John  Fischer

John Fischer

Director, Defense Laboratories Enterprise
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E))

Dr. John Fischer earned a bachelor's degree (cum laude) in Chemistry from Lawrence University in 1978, his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 1982, and served as a post-doctoral research chemist at the Ohio State University from 1982 to 1984. He began his career with the Navy in 1984 as a research chemist in the Research Department of the former Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California. His interests were in the development of new explosives, propellants, and nonlinear optical materials.

Dr. Fischer assumed the position of branch head in the Soldering Technology Branch in 1990. His responsibilities included providing electronics assembly product assurance for the production of Navy missile and weapon systems. He also initiated an applied R&D program to develop environmentally compliant materials and processes used in the production of Navy missiles. This effort resulted in Dr. Fischer being awarded the EPA Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection Award in 1993. In 1994, he was assigned as the head of the Chemistry and Materials Division at NAWCWD. In this position, he was responsible for the basic and applied research of materials and processes for Navy missile and weapon systems.

In 1996, he assumed the position of Advanced Technology Manager for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Project Office at NAWCWD. The focus of his efforts was on the identification of technology requirements for the Tomahawk missile, development of technology programs to address these requirements, and the subsequent transition of mature technology to Tomahawk production and deployment. Concurrent with these duties, Dr. Fischer was leader of the NAWCWD Tomahawk Block IV Integrated Product Team.

Because of his experience with the Tomahawk weapon system, Dr. Fischer was named Deputy of the NAVAIR Uninhabited Combat Aerial Vehicle Advanced Development Project Office. His responsibilities included development of a new weapon system concept to address future requirements of Naval Aviation.

Dr. Fischer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 1998 and served as the Associate Director of the Naval Aviation Science and Technology Office (NAVSTO) and head of the Research Department at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), China Lake, California. As head of the Research Department, Dr. Fischer managed a program of research in physics, chemistry, engineering sciences, and computational sciences; the Technology Advancement Group, which covers coordination of the Center's Applied Research and Advanced Development Programs; the Technology Transfer Program; and the Technical Library.

In 2001, Dr. Fischer was appointed as Director of the Naval Aviation Science & Technology Office. His duties included planning and coordination of the Naval Air Systems Command's Science and Technology Program.

In 2004, he assumed the position of civilian director of the Research & Specialty Engineering Department. In this role, Dr. Fischer is responsible for the Naval Aviation Enterprise's systems engineering disciplines of standardization, metrology, mass properties, reliability and maintainability, electromagnetic environmental effects, survivability and threat lethality, materials engineering, manufacturing and quality, as well as research in chemistry, physics, and computational sciences. In December 2006, he was appointed civilian director of NAVAIR's Systems Engineering Department (AIR-4.1). In this position, he was the lead for Naval Aviation Systems Engineering tasking and functions for the complete life cycle of all aviation and aviation related systems. AIR-4.1 has >1800 personnel dispersed across 7 geographic locations including warfare centers and Fleet Readiness Centers. This organization supports aviation acquisition and in-service engineering programs for both Navy and Marine Corps. Direct budget responsibility was >$200M. In January 2008, Dr. was assigned additional duty as NAVAIR Chief Technology Officer (AIR-4.0T) responsible for the development and implementation of the Naval Aviation Enterprise Science & Technology (S&T) program. CTO responsibilities included the development of the Naval Aviation Enterprise strategic S&T plan, technology requirements, and advancement of innovative concepts and technology. In March 2009, Dr. Fischer was selected as the Director of Defense Laboratory Programs. In this position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of policies for DoD's laboratory system.