Reffett Associates Fills Top Post for Air Force Research Laboratory

August 26, 2020 – Following a nationwide search, Reffett Associates recently assisted the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in placing Justin Gallivan as senior scientist for systems and synthetic biology in it’s 711 Human Performance Wing. The assignment was led by Eric Reffett, managing director of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, with assistance from Marshall Reffett, managing director of the firm’s Seattle office.

AFRL was seeking a senior scientist with a broad background and expertise in both the Department of Defense and industry. “They required a senior scientist with knowledge across multiple areas including basic and applied research; experimentation; directing large, complex research efforts, and advocacy at senior levels,” the search firm said.

The senior scientist technically guides the research, development, integration, adaptation and application of systems and synthetic biology efforts, integrates scientific advances with the technical state-of-the-art and military technology requirements and technically guides R&D efforts. Dr. Gallivan will assist the director in reviewing and designing an overall S&T program and orienting research efforts towards maximum payoff for technology advances and mission relevance.

Previously, Dr. Gallivan led Rockbluff Consulting, which specialized in technical consulting services to universities and start-up companies and clients seeking federal research funds. Before founding Rockbluff, he was a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he developed and managed a large portfolio designed to exploit microbiome technologies. He oversaw over 30 research teams at universities, National Laboratories, and commercial companies and led efforts to transition DARPA research to the USG and private sector. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Gallivan was a Winship distinguished research professor with tenure in the department of chemistry at Emory University in Atlanta.

In his new role, Dr. Gallivan serves as the scientific authority in AFRL in the field of systems and synthetic biology. He is responsible for planning, conducting, evaluating, coordinating, and integrating experimental and computational approaches to enable, sustain and enhance performance using advances in human/biological sciences. Additionally, he assists the director in reviewing and designing an overall S&T program and orienting research efforts towards maximum payoff for technology advances and mission relevance

Expert Advisors

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; the space vehicles directorate, the directed energy directorate, the information directorate, the munitions directorate, the materials and manufacturing directorate, the sensors directorate, and space vehicles directorate. Additionally, AFRL includes the 711 Human Performance Wing, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and a central staff.

Reffett Associates, based in Bellevue, WA, 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

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