Etter to leave DOD tech post; Bush nominates astronaut as successor

Etter to leave DOD tech post; Bush nominates astronaut as successor

By Dawn S. Onley

GCN Staff

JUNE 27—Delores Etter, Defense deputy undersecretary for science and technology, will leave in mid-July to become a professor of electrical engineering at the Naval Academy.

Etter, who also served as acting director of Defense research and engineering, will begin her new job Aug. 1. President Bush has nominated Ronald M. Sega, a former NASA astronaut and an Air Force reserve officer, as Etter's replacement.

Etter, who has worked in the department for three years, has advocated strengthening the software technology base throughout the department, accelerating the transition of new technology, and recruiting and retaining high-quality technical personnel.

She was instrumental in establishing the High Energy Laser Systems office, a joint technology venture designed to build a stronger science and technology base in DOD.

But Etter and Edward C. Aldridge, Defense undersecretary of acquisition, technology and logistics, both said the department needs to do better in the area of software acquisition.

At a Congressional Military Research and Development subcommittee hearing yesterday, they said cost overruns, performance shortfalls and decreased funding have led to a deterioration of the science and technology office's credibility.

'Our adversaries have access to the same technologies that we have,' Etter said. 'DOD must adapt to new systems. Technological superiority is critical to national defense.'

Etter previously worked as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado.

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