Mines administrator joining Biden administration

Staff report
Posted 3/22/21

An executive from Colorado School of Mines is leaving the school to join the Biden administration, where she will head an agency tasked with developing new technologies for the military. The Defense …

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Mines administrator joining Biden administration

Posted

An executive from Colorado School of Mines is leaving the school to join the Biden administration, where she will head an agency tasked with developing new technologies for the military.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced on March 15 that Stefanie Tompkins has been announced its 23rd director.

Tompkins came to Mines in February 2018 to serve as the school's vice president for research and technology transfer. In that position, she “oversaw all research activity and served as the public face of the university's diverse research portfolio,” according to a release from the school.

“I am honored to serve as director of DARPA,” Tompkins said. “It will be difficult to leave Mines, but my time here has helped prepare me for a number of national challenges, such as critical mineral supply chains, about which I knew little when I first arrived. I also have a much deeper understanding of academia's role in the national security research ecosystem, and look forward to renewed engagement with the many universities working on DARPA programs.” 

An Army veteran and geologist by training, Tompkins has spent much of her professional career developing new technology capabilities. Before coming to Mines, she spent nearly 11 years at DARPA and was named acting deputy director in January 2017.

Prior to that appointment, Tompkins led the agency's most exploratory unit, the Defense Sciences Office, accelerating research into new technologies in fields as diverse as atomic physics, biochemistry and materials science. As a DARPA program manager, she led the development of disruptive technology in navigation, manufacturing, optics, and solar energy.

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