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March 6, 2018

Former Air Force Undersecretary and Acting Secretary Lisa Disbrow Joins Johns Hopkins APL as a Senior Fellow

Lisa Disbrow

Lisa Disbrow
Credit: APL

Former U.S. Air Force Undersecretary and Acting Secretary Lisa Disbrow has joined the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, as a Senior Fellow.

Disbrow is a national security and military policy expert whose government leadership experience spans three decades, including service as an Air Force officer and in the Senior Executive Service, and a term as undersecretary and acting secretary of the Air Force. As undersecretary from 2015 to 2017, Disbrow oversaw the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of approximately 660,000 active-duty, guard, reserve and civilian airmen and their families and an annual budget of more than $135 billion dollars; she also directed strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human-resource management, and represented the Air Force on the Defense Department’s Management Action Group and the Defense Space Council.

“We are honored to welcome Lisa to our team of Senior Fellows,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “Her experience and insights as an Air Force and Defense Department civilian executive and career officer will be incredibly valuable to our mission to enhance national security through science and technology.”

Disbrow also served as assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management and comptroller and held a variety of civilian positions on the Joint Staff, including vice director, J-8 Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate, and a detail to the White House national security advisor’s staff as special advisor for policy implementation and execution. In 2008, she retired as a colonel after 23 years in the active Air Force and Air Force Reserve.

APL’s Senior Fellows are distinguished experts in national security and space who work with technical experts at the Laboratory to better inform technology and policy decisions made by U.S. military leaders and senior government officials. Learn more about them at

Media contact: Michael Buckley, 240-228-7536,

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit