Dr. Steven H. Walker is the acting director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prior to this assignment, he was the deputy director at DARPA from October 2012 to January 2017.
Prior to his August 2012 return to DARPA, Dr. Walker served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. 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 for more than 14,000 military and civilian scientists and engineers. He provided annual testimony to Congress, technical advice and counsel to the Air Force Acquisition Executive, and made Air Force science and technology recommendations to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Dr. Walker began his engineering career in the Air Force Research Laboratory's Air Vehicles Directorate 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, and special assistant to the Director, 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 a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame.