November 3, 2020 – Following a nationwide search, Seattle, WA-based Reffett Associates has assisted the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) with the placement of Melanie Lazarus as dean of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine 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.
Reffett Associates said that AFRL was seeking a dean with a broad background and expertise in leading academic endeavors with an extensive background and expertise in academia.
Ms. Lazarus brings a wide variety of skills from her extensive experience in medicine, academia, and communications. Previously, she was the director of curriculum development & support at the University of Houston College of Medicine where she was the director in charge of developing and monitoring curriculum, accreditation process, online technologies, faculty development programs, and support team necessary to bring in first matriculating class of 2020. She also served as the program director of education at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center where her responsibilities included overseeing the strategic, financial, and day-to-day operations of the DeBakey Institute for Cardiovascular Education & Training, which serves 39K learners annually,
In her new role, Ms. Lazarus supervises three divisions: Academic Development Division, Academic Evaluation Division, and the Registrar Division, all of which are located at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. She will be responsible for exploring and supporting new approaches to managing organizational effectiveness and academic quality. Ms. Lazarus will be responsible for preparing and revising academic program plans, promoting and serving as a role model for academic and professional achievement. Lastly, she will be charged with building and maintaining relationships with academic/educational senior leaders in AF, DoD, academia, and industry in capacity as a “thought leader.”
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 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