Wright-Patterson veteran chosen as AFRL director


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An Air Force senior executive who has spent most of his more than three-decade career at Wright-Patterson has been named the top civilian leader at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

C. Douglas Ebersole will be the next AFRL executive director, succeeding Ricky L. Peters, who retired this summer, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer.

Ebersole will manage a workforce of about 10,000 military, civil service and contractor employees and a $4.4 billion budget. The R&D agency has nine directorates across the country, four of which are at Wright-Patterson.

Most recently, the Purdue University graduate was the director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate at Wright-Patt.

Former AFRL executive director Joe Sciabica said Ebersole’s background as an Air Force civilian leader in research and development and acquisition will help move technology “from the research laboratory bench … into Air Force weapon systems.”

His advice to his successor: “Have fun,” said Sciabica, now president of Universal Technology Corp. in Beavercreek. “It’s a great, great job. It’s probably, frankly, one of the best jobs that the Air Force has got.”

In 1982, Ebersole began his career as an aeronautical systems performance engineer at Wright-Patterson. He has had key roles in the engineering development of the F-117 Nighthawk, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. In his sole career assignment outside of Wright-Patterson, he was director of engineering for more than two years on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office in Arlington, Va. The F-35 Lightning II is the latest fifth generation fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and several allied nations.

He earned a University of Dayton master’s degree in aerospace engineering, a master’s in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was named a senior executive fellow at Harvard University, according to biographical information.

The veteran engineer has won several Defense Department awards, including the 2013 Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award, according to biographical information.

AFRL has placed a higher priority recently on identifying dual use lab-developed technology for airmen on the battlefield and has potential in the commercial market. This month, the agency announced a $4.1 million initiative to hire organizations to find and promote promising technologies.

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