OUR LEADERSHIP

DR. DEREK TOURNEAR, DIRECTOR

Derek-Headshot

Dr. Derek Tournear is the Director 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.

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 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.

Dr. Tournear was previously 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.

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.

Downloadable PDF

Official Photo

RYAN C. FRIGM, DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Frigm_photo-2

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.

Downloadable PDF

Official Photo

HEATHER CAMPBELL, CHIEF OF STAFF

Ms. Heather Campbell is the Chief of Staff of the Space Development Agency (SDA).

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 of Staff, 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.

Downloadable PDF

DR. FRANK TURNER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

John Turner poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., May 11, 2021.  (U.S. Army photo by Leonard Fitzgerald)

Dr. Frank Turner is the Technical Director for the Space Development Agency. He 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. Dr. Turner 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. Dr. Turner has academic degrees in physics, biology, business and engineering and has completed military education with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

Downloadable PDF

Official Photo