Dr. James Tegnelia

Senior Advisor

In early 2009 Dr. James Tegnelia founded DBE Consulting LLC (DBE), a National Security consulting organization, where he currently serves as President and Owner. DBE consults for the government and private issues on Nonproliferation and Counterproliferation issues related to weapons of mass destruction.


From 2005 to 2009, Dr. James A. Tegnelia was the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Fort Belvoir , Va. DTRA safeguards America ’s interests from weapons of mass destruction by controlling and reducing the threat to the United States and its allies, and providing quality tools and services for the warfighter. DTRA is a defense agency with a $2.8B budget and offices in 35 countries. Its mission addresses countering weapons of mass destruction. Began a basic research program in nuclear science, biology and computer science. This program was the first basic science program in the agency in the 65-year history of DTRA and its legacy organizations. Sponsored numerous science symposia and conventions in nuclear science, biology and advanced electronics. Spoke at many symposia and technical conferences.


Prior to his selection to lead DTRA, Dr. Tegnelia was the Vice President responsible for Department of Defense programs of Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia employed nuclear and non- nuclear science and engineering disciplines to the development of nuclear weapons and other national security capabilities. Dr. Tegnelia was responsible for Sandia work performed for federal departments other than the Department of Energy. Efforts were performed in both science and engineering disciplines and required extensive program and project management experience.


He became the vice president, Business Development, for the Energy and Environment Sector of Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1995, and later served as the president of Lockheed Martin Advanced Environmental Systems, Inc. from 1996 to 1998. The company performed environmental remediation programs for the Departments of Defense and Energy. It employed environmental science and nuclear science and engineering disciplines. Performed large projects employing robotics and environmental remediation engineering.


From 1993 to 2005 Dr. Tegnelia also served as a member of the Army Science Board. The Board advised the leadership of the US Army on matters of scientific and technical issues of importance to the US Army. Became both the Deputy and Director of the Board from 2003-2005. Was ex-officio member of the Defense Science Board.


In 1987, he joined the Martin Marietta Corporation, serving as the vice president of Engineering, and later as the vice president of Business Development, of the Electronics Group. He was with the company until 1993. Responsibilities included managing the Independent Research and Development program for one half of this multibillion- dollar corporation.


As a native of Monessen , Pa. , Dr. Tegnelia’s career began in the United States Army, serving from 1968 to 1971, including a one-year tour in Vietnam . From 1971 to 1976, Dr. Tegnelia worked for the U.S. Army Night Vision Laboratory in various positions progressing from supervisory research physicist to manager. His organization laid the engineering foundation for night vision devices deployed in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. In 1976, he transferred to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), serving as a program manager and office director, responsible for programs in smart weapons, radar sensors and stealth technology.


From 1982 to 1985, he served as the assistant undersecretary of defense and acting deputy undersecretary of defense in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, where he oversaw program manager activity on the JSTARS radar and ATACMS missile. In 1985, he became the deputy director and later acting director of DARPA.


Dr. Tegnelia earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Georgetown University , a master’s degree in engineering from George Washington University , and a Ph.D. in physics from The Catholic University of America.


His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, and the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Service Award.


Dr. Tegnelia is a former member of the Executive Council and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce (1994/1995); former member of the Board of Directors of the Anderson School of the University of New Mexico; and the 1996 campaign chairman for the United Way of Central New Mexico. Dr. Tegnelia also served as the chairman for the Greater Albuquerque U.S. Savings Bond Campaign in 1995 and the State of New Mexico chairman for the U.S. Savings Bond Campaign in 1996.


He has served as chair of the Army Science Board, a co-chair of the Sandia National Laboratories National Security Advisory Panel and a member of the Society of Sigma Xi. He was also on the Board of Advisors of George Washington University – School of Engineering. Dr. Tegnelia was a member of the Board of Directors for Sandia Science and Technology Park, the Technology Ventures Corporation and Laguna Industries, Inc.

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