Dr. Richard J. Joseph is the Chief Scientist of the United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. He serves as the chief scientific adviser to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force, and provides assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. In this role, he identifies and analyzes technical issues and brings them to the attention of Air Force leaders, and interacts with other Air Staff principals, operational commanders, combatant commands, acquisition and science and technology communities to address cross-organizational technical issues and solutions. He also interacts with other services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense on issues affecting the Air Force technical enterprise. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is the principal science and technology representative of the Air Force to the civilian scientific and engineering community and to the public at large.
Dr. Joseph has more than 40 years of experience as a physicist, directed energy researcher, senior program manager, national security advisor and executive. Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Joseph was the Chief Executive Officer for Earthstar LLC, a small consulting firm he founded in 1998. In this position, he has served government agencies, national laboratories and public companies on the development and management of programs in a broad range of technical areas.
Dr. Joseph commissioned into the United States Air Force in 1973. While on active duty, he performed nuclear physics research at the Defense Nuclear Agency, taught basic and upper level physics courses at the United States Air Force Academy, and in 1983 served on the Directed Energy Panel of the Defensive Technologies Study Team. The resulting DTST Presidential study report became the blueprint for the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Upon leaving active duty, Dr. Joseph joined Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Accelerator Technology group. In 1985 he was chosen as the Neutral Particle Beam program manager in the Strategic Defense Initiative Office’s Directed Energy Office. While in this role he instituted and directed three major spacecraft-based programs.
In 1987 he divided his time between serving as a senior advisor to the Defense and Space Delegation in the Nuclear and Space Talks with the Soviet Union in Geneva, acting as a senior policy analyst for national security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and directing a large study on deployment of an initial missile defense capability for the Secretary of Defense.
Between 1988 and 1990 Dr. Joseph led multiple research programs in laser remote sensing to include an airborne laser system capable of detecting biological warfare agents at LANL. This system, designed to support Operation Desert Storm, was built and successfully tested in 28 days.
In 1992 Dr. Joseph took a leave of absence to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration where he was part of a small group of senior managers directing the restructuring of the agency. While at NASA he also led an interagency task force on remote sensing that moved the agency from using very large satellites for the Earth Observing System to constellations of smaller platforms.
Upon returning to Los Alamos in 1993, he directed the Laboratory's missile defense programs and in 1995 he joined the Accelerator Production of Tritium program which intended to use a new approach in a new production plant to produce material for the nuclear weapons program.
1970 Bachelor of Science Physics, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
1979 Ph.D. Physics, University of Texas, Austin
1973 – 1979, Nuclear researcher, Defense Nuclear Agency, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Laboratory
1979 – 1981, Physics instructor, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1981 – 1983, Field Command Defense Nuclear Agency nuclear weapons development liaison officer, Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M.
1983 – 1985, Program manager, Neutral Particle Beam program, SDIO Directed Energy Office
1986 – 1987, Director, Missile Defense Study, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
1988 – 1992, Laser Remote Sensing program manager, LANL, N.M.
1992 – 1993, Integration Team Lead, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington D.C.
1993 – 1995, Missile Defense Program Director, LANL, N.M.
1995 – 1998, Accelerator Production of Tritium program, Department of Energy, LANL, N.M.
1998 – 2017, Owner, Earthstar LLC, LANL, N.M.
2018 – present, Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
BOARDS AND ADVISORY GROUPS (Recent)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Global Security Advisory Group
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nuclear Science and Engineering Advisory Board
Argonne National Laboratory, Global Security Advisory Group
Nevada Test Site, Senior Advisory Group
(Current as of February 2018)