Dr. James “Jim” Tegnelia

Dr. James A. Tegnelia, vice president, Department of Defense Programs, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., has been named the third Director, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, Dr. Dale Klein, said, “The appointment of Jim Tegnelia as the director of DTRA is another significant step in transforming how we defend against the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He brings exceptional talent, skills and management experience to this new role and responsibility.”

Dr. Tegnelia has been at Sandia since August 1998. Prior to that, he was president of Lockheed Martin Advanced Environmental Systems, Inc. He also served as vice president, Business Development, for the Energy and Environment Sector of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Tegnelia was executive vice president and deputy director of Sandia National Laboratories. He was vice president of Business Development, of the Electronics Group of Martin Marietta Corporation, and vice president of Engineering, also for Martin Marietta Corporation.

Prior to joining Martin Marietta, Dr. Tegnelia served as deputy director and acting director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He also served as assistant undersecretary of defense and as acting deputy undersecretary of defense in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering where he oversaw program manager activity on the JSTARS radar and ATACMS missile. Dr. Tegnelia was a program manager and office director at DARPA where he was responsible for programs in smart weapons, radar sensors and stealth technology. He worked for the U.S. Army Night Vision Laboratory, Fort Belvoir, Va., in various positions progressing from supervisory research physicist to manager. His organization laid the engineering foundation for night vision devices deployed in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971 and was awarded the Bronze Star during a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam.

Dr. Tegnelia earned his B.S. in Physics from Georgetown University, a M.S. in Engineering from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Physics from The Catholic University of America.

Dr. Tegnelia has received the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, and the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Service Award. He has been a member of the Los Alamos National Laboratory National Security Advisory Board and the Army Science Board. Dr. Tegnelia served as chair of the Army Science Board, a member of the Sandia National Laboratories National Security Advisory Panel and a member of the Society of Sigma Xi. He is also on the Board of Advisors of George Washington University – School of Engineering.