In 2022 the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), Office of the Secretary of Defense, published a Strategy Update, which he referred to multiple times in his Annual Report to Congress, describing 5 pillars that will "transform T&E and enable delivery of the world’s most advanced warfighting capabilities at the speed of need."Join us as Dr. Sandra Hobson, Deputy Director, Office of the DOT&E, and her colleagues present this 6-webinar mini-series, providing an overview of the overall Strategy Update followed by a closer look at the individual strategic pillars.
Evolving the craft of operational test and evaluation is contingent upon having a creative, highly skilled, and deeply knowledgeable workforce. As the NDS attests, people are DOD's "most valuable resource" and "to recruit and retain the most talented Americans, we must change our institutional culture and reform how we do business." Looking at today's environment and into the near future, our most significant human resource gaps lie in the use of automation, cyber survivability, data management, artificial intelligence, and digital engineering. To remain relevant in this environment, DOD personnel must broaden their knowledge and take advantage of training opportunities including new perspectives through fellowships, internships, and rotational assignments. Creating a wide array of collaboration opportunities and expanding our range of experience will help to bring the best practices into our community.
Tim Leake, Professor of Test and Evaluation, DAU
Nilo ThomasSoftware and Cyber Advisor, Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)
Mr. Nilo Thomas currently works as the DOT&E’s Software and Cyber Advisor, managing the diverse portfolio of DOT&E software and cyber initiatives on behalf of operational test and evaluation, since December 2021. Before then, he worked for the Air Force’s 47th Cyberspace Test Squadron for 8 years, where he was a test manager leading the largest test programs in the test squadron, Unified Platform and Joint Cyber Command and Control, the DoD’s premier cyberspace weapon systems. Nilo graduated from New Mexico State University in 2013 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering.Image
Dr. Kristen AlexanderChief Learning and Artificial Intelligence Officer in Strategic Initiatives, Policy, and Emerging Technologies, Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)
Dr. Kristen Alexander has served as the Chief Learning and Artificial Intelligence Officer in Strategic Initiatives, Policy, and Emerging Technologies, Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) since January 2023.
From 2015 – 2022, Dr. Alexander served as the Technical Advisor for the Deputy DOT&E for Land & Expeditionary Warfare where she provided technical and analytical advice for test design, evaluation, and reporting on over 50 Army and Marine Corps programs.
Dr. Alexander has been involved with operational test and evaluation since 1999, when as a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. She grew up in New York and earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester. She earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Alexander is the recipient of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. She resides in Falls Church City, Virginia with her husband and four children.Image
Tom WalrondCyber Advisor, Office of the Director, Test and Evaluation, Strategic Initiatives, Policy, and Emerging Technologies Directorate
Mr. Walrond joined DOT&E's Strategic Initiatives, Policy, and Emerging Technologies (SIPET) directorate as a Cyber advisor in April 2023. His primary responsibilities include policy and guidance development and managing DOT&E's cyber initiatives portfolio. He previously served the DoD for over 39 years as a defense contractor and active-duty military. As a contractor, he supported the Joint Technical Coordination Group for Munitions Effectiveness their development of a Cyber Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) as well as the Joint Staff J7 in the development models and simulation for joint collective training. Mr. Walrond is a retired Air Force Colonel who served 29 years engineering, planning, managing, developing, fielding, integration and operating command, control, communications, computers, cyberspace and intelligence (C5I) systems, modeling & simulation (M&S), and training capabilities in support of the DoD.
Mr. Walrond has earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Virginia Tech. Mr. Walrond is married with eight children, two who are still in the nest as teenagers, and is a proud grandparent of six.