Dr. Steven H. Walker was appointed director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on November 13, 2017. He served as the deputy director of the agency from October 2012 to December 2016, and as acting director from January 2017 through October 2017.
Prior to his return to DARPA in 2012, Dr. Walker served as deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering. He was responsible for developing the technology investment strategy for the Air Force's annual $2 billion science and technology program and for providing functional management of more than 14,000 military and civilian scientists and engineers.
Dr. Walker has more than 30 years of experience in the civil service. He began his engineering career in the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Air Vehicles Directorate in Dayton, Ohio, developing airplane exhaust system thrust-vectoring concepts and aero-acoustic prediction methodologies. Subsequent assignments include program manager of the Unsteady Aerodynamics and Hypersonics Research Program at the AFRL's Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Va., and special assistant to the director of Defense Research and Engineering at the Pentagon. Dr. Walker also previously served in DARPA's Tactical Technology Office as a program manager, deputy director, and director. As a program manager, he initiated the $500 million DARPA/Air Force Falcon program to develop and flight-test technologies for long-duration hypersonic flight and affordable, responsive space lift.
Dr. Walker holds Doctor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Science degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton.
Dr. Walker is a member of the Senior Executive Service and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (he received the AIAA Hap Arnold Award for Excellence in Aeronautical Management in 2014). He has also been awarded the Presidential Rank Award, the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service medal, and the DoD Exceptional, Meritorious, and Distinguished Civilian Service medals.
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