Dr. Mark Lewis, Executive Director
Dr. Mark J. Lewis is the Executive Director of NDIA’s Emerging Technologies Institute (NDIA ETI), a non-partisan institute focused on technologies that are critical to the future of national defense. ETI provides research and analyses to inform the development and integration of emerging technologies into the defense industrial base.
Prior to this position, Dr. Lewis was the Director of Defense Research & Engineering in the Department of Defense (DoD), overseeing technology modernization for all Services and DoD Agencies, as well as the acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. In that role, he was the Pentagon’s senior-most scientist, managing a $17B budget that included DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), and the Department’s basic and applied research portfolio.
From 2012 to 2019, Dr. Lewis was the Director of the Science and Technology Policy Institute, an FFRDC that supported the Executive Office of the President and other Executive Branch agencies in the formulation of national science and technology policy. Dr. Lewis is a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, where he served as the Willis Young, Jr., Professor and Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering until 2012. A faculty member at Maryland for 25 years, Dr. Lewis taught and conducted basic and applied research in the fields of hypersonic aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, and space vehicle design and optimization. Best known for his work in hypersonics, Dr. Lewis’s research has spanned the aerospace flight spectrum from the analysis of conventional jet engines to entry into planetary atmospheres. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Lewis was the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force, the principal scientific adviser to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force. As the longest-serving Chief Scientist in Air Force history, his primary areas of focus included hypersonics, space launch, energy, sustainment, advanced propulsion, basic research, and workforce development. From 2010 to 2011, he was President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Dr. Lewis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Bachelor of Science in Earth and Planetary Science (1984), and Master of Science (1985) and Doctor of Science (1988) in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is the author of more than 320 publications and has been an adviser to more than 60 graduate students. In addition, he has served on various boards for NASA and DoD, including two terms on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
A recipient of the USAF Exemplary, Meritorious, and Exceptional Civilian Service Awards, and of the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Award, Dr. Lewis was also the 1994 AIAA National Capital Young Scientist/Engineer of the Year; received the IECEC/AIAA Lifetime Achievement Award, the AIAA Dryden Lectureship Award, and the AFA Theodore von Karman Award; and is an Aviation Week and Space Technology Laureate. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Dr. Arun Seraphin, Deputy Director
Dr. Arun Seraphin is the Deputy Director of NDIA ETI. Before joining the ETI team, a Professional Staff Member on the staff of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. His areas of responsibility include acquisition policy, Pentagon management issues, Department of Defense’s science and technology programs, information technology systems, technology transition issues, defense laboratories, Small Business Innovation Research program, manufacturing programs, and test and evaluation programs. As such he assists Senators in their oversight of DOD policies and programs, including in the authorization of budgets, civilian nominations, legislative initiatives, and hearings. He rejoined the committee staff in 2014, after previously serving there between 2001 and 2010. In 2009, he was named one of ten Defense “Staffers to Know” by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.
From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Seraphin served as the Principal Assistant Director for National Security and International Affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). During this time, he both led (in an Acting capacity) and served as the deputy director of the OSTP National Security and International Affairs division. His areas of responsibility included developing and implementing White House initiatives and policies in areas including defense research and engineering; weapons of mass destruction; defense manufacturing and industrial base; science, technology, engineering , and mathematics (STEM) education; cybersecurity; and promoting innovation in government research and engineering organizations. He also led interagency groups on small business programs and on improving the quality of the Federal STEM workforce. He was on detail to OSTP from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he was the Special Assistant for Policy Initiatives to the Director of DARPA.
Dr. Seraphin has also worked on the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science’s Subcommittee on Research as a professional staff member. He began his work in Congress in the Office of Senator Joseph Lieberman as the 1999-2000 Materials Research Society – Optical Society of America Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. In these positions, he covered both civilian and defense research and development programs.
Between 1996 and 2000, Dr. Seraphin worked in the Science and Technology Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses, where his research included work on defense technology transition, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), export controls, technology forecasting, and international research cooperation. His work included detailed technical analyses supporting the DARPA MEMS program, the Army Science and Technology Master Plan, and the Military Critical Technologies Program. In 1996, Dr. Seraphin earned a Ph.D. in Electronic Materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he performed research on silicon nanotechnology. His research focused on the development of novel silicon nanostructures and tailoring their optical properties. He also holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and Engineering Science with a concentration in Materials Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.