Dr. Bill LaPlante sworn in as USAF’s top acquisition official

LaPlante (right) sworn in on Feb. 18
LaPlante (right) sworn in on Feb. 18

The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Bill LaPlante as the next assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition on Feb. 12. LaPlante was sworn at MacDill Air Force Base on Feb. 18 by Timothy Beyland, the administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force

LaPlante, who had most recently served as the principal deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, brings nearly three decades of experience to his new position.

“I’ve spent over 28 years around systems technologies, acquisition programs; touching all aspects of those programs for all services,” he said, during a confirmation hearing Jan. 16. “This experience, along with my time on the Defense Science Board, offers first-hand impressions of defense acquisition.”

Many of those years were spent at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD, eight spent as the department head for the university’s global engagement department, before moving to MITRE as the director of the missile defense portfolio.

The confirmation makes LaPlante the first confirmed senior acquisition leader since the departure of David Van Buren in March 2012.