The MITRE Corporation of McLean, VA announced on April 20 that it has named Dr. William LaPlante as senior vice president and general manager of MITRE’s Center for National Security (CNS). CNS includes two of MITRE’s federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)— the National Security Engineering Center (NSEC) and the National Cybersecurity FFRDC.
In his new role, Dr. LaPlante will be accountable for increasing MITRE’s strategic value across the company’s U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence, and cybersecurity portfolios.
“Bill’s demonstrated leadership ability, integrity, and drive for excellence provide huge value to MITRE and our government sponsors,” said Dr. Jason Providakes, MITRE president and chief executive officer. “With his extensive experience in the private and public sectors combined with his expertise in national defense engineering systems, I am confident he will make an immediate and significant impact in his new role.”
Dr. LaPlante previously led the company’s intelligence portfolio within NSEC, the FFRDC that MITRE operates on behalf of the DoD. Prior to rejoining MITRE in 2015, he served as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, a position confirmed by the U.S. Senate, where he was responsible for all Air Force research, development and acquisition activities and oversaw a program portfolio of more than $32 billion annually. He was also responsible for development and execution of policies and procedures in support of the operation and improvement of the Air Force’s acquisition system and was recognized in 2015 by the Air Force Association with the W. Stuart Symington Award for the most significant contribution by a civilian in the field of national defense. Before entering public service in 2013, LaPlante was the portfolio director for MITRE’s Missile Defense Agency work program, where he led a technical team providing analytic and systems engineering expertise for ballistic missile defense systems.
He currently serves on the Defense Science Board and is a Commissioner on the Section 809 Panel established by Congress to streamline acquisition. Over his career, he has 30 years of experience in defense technology and served as a member of the U.S. Strategic Command Senior Advisory Group and the Naval Research Advisory Committee.
LaPlante 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 The Catholic University of America.