Jeff Isaacson became USRA’s seventh President and Chief Executive Officer in 2014. USRA operates in association with 106 leading universities, supporting NASA, DoD, DOE, and NSF in the areas of science, technology development, and STEM education. USRA was founded in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences.
Prior to joining USRA, Dr. Isaacson was Vice President for Defense Systems and Assessments at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was responsible for development and integration of advanced science and technology into state-of-the art systems for NNSA, DoD, and other national security agencies.
From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Isaacson was at RAND Corporation, where he was Vice President and Director of the Arroyo Center, the U.S. Army's federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies and analysis. He had returned to RAND from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, where he directed systems engineering and integration of the Space Based Infrared System- High, which provides early missile warning for the U.S. military and is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2004, Dr. Isaacson served in a variety of research and management positions for nearly 13 years at RAND, including Vice President and Director of the National Defense Research Institute, the FFRDC supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a DOE graduate fellow in the 1980s, he conducted research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Dr. Isaacson served 25 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring as Captain. A member of the Navy Space Cadre, his military career included assignments at the Joint Space Operations Center and the National Reconnaissance Office. He is qualified as an Information Dominance Warfare Officer and is certified as a DAWIA Level 2 Program Manager. He is also a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, having served on active duty in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.
Dr. Isaacson is a member of the Army Science Board. He earned degrees at Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics.