December 17, 2020 – Executive recruiting firm Reffett Associates has assisted the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in placing Yadunath Zambre as chief microelectronics technology officer (CMTO). The nationwide search was led by Eric Reffett, managing director of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, with assistance from managing director Marshall Reffett in the firm’s Seattle location.
Dr. Zambre previously led the new ventures initiative for Lockheed Martin where he established two communications start-ups and drove execution of over $150 million associated programs. Prior to that, he led multiple high tech start-up firms acting as chief technology officer and co-founder, including UTrue Inc., a start-up focused on intermodal cargo container security and protection. Dr. Zambre recently served on the Air Force scientific advisory board. He holds a doctorate from Stanford University in applied physics and a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied science from Yale University.
The AFRL’s CMTO is a new position. In this role, Dr. Zambre will evaluate, plan, initiate, coordinate, and conduct research and development. He will be responsible for defining AFRL’s strategy in response to these concerns and challenges through the identification of the most-promising microelectronics technology investment opportunities and the development and maintenance of AFRL’s microelectronics roadmap.
In establishing this position, AFRL was seeking a person with broad experience in multidisciplinary areas of relevant data science technologies, including a high awareness of national R&D programs. Dr. Zambre’s breadth of experience and academic credentials made him the ideal individual for this job.
Dr. Zambre will work with the Air Force and the office of the Secretary of Defense to identify areas of technical needs for future microelectronics capabilities and collaborate with government and industry microelectronics experts to allow a proactive approach to rapidly transition advanced technology. He will be expected to identify and prioritize AFRL projects requiring advanced microelectronics to rapidly deliver capability to the warfighter. Dr. Zambre will also be expected to strive to reduce the life-cycle costs of developing and exploiting advanced microelectronics and to accelerate the delivery of warfighter relevant capability.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is a scientific research organization operated by the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command dedicated to leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable aerospace warfighting technologies, planning and executing the Air Force science and technology program, and providing warfighting capabilities to U.S. air, space and cyberspace forces. It controls the entire Air Force science and technology research budget, which was $5 billion in fiscal year 2018.
AFRL is based at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, and accomplishes its mission through nine component technology directorates and a central staff. The directorates are the 711th Human Performance Wing, aerospace systems directorate, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, directed energy directorate, information directorate, materials and manufacturing directorate, munitions directorate, sensors directorate and space vehicles directorate.
Reffett Associates also recently assisted the AFRL in placing Justin Gallivan as senior scientist for systems and synthetic biology in it’s 711 Human Performance Wing. Previously, Dr. Gallivan led Rockbluff Consulting, which specialized in technical consulting services to universities and start-up companies and clients seeking federal research funds.
Reffett Associates is a nationally recognized executive search firm. The boutique talent provider has extensive experience in retail and consumer packaged goods, private equity, commercial and federal services, government sectors, and associations and non-profits. Its team is made up of executives with tangible industry experience, possessing real world, relatable knowledge about the challenges executives face in managing talent in a competitive marketplace.
Dr. Eric Reffett joined the search firm after working for Booz Allen Hamilton and serving for over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. He specializes in identifying and recruiting highly technical talent for a variety of government clients.
Marshall Reffett joined the search firm after having worked for U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington State. Mr. Reffett served as a legislative assistant to the congressman, advising him on legislation relating to financial services, small business, housing, consumer affairs, government oversight and reform, defense, veterans, foreign affairs and transportation. He helped to position the congressman as a leader on global health issues, working with organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media