WASHINGTON Regina Dugan, co-founder of a company developing land mine-detection technology, has been named the new director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the Pentagon announced Thursday (July 2).
Dugan previously worked at Darpa from 1996 to 2000 before co-founding RedXDefense (Rockville, Md.) in 2005. The company specializes in developing technologies to detect and counter explosives.
New Darpa Director Regina Dugan
During her first tour at Darpa, Dugan helped develop an advanced sensor system for detecting explosives in land mines that could be used by troops on the battlefield. The effort was part of a Darpa effort called the "Dog Nose Program."
Dugan was unavailable for comment, and a Darpa spokeswoman said it will take several weeks for the new director to settle in at the research agency.
Dugan earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the California Institute for Technology. She holds one patent, and is a co-inventor on several pending patents.
"Regina Dugan is precisely the dynamic leader Darpa needs to open new technology frontiers and transition revolutionary technologies to serve our nation's interests," Zachary Lemnios, the Pentagon's director of defense research and engineering, said in a statement announcing the appointment.
U.S. military officials have stressed the need to develop technologies that can be used quickly by soldiers on the battlefield. DoD recently overhauled the Army's Future Combat System in order to speed deployment of parts of system to the battlefield.