Navy announces new S&T advisory board

By Ben Dupont / September 15, 2023 at 1:05 PM

The Navy has created a federal advisory committee to provide counsel on science and technology questions.

The new Science and Technology Board, announced on Thursday, will advise the Navy on “matters and policies relating to scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition, logistics, medicine and business management functions.”

“We are eager to have the DON STB work with us to amplify existing initiatives and suggest new possibilities that will strengthen our warfighting capabilities,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in the statement. “I look forward to meeting with our nation’s leading experts, many of whom have served in multiple roles within the government, academia, and industry.”

According to its charter, signed on July 31, the panel of outside advisers “is not established to advise on individual DOD or DON procurements or acquisition matters, but instead shall be concerned with the pressing and complex scientific and technological (S&T) problems facing the DON in such areas as research, engineering, organizational structure and process, business and functional concepts, and manufacturing, and will ensure the identification of new technologies and new applications of technology in those areas to strengthen national security.”

The charter also says the board will “Recommend applications of technology to improve U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps capabilities” and “Provide an independent review of the quality and relevance of the DON S&T portfolio.”

Richard Danzig will chair the STB. Danzig, who served as Navy secretary under President Clinton, has been a part of other federal advisory committees, including the Defense Policy Board.

“I am honored to be appointed as the Chair of the DON STB,” Danzig said in the statement. “The board’s highest priority will be to work with leaders in the Department of the Navy to match new opportunities in science and technology with present service needs.”

The board’s vice chair will be Howard Fireman, who served in the Navy for 35 years before becoming senior vice president and chief technology officer for the American Bureau of Shipping.

The rest of the board will be composed of academics and scientists, many of them former Navy officers.

The board will meet for the first time on Sept. 21, during a classified session in which the new members will be sworn in.

The board has a mission similar to that of the now-defunct Naval Research Advisory Committee, which was dissolved in 2019.