Stefanie Tompkins, Colorado School of Mines’ vice-president for research and technology transfer, has been appointed director of Darpa.

Stefanie Tompkins, vice-president for research and technology transfer at Colorado School of Mines, has been appointed director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

Tompkins had joined Colorado School of Mines three years ago, overseeing research activity at the institution. Her appointment to lead Darpa marks a return to the agency, where Tompkins had worked from 2007 to 2018, most recently as acting deputy director.

Darpa is the US government agency responsible for developing technologies related to national security. Arguably its most transformational research to date has been the creation of TCP/IP, one of the foundational technologies of the internet.

Tompkins said: “I am honoured to serve as director of Darpa.  It will be difficult to leave Mines, but my time here has helped prepare me for a number of national challenges, such as critical mineral supply chains, about which I knew little when I first arrived.

“I also have a much deeper understanding of academia’s role in the national security research ecosystem, and look forward to renewed engagement with the many universities working on Darpa programmes.”

Colorado School of Mines has named John Bradford as acting vice-president for research and technology transfer.

– Image courtesy of Colorado School of Mines