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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Air Force Studies Board
Current Activities
AFDP Roundtable

The U.S. Air Force Development Planning Roundtable

The Air Force Development Planning Roundtable will bring together top management, technical and policy experts from government, industry, and academia to discuss the application of robust development planning, experimentation and innovation principles critical to Air Force acquisition needs. The roundtable convenes four meetings per year. Meeting highlights will be produced following each meeting to summarize the presentations and discussions that occurred.

Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, Chair
George J. Coyle, Director, Development Planning Roundtable

Upcoming Meetings  


December 17, 2019
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center
Washington, DC 20001

Past Meetings 

July 30, 2019

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center, Room K106
Washington, DC 20001 


April 4, 2019
The Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC 20001


November 2, 2018
The Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC 20001

June 6, 2018
The Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC 20001


March 19, 2018
The Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC 20001


May 19, 2016
Inaugural Session
The Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Washington, DC 20001

Statement of Task

Following the successful 2014 AFSB report Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities, key Air Force champions identified that a major barrier to adoption of the study's recommendations stemmed from the lack of experienced acquisition professionals that had practiced development planning. As a proposed method to explore mentoring, training, and sharing of best practices within the nascent developing planning activities being prototyped within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), a roundtable focused on development planning, experimentation, and innovation will convene to explore and share best practices from successful development planning activities across the Department of Defense and private sector. This roundtable will provide the foundation for a series of training and evaluation methodologies to help implement and re-institutionalize and stimulate development planning across the Air Force acquisition community. 


Air Force Development Planning Roundtable Members

PAUL G. KAMINSKI (NAE) is chairman and chief executive officer of Technovation Inc., a consulting company dedicated to fostering innovation and the development and application of advanced technology. He is a former Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) and was responsible for all Department of Defense (DoD) research, development, and acquisition programs. During his Air Force career he served as director for low observables technology, with responsibility for overseeing the development, production and fielding of major “stealth” systems (e.g., F-117, B-2). He also led the initial development of a National Reconnaissance Office space system and related sensor technology. His government advisory memberships have included the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Board, the Defense Science Board (chairman 2 times) the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the DNI's Senior Advisory Group, and the FBI Director’s Advisory Board. He is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has authored numerous publications dealing with inertial and terminal guidance system performance, simulation techniques, and Kalman filtering and numerical techniques applied to estimation problems. Dr. Kaminski earned a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He received the National Medal of Technology in 2006.



SHARON BEERMANN-CURTIN is currently an independent consultant with over 30 years of government experience in technology and product development. Prior to leaving government service Ms. Beermann-Curtin served as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense - Research & Engineering, Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), whose mission is to identify, analyze and accelerate the development and transition of capabilities to counter strategic adversaries. In these roles Ms. Beermann-Curtin grew the organization from a startup task force to an office of innovation within the Department of Defense (DoD). Prior to joining SCO, she served as the Technical Lead for Power & Energy at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) between 2010-2014 managing the organization’s high power electrical ship systems, power source and conversion technologies, alternative fuels, and Future Naval Capabilities Power & Energy Pillar. In 2004, Ms. Beermann-Curtin joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) serving as a Program Manager for 5 years. She served in both the Defense Sciences Office and the Microsystems Technology Office with a portfolio of programs focused on power and energy generation and electrical system components, including: batteries, fuel cells, high power capacitors, high power semiconductors (silicon carbide based), and biofuels through chemical synthesis (sunlight to fuel). From 2002-2003 she was a visiting scholar to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Beermann-Curtin has a vast knowledge of DoD acquisition, serving from 1999-2001 as the first Chief Technology Officer for the Program Executive Office – Aircraft Carriers, responsible for the transition of new technologies to both in-service and future aircraft carriers. She also held numerous positions at ONR, including: Acting Deputy Department Head of the Materials and Physicals Sciences and Ship Hull Mechanical & Electrical Science & Technology (S&T) Department; Technology Manager for Ship Systems in the Hull, Mechanical and Electrical S&T Division; and Program Manager for Underwater Weapons Countermeasures. Ms. Beermann-Curtin holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology. Ms. Beermann-Curtin is a Naval Meritorious Civilian Service Award recipient. She was recently inducted into the Missouri University of Science & Technology Academy of Electrical and Computer Engineering, an organization composed of alumni and other electrical and computer engineers who have made outstanding contribution to their profession.

ROBERT F. BEHLER was sworn in as Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, on December 11, 2017. A Presidential appointee confirmed by the United States Senate, he serves as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense on operational and live fire test and evaluation of Department of Defense weapon systems. Prior to his appointment, he was the general manager and senior vice president of the MITRE Corporation where he provided leadership to over 2500 technical staff in 65 world-wide locations. He joined MITRE from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory where he supervised over 350 scientists and engineers as they made significant contributions to critical Department of Defense challenges. During this time, Behler helped to take new and emerging technologies and turn them into transformational operational capabilities. Behler retired as a major general from the Air Force in 2003, after 31 years of service. During his military career, he was the principal C2ISR advisor to Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the deputy commander for Joint Headquarters North, NATO in Norway. He was an experimental test pilot and flew more than 65 aircraft types including the SR-71 Blackbird and U-2. Behler is an associate fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and a member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and Air Force Association.

NATALIE W. CRAWFORD (NAE) is a senior fellow and distinguished chair in Air and Space Policy at the RAND Corporation. She was vice president and director of RAND Project AIR FORCE from 1997 to 2006. Crawford received the Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service twice, in 1995 and 2003. Also in 2003, she received the Air Force Analytic Community's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award from the Military Operations Research Society. In 2006, she received the OSD Medal for Exceptional Public Service and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Defense Industrial Association's Combat Survivability Division. Most recently, in 2011, Crawford received the Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the advancement of aerospace science and technology. She is a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

is president of Griffin Consulting, providing systems engineering and program management services to large and mid-sized aerospace firms. He provides strategy planning initiatives for corporations, reviews ongoing programs to assess progress and recommend corrective actions, and participates with industry and government in developing program strategy and implementation tactics. During his civilian career with the Air Force, John served in a diverse spectrum of capacities of assignments and special duties. He served on numerous special panels, two of which formed the structure of Air Force Materiel Command. John was on the development team for ground-breaking technology revolutions in weapon systems, including stealth, unmanned vehicles, hypersonics, and cruise missiles. He retired from the Air Force in 1997. Mr. Griffin holds an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. 


MICHAEL A. HAMEL (USAF, retired) is a space professional and leader, with a career in government and industry spanning over 40 years. He has diverse experience in all aspects of space policy, planning, development and operations, including launch, satellite, ground and integration programs.  His experiences has included senior leadership roles in the military space sector, as well as work in intelligence, civil and commercial/international space.  Most recently Gen Hamel served in Lockheed Martin Space, both as Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Space and Country Executive for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  In these roles he was responsible (P&L) for all commercial space business including communication and remote sensing programs, and new product development beginning in November 2013.  In January 2017, Gen Hamel became responsible for developing new business opportunities with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including joint and in-country ventures.  He retired from Lockheed Martin in August 2018.  Prior to that employment, Gen Hamel served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Relations for Orbital Sciences Corporation, where he was responsible for leading Orbital Science's strategic planning, product and business development, government relations and corporate communications.  Gen Hamel served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 30 years in a broad range of space operations, development, acquisition, policy and command positions, concluding his military career in 2008 as a Lieutenant General.  In his later years in the Air Force, Gen Hamel was Commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and Commander of the 14th Air Force.  He served in senior command and staff positions at U.S. Air Force Headquarters and AF Space Command and was Military Advisor to the Vice President on defense, arms control, non-proliferation and space policy.  Gen Hamel holds a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master's degree in business administration from California State University.  He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the program in national and international security at Harvard University.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  He also serves on the boards of several corporate and advisory groups.


LESLIE KENNE is a consultant for LK Associates. Previously, she held the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. In her military career, she held the positions of Commander, Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom, AFB; and Program Director for the Joint Strike Fighter, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. General Kenne received her B.S. in aerospace engineering from Auburn University, and an M.S. in procurement management from Webster College. She also attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School; the National War College; the Defense Management College at Fort Belvoir, VA; the Wittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire; and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


ROBERT H. LATIFF retired from the U.S. Air Force as a major general in 2006. He is a private consultant, providing advice on advanced technology matters to corporate and government clients and to universities. Dr. Latiff is an adjunct faculty member with the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a research professor and adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, where his interests are primarily in technologies to support the U.S. intelligence community. Immediately after his retirement from the Air Force, Dr. Latiff was chief technology officer for Science Applications International Corporation’s space and geospatial intelligence business. He has led and participated in numerous studies on such diverse topics as critical minerals, and intelligence and surveillance systems. Dr. Latiff is an active member of the Intelligence Committee of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). Major General Latiff’s last active duty assignment was at the National Reconnaissance Office, where he was director, advanced systems and technology and deputy director for systems engineering. He has also served as the vice commander, U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center and commander, NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. While in the U.S. Army, General Latiff served both in the infantry branch and the ordnance corps where he commanded an Army tactical nuclear weapons unit. He received his commission from the Army ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame. He entered active service in the U.S. Army and later transferred to the U.S. Air Force. He received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Notre Dame and is a graduate of the National Security Fellows Program at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. General Latiff is a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Latiff is a member of the Air Force Studies Board.


WILLIAM LAPLANTE is Senior Vice President and General Manager for MITRE National Security Sector (MNS). MNS includes two of MITRE’s federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)—the National Security Engineering Center (NSEC) and the National Cybersecurity FFRDC. In this role, Dr. LaPlante is accountable for increasing MITRE’s strategic value across the company’s U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence, and cybersecurity portfolios. He previously served as vice president of the Intelligence Portfolio in the NSEC. In this role, Dr. LaPlante led key initiatives in support of the nation's intelligence community. Dr. LaPlante has more than 30 years of experience in defense technology, most recently as assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. During his three years in that position, Dr. LaPlante led the $43 billion Air Force acquisition enterprise budget, bringing it into alignment with the greater Air Force vision and strategy. Under his leadership, the Air Force reaped nearly $6 billion in "should-cost" savings – the investment of these savings resulted in greater capability for our nation's warfighters. In recognition of his outstanding performance, the Air Force Association awarded Dr. LaPlante the W. Stuart Symington Award for the most significant contribution by a civilian in the field of national defense. In November 2015, the Air Force bestowed on him its Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the highest honor it bestows on a civilian employee. In 2016, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program presented him with the General James Doolittle Award, in recognition of his contributions to U.S. air power. Prior to entering public service in 2013, he was MITRE's Missile Defense portfolio director. During this time, Dr. LaPlante was appointed to the Defense Science Board (DSB), where he co-chaired a study on enhancing the adaptability of U.S. military forces. He has resumed his participation in the DSB, where he advises top Department of Defense leadership on critical scientific and technological topics related to the effectiveness of the nation's military forces. Before joining MITRE, he was the department head for Global Engagement at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). In that role, he was responsible for all of APL's work supporting offensive military capabilities. He was also a member of the APL Executive Council. He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the University of Illinois, a master's degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Catholic University of America.

LESTER L. LYLES (NAE) is currently an independent consultant. He retired as Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. General Lyles entered the Air Force in 1968, as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program. He has served in various command assignments, including Director of the Medium-Launch Vehicles Program and Space-Launch Systems offices; Vice Commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. He served as Commander of the center until 1994, then was assigned to command the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, California until 1996. General Lyles became the Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization in 1996. In May 1999, he was assigned as Vice Chief of Staff at USAF/HQ ; and Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command in 2000. General Lyles received an M.S. in mechanical/nuclear engineering from New Mexico State University. He has received honorary Doctors of Law from New Mexico State University, and Urbana University. He is chair of the NRC’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and is a member of the NRC’s Air Force Studies Board. He also serves as a member of the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, and previously served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in the White House.


HELEN REED is a Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University. She has served on various NASA headquarters aeronautics advisory committees, subcommittees, task forces, the NASA Federal Laboratory Review Task Force of the NASA Advisory Council, and the NATO/AGARD Fluid Dynamics Panel. Professor Reed has served on the Science Advisory Board for the National Institute of Aerospace, as Chair of the Aerospace Department Chairs’ Association, and as Department Head of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M. Presently a member of the AIAA Transition Study Group, AIAA Academic Affairs Committee, and Aerospace Advisory Committees for four universities, Texas A&M Institutional Representative to the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and instructor for AIAA courses in “Stability and Transition”. Professor Reed is the co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, Board of Directors, of Chandah Space Technologies. She has participated in LoneStar Campaign with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for autonomous rendezvous and docking, LoneStar Mission 1/DRAGONSat/AggieSat2: 5” cubesat operated 230 days transmitting DRAGON GPS data; launch 15 Jul STS-127 / release 30 Jul 2009 / deorbit 17 Mar 2010. Professor Reed has also participated on U.S. commercial-space start-up specializing in products using small satellites for on-orbit inspection capability in geosynchronous Earth orbit for health management, anomaly resolution, spaced-based space situational awareness. Professor Reed received a B.A., (Mathematics) from Goucher College, M.S., and Ph.D. (Engineering Mechanics) from Virginia Tech.

DAVID M. VAN WIE (NAE) is the mission area executive for precision strike at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) with responsibility for the strategic planning executing, and performance of programs addressing detection and targeting, kinetic engagement, and electronic attack capabilities. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Van Wie was the chief technologist for the precision strike mission area, where he focused on technology development supporting asymmetric multi-domain system concepts for use in anti-access/area-denial environments. Dr. Van Wie holds a research faculty position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and has lectured extensively in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. He served on National Research Council committees addressing conventional prompt global strike, civil booster systems, and Air Force development planning. Dr. Van Wie also served as a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board conducting studies on hypersonic systems, small precision weapons, virtual training technologies, future launch vehicles, and munitions for the 2025+ environment, and he served as the vice-chair and chair of the 2010 and 2011 Air Force Research Laboratory Science and Technology Reviews, respectively. Dr. Van Wie is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), an active member of the U.S. science and technology community, and has published extensively in the fields of high-temperature fluid dynamics, plasma aerodynamics, and hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems.