On Board

By John Liang / January 5, 2010 at 5:00 AM

As InsideDefense.com reported in November, the Pentagon has overhauled the Defense Science Board's roster.

The DSB will get 39 new members, who "join the previously announced DSB Chairman, Paul G. Kaminski and Vice Chairman, Retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles, and 12 DSB senior fellows," a Defense Department statement reads.

According to a list released today, the new members include former Pentagon acquisition chief Jacques Gansler and former Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutsch as well as retired Adm. William Fallon, former head of U.S. Central and Pacific commands; and retired Marine Corps Gen. Michael Hagee, a former Marine commandant.

Retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Welch and former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Director Craig Fields are among the new DSB senior fellows included in today's list.

According to the DOD statement:

"Secretary of Defense Gates believes the DSB needs to be a professional board representing the best scientific and expert advice available to the Department of Defense," said Ashton B. Carter, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. "We are grateful to these superb individuals for their willingness to serve."

The DSB was established in 1956 as a standing committee to advise top Pentagon leadership on "the needs and opportunities presented by new scientific knowledge for radically new weapons systems" and has evolved to develop and strengthen the department's research and development strategies for the 21st Century though their reports.

Kaminski told InsideDefense.com in November that the new roster would be a "whole, newly composed board." Further:

Kaminski said the board is drafting proposals for as many as three new task force studies. The DSB also is beginning to outline ideas for a 2010 summer study, an undertaking that is often larger in scope than a task force study, he said.

A leading candidate for a new DSB task force deals with missile defense, specifically the issue of early intercept, a study effort that Kaminski said would deal with the challenge of hitting a ballistic missile “sometime between launch and apogee.”

Earlier this fall, the White House announced that it has advised all federal departments that “federally registered lobbyists ((should)) not be appointed to agency advisory boards and commissions.”

“Keeping these advisory boards free of individuals who currently are registered federal lobbyists represents a dramatic change in the way business is done in Washington,” Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, wrote in a Sept. 23 announcement of the policy posted on the White House Web site.

New DSB members were vetted in alignment with this policy, Kaminski said.

“That's been a factor in their approval of membership,” he said.