DoD research and engineering director Lewis to temporarily fill Griffin’s former post

Lewis joined DoD in November 2019 after working at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

WASHINGTON — Mark Lewis, director of defense research and engineering for modernization, will temporarily serve in the role of undersecretary of defense for research and engineering following the departure of Mike Griffin July 10.

Lewis will be performing the duties of undersecretary of defense until an acting undersecretary is named, a DoD spokesman said.

Lewis joined Griffin’s office in November 2019 after working at the Institute for Defense Analyses and spending most of his career as a faculty member at the University of Maryland in the department of aerospace engineering. From 2004 to 2008 he was the chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force.

During his time at DoD, Lewis has overseen a broad portfolio of technologies but mostly has focused on hypersonic weapons and space systems. He had been temporarily assigned the duties of assistant director for space after Derek Tournear left that job to become the director of the Space Development Agency.

The Space Development Agency, an organization whose creation was spearheaded by Griffin, plans to build and launch hundreds of satellites to provide high-speed communications and missile detection capabilities for the U.S. military.

Tournear said in a statement to SpaceNews that the agency will press forward with those plans.

“Our focus continues to be on our mission to deliver capability into the hands of our nation’s warfighters,” Tournear said. “With continued support from the White House, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff and others, SDA will continue our work at pace and deliver on the vision to build, deploy, operate and innovate rapidly, at low cost in space.”