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SUSAN J. THORNTON

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Susan J. Thornton, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director for Information Dominance Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. She is responsible for planning and programming all acquisition and modernization activities for Air Force command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs. She guides development of program management directives, acquisition strategies, budget submissions, congressional testimony and international acquisition programs. She advocates acquisition program strategies for reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, command and control and combat support systems, evolving C4ISR infrastructure, net-centric operations and information warfare programs. Ms. Thornton also provides the Secretary of the Air Force direction and guidance for combat C4ISR systems and architectures to the Air Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff and Congress. She directs activities for four C4ISR divisions. 

Ms. Thornton began her career at the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in 1981.  She has served in a wide variety of engineering positions for the Aeronautical Systems Center and Missile Defense Agency.  Prior to this assignment, Ms. Thornton served as Director of Engineering and Technical Management, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  Ms. Thornton was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in January 2007.

EDUCATION

1981 Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
1990 Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering, University of Dayton, Ohio
1998 Master's degree in public administration, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2000 Advanced Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. 1981 - 1984, project engineer, Propulsion System Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2. 1984 - 1986, lead engineer for engine monitoring systems, Propulsion SPO, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. 1986 - 1990, lead engineer for the F119 engine, F-22 SPO, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
4. 1990 - 1993, lead propulsion engineer, Special Operations Forces Program Office and Aircraft System Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
5. 1993 - 1994, Chief Engineer for CV-22 Osprey, Special Operations Forces Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
6. 1994 - 1997, Chief Engineer for MC-130H Combat Talon II, Special Operations Forces Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
7. 1997 - 1998, student, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
8. 1998 - 1999, Chief, Technical and Acquisition Policy, Systems Engineering Division, Engineering Directorate, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
9. 1999 - 2001, Chief, Plans and Program Branch, Systems Engineering Division, Engineering Directorate, ASC, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
10. 2001 - 2007, Director of Engineering, Airborne Laser Program, ASC, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
11. 2007 - 2010, Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. 2010 - 2012, Director of Engineering and Technical Management, Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass.
13. 2012 - 2016, Director of Engineering and Technical Management, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
14. February 2016 - present, Director for Information Dominance Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C.

AWARDS AND HONORS
1986 Junior Engineer of the Year, Air Force Association
1986 Certificate of Merit, Air Force Systems Command
1998 Lucius N. Littauer Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
2003 Chief Engineer of the Year, Aeronautical Systems Center
2007 Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service
2016 Meritorious Civilian Service Award

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association

(Current as of February 2016)