Christopher E. Thomas
Administrator of the Defense Technical Information Center
Mr. Christopher E. Thomas, a member of the Senior Executive Service, was appointed Administrator of the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) in March 2012. He is responsible for DTIC’s mission to capture the research behind the Department’s Scientific and Technical (S&T) innovations and provide the knowledge platforms for future researchers to discover and move that innovation forward into new capabilities for the defense of our Nation. Mr. Thomas leads an integrated team who are engineering DTIC’s digital transformation, employing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide insights and present analysis of DoD’s S&T activities. Mr. Thomas plans and directs DTIC’s activities to coordinate science and technology information (STINFO) policy covering preservation and reuse of the results of DoD's billion-dollar annual investment in S&T.
In his role as Administrator of DTIC, a field activity reporting to the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, Mr. Thomas oversees the DoD’s single central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information, comprising over 4.7M records, available to all DoD users. He also leads the fielding of tools supporting DoD users and enabling diverse teams across the Department to collaborate. By preserving knowledge derived from scientific and technical research and providing to all DoD users, DTIC accelerates the fielding of new capabilities to our warfighters.
Under his direction, DTIC operates the DoD’s Information Analysis Centers (IAC), through which DoD components and federal government agencies are provided research and analysis answering thousands of technical questions each year and follow-on research and development contracted efforts. The IAC program assists in contracting R&D efforts, supporting 800 organizations, annually placing more than two billion dollars of research and development, engineering and technical analysis funding on contract.
Mr. Thomas leads the DoD Open Science activity, serving as DoD’s representative on the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee (NSTC) on Open Science and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Working Group on Scientific Collections. He chairs the DoD’s Research Data Working Group to advocate for the unique needs and interests of the S&T community and establish enterprise guidance to ensure open access, interoperability, and reuse of research data. In addition, he co-chairs CENDI, an interagency organization that provides a cooperative forum for collaboration on scientific and technical information challenges.
In 2017 Mr. Thomas established and is the editor in chief of the Journal of DoD Research and Engineering, a quarterly peer-reviewed publication at the controlled unclassified and classified levels that provides a venue for DoD scientists and engineers to publish papers on scientific topics of significant interest to DoD.
Previously, Mr. Thomas was DTIC's Acting Administrator; Director, Information Systems Support; Director, Component Information Support; and Chief Technology Officer. During his tenure at DTIC he worked to redefine the way DTIC collects and disseminates information and simplifies access to DoD community users.
Mr. Thomas directed the launch of DoDTechipedia, one of DoD’s first social collaboration tools available to internal DoD users, enabling DoD scientists, researchers, and engineers to add and actively update content. In 2009, Mr. Thomas was the Program Manager for the DoDTechipedia when it earned the Government Computer News Agency Award, for “outstanding information technology initiatives.”
Before entering government service, Mr. Thomas served as a Director, Program Manager, Program Engineer, and Software Developer for several federal government contractors. He led software development for DoD’s first enterprise websites, including DefenseLink (the predecessor to Defense.gov), Air Force LINK, and led a team that established over 100 websites for DoD organizations.
Mr. Thomas was awarded the meritorious civilian service medal in 2017, holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute and has a Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Security Leadership (GSLC) certificate. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and a Master of Arts in Economics from George Mason University. He has completed the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society program and the APEX Senior Executive Orientation Program.