 2020.

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