Dr. Joseph P. Lawrence III

Distinguished Research Fellow

Joseph Lawrence IIIPhone: 202-685-3590
Email: joe.lawrence@ndu.edu

Areas of Expertise: Acquisition; Defense Policy; Science and Technology

Dr. Joseph P. Lawrence III is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University (NDU) Center for Technology and National Security Policy, and is a Senior Research Associate in the Applied Research Lab at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU ARL).  He has a focus primarily on Science and Technology (S&T) transition policy issues as they affect the Department of Navy and more broadly the Department of Defense.

Prior to his 2012 IPA appointment from PSU ARL to the NDU faculty, Dr. Lawrence from 2005 was the Director of Transition for the Office of Naval Research (ONR), responsible for policy, planning, resourcing and execution management for a substantial part of the DoN S&T budget including Future Naval Capabilities (FNC), DoN Small Business Innovative Research, and DoN Manufacturing Technology programs.

Dr. Lawrence served as the Associate Technical Director of ONR from 2004 through 2005.  He had direct responsibility for all transitioning S&T in DoN.  He engineered a major revision of DoN S&T, moving requirements definition and selection authority for over 30% of the DoN S&T programs from within ONR to a Technical Oversight Group (OPNAV N8, CG MCCDC, DC FFC, PDASN RDA, CNR).  On behalf of CNR, he negotiated with ASN RDA for a major reorganization of ONR (current structure) in 2005.

Dr. Lawrence was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2001, with initial assignment as ONR Director: Surveillance, Communications, and Electronic Combat Division. His duties included planning and execution management of all DoN S&T in the areas of radar, EO/IR sensing, communications, electronic warfare and navigation (including GPS).  He also was the S&T manager for the Fleet/Force Protection FNC program responsible for the development and execution of a $100M/year program intended to transition emerging technologies into the DoN acquisition community, or directly to the fleet/force, within a three to five year horizon.

From1991 to 2001, Dr. Lawrence was Head: Surface Electronic Warfare Systems Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).  This 40 person technical team was industrial-funded and was responsible for RDT&E leading to new/ improved electronic warfare systems for Naval forces.  He proposed and completed 4 DoN Advanced Technology Development programs.  He served a 9 month detail as the Director of a Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) for a major SOCOM acquisition program. Dr. Lawrence had joined the NRL as an undergraduate, working in increasingly more responsible positions with the Radar and then the Tactical EW Divisions.

Dr. Lawrence attended the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering.  He holds a Master of Science in Engineering from Princeton University, and a PhD in Communications and Control Systems Theory from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Lawrence was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2011, the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal in 2008, and was awarded the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive in September 2007.


  • Team-Member: Navy S&T/CNR Chair