Research News

Schmidt nominated to be Director of Operational Test and Evaluation for the Department of Defense

Douglas Shmidt (Vanderbilt University)

President Joe Biden’s nomination of Douglas Schmidt, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Computer Science, to become Director of Operational Test and Evaluation for the Department of Defense was formally submitted to the Senate on Dec. 4, 2023.

The position was established by Congress in 1983 and is responsible for leading testing and evaluation of critical national security systems. The director also provides high-level recommendations and guidance to the secretary of defense.

From 2018 to 2022, Schmidt served as associate provost of research and founding co-director of the Data Science Institute. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2010 to 2014, a deputy office director and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2000 to 2003, and co-chaired the Software Design and Productivity Coordinating Group of the government’s multi-agency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program from 2000 to 2003. Schmidt was also chief technology officer for Prism Technologies from 2006 to 2009 and Zircon Computing from 2009 to 2010.

“Professor Schmidt’s distinguished record of service to the nation and to Vanderbilt make him an outstanding choice for a role that is integral to American security and the development of our weapons systems,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “I congratulate him on his nomination and wish him great success at the Department of Defense.”

In addition to his academic research, government service and commercial experience, over the past three decades Schmidt has led the development of middleware frameworks used in thousands of distributed real-time and embedded systems across many domains, including national defense and homeland security, datacom/telecom, financial services and health care.

Schmidt’s appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate.