Press Release

Johns Hopkins APL Names Andrew Mara as National Security Analysis Department Head

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 14:42

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, has named Dr. Andrew Mara as head of its National Security Analysis Department (NSAD).

In his new role, Mara will lead a 200-person department focused on conducting in-depth analyses for the Laboratory and its government sponsors on critical national security issues, ranging from strategic competition with China to the practical application and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. NSAD provides robust analytical capabilities to inform senior government decision-makers and operational commanders, and delivers the analytic foundation for decisions related to technology and policy, advanced capabilities, complex systems and operations, and architectures.

“Andrew Mara is an accomplished researcher and leader whose analyses have guided some of our nation’s most critical national security strategy and investment decisions,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “His diverse experience and cross-disciplinary approach to research and analysis, and his drive to ensure that plans and policies stand up to real-world challenges, will serve the nation and the Laboratory well.”

Mara joins APL from the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), where he served as executive vice president as well as director of CNA’s Systems, Tactics and Force Development Division. Before coming to CNA in 2021, Mara spent a decade in the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. At CAPE, he oversaw multiple strategic analyses on topics ranging from missile defense to nuclear command and control systems, and led the Department of Defense’s first space force structure assessment, which directly informed billions of dollars in investments. Prior to joining CAPE, he served as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at National Defense University’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy.

Among his many technical and leadership honors, Mara has been recognized with the Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Yale University and a dual bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and economics from the University of California, San Diego.