Stephen Cross Appointed to Defense Science Board

Institute vice president to offer expertise, advice to DoD

The Department of Defense (DOD) has named Georgia Tech Vice President and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Director Stephen E. Cross one of 39 new appointees to the Defense Science Board. Considered leaders and experts in engineering, science and technology as applied to the defense and military services fields, board members serve on task forces and provide informed opinions and input on scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition processes and related matters to DOD administrators. Nominated by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Cross will serve for three years, which is renewable for a second term.

Stephen Cross I
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Georgia Tech Vice President Stephen E. Cross is director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

The federal advisory board was established in 1956 as a standing committee that advises top Pentagon officials on the “needs and opportunities presented by a new scientific knowledge for radically new weapons systems.” The board has expanded to augment and assist with the DOD’s research and development strategies for the 21st century. Board members report to Secretary Gates, Deputy Secretary William J. Lynn III and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton B. Carter.

“Board members conduct studies at the request of the secretary of Defense and the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on various issues at the forefront of technology and policy,” Cross said. The entire board attends one two-day meeting per quarter, while members of designated task forces meet throughout the year. “At this time, I don’t know what task force I will be supporting. It will likely be one that matches my own research and engineering experience based in autonomous systems and software/systems engineering.”

Cross, who served on the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Software in 2000, holds faculty appointments as a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of  Industrial and Systems Engineering and as an adjunct professor in the College of Computing. He serves on Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson’s cabinet and on the research advisory boards of the Health Systems Institute, Bioinformatics, the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, the Strategic Energy Initiative and the Tennenbaum Institute for Enterprise Transformation. He joined Georgia Tech in 2003 after serving as director and CEO of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, which he joined in 1994. Previously, Cross was program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Washington, D.C.

During his career, Cross has provided expert testimony to Congress on several occasions; published more than 60 papers on information technology and technology transition; and presented keynotes at numerous institutional conferences. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983, a master of science in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1977 and a bachelor of science from the University of Cincinnati in 1974. A retired officer of the Air Force, Cross attended the Air Force Test Pilot School-Flight Test Engineer Course, and served in various research and development assignments.

“Secretary of Defense Gates believes the [Defense Science Board] needs to be a professional board representing the best scientific and expert advice available to the Department of Defense,” Carter said. “We are grateful to these superb individuals for their willingness to serve.”

Members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense for terms ranging from one to four years, subject to approval by the White House. The new board members join the board’s chairman, vice chairman and 12 Defense Science Board Senior Fellows.