DTRA R&D Director Recognized as Presidential Rank Award Recipient

FORT BELVOIR, Va. – A ceremony held at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Ft. Belvoir, Va. headquarters honored the extraordinary accomplishments of DTRA’s director of Research and Development, Dr. Rhys Williams (R&D) December 9.

DTRA Director, Vayl Oxford, presented the Presidential Rank Award to Williams during an unveiling ceremony. Williams’ photo now joins those of previous DTRA Presidential Award recipients on display at the headquarters building.

The Presidential Rank Award program was established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 to recognize select career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES). It was later extended to senior career employees in senior-level scientific and professional positions with a sustained record of exceptional professional, technical, or scientific achievement recognized at a global level.

“Only five percent of career SES or SES equivalents government-wide, are bestowed with this prestigious honor,” said Oxford. “As a Meritorious Rank recipient, Rhys has demonstrated sustained exceptional performance, enhancing the mission of this Agency and the Federal Government. He has proven himself as one of the Nation’s premier go-to research and development leaders for countering weapons of mass destruction in the Nation.”

Williams leads the research, development, test, and evaluation activities for DTRA. He directs a geographically dispersed military and civilian workforce of more than 450 Ph.D.-level engineers and scientists, and executes an annual budget of more than $1 billion. Williams leads DoD’s primary science and technology (S&T) program to develop capabilities that detect, deter, and defeat foreign chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as well as improvised threat devices. In addition, he is responsible for the development of capabilities for U.S. forces to operate in WMD environments. As an S&T executive for the DoD, Williams is the senior Agency S&T interface with the Military Services and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD/R&E).

Williams’ past and present successes span the entire counter WMD spectrum, and includes personally presenting and defending multi-billion dollar R&D programs focused on foreign nuclear, chemical and biological detection to the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, as well as to congressional authorization and appropriation committees.

Williams said after the event, “DTRA R&D programs are cutting edge, having national and international level impacts. These programs enable DoD to address WMD and improvised threats across the full spectrum of possible scenarios – detection of an event before it potentially happens, deterring an event from occurring, or in the unlikely event WMD or an improvised threat is used on the battle field, that our forces have the ability to fight through the event and win.”

Date Taken: 12.13.2019
Date Posted: 12.14.2019 07:12
Story ID: 355706

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DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub ( The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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