Dr. Ericsson appointed first assistant secretary of Defense for S&T

Dr. Aprille Ericsson was sworn in as the inaugural Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology (S&T) at the Pentagon, a position overseen by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Heidi Shyu. Ericsson, transitioning from a 30-year tenure at NASA, will manage a wide spectrum of S&T initiatives to propel the Department of Defense (DOD) towards advanced defense capabilities, focusing on areas deemed crucial for national security.

Her appointment follows the Pentagon’s introduction of three assistant secretary roles aimed at enhancing research and engineering, a move announced last July. Confirmed by the Senate on February 28 after a nomination by President Joe Biden, Ericsson’s history of breaking barriers includes being the first African-American woman to achieve a PhD in mechanical engineering from Howard University and at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in engineering.

Shyu praised Ericsson’s extensive background in technology and her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion within the scientific community. Ericsson is committed to advancing the DOD’s technology agenda in line with the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the U.S.’s technological edge in a challenging security landscape. Amid her professional milestones, Ericsson acknowledged the unwavering support of her family as fundamental to her success.–News Desk