Nancy Ann Budden
Director Special Operations Technology
Defense Research and Engineering
Office of the Secretary of Defense


Nancy Ann Budden serves as Director for Special Operations Technology in the Rapid Reaction Technology Office of the Secretary of Defense, identifying and integrating classified and unclassified advanced concepts, experimentation, demonstrations, technology solutions, and combat collections for countering terror for the Special Operations Commands. Her office is tasked with overseeing the transition of new technologies and approaches to the warfighters, linking products and capabilities to the Combatant Commands, Fleets, and Homeland Defense communities. Her efforts include partnering with the intelligence, military, technical, academic and government agencies and communities.

Previously served as Associate Provost for Strategic Development, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, advancing the mission and accomplishments of NPS through partnership and portfolio development of technology programs with defense, intelligence and academic stakeholders. This included the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Combatant Commands, Departments of Homeland Defense, and Homeland Security, the Office of Naval Research, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

She is a member of the NASA Headquarters Advisory Council (NAC). She previously served as co-chair of the NASA HQ Subcommittee on Planetary Protection. She is an AIAA Associate Fellow. Budden currently holds an appointment with NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston Texas, of Visiting Scientist, where she participates in mission planning for the human exploration of the Lunar and Mars planetary surfaces.

Professional Experience:

In 1977 Budden joined Union Oil Company of California, (UNOCAL), as an exploration geologist/oceanographer, conducting research and wellsite geology, and serving as chief scientist on research vessels conducting exploratory cruises offshore of California.

In 1983 she joined the National Science Foundation in Washington D. C. as a White House Placement in the Reagan Administration, where she worked in Science Policy and Planning for the Assistant Director for Geosciences. This involved strategic planning and budgeting for U.S. science programs for the Geosciences Directorate, working with the White House Science Office (OSTP), White House Budget Office (OMB), Congressional science committees, the National Academy of Sciences, DoD, DOE, NASA, NOAA, and other federal agencies. She served on interagency and White House committees, creating, planning and coordinating interdisciplinary U.S. and international science programs in universities and national laboratories and observatories. In 1988 Budden joined NASA/Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, as Manager, Office of Science Integration, Lunar and Mars Exploration Program Office. Her task was advanced mission planning for future missions to the Moon and Mars, integrating science and engineering components and budgets into future mission architectures. She worked together with scientists and engineers from all NASA centers, Apollo, Shuttle, and Space Station astronauts, astronaut trainers, policy makers, and NASA management. In 1995, Budden was detailed to the Chief Scientist of NASA at NASA/Headquarters in Washington D.C, as senior lead for a task force charged with rewriting science policy for NASA.

In 1999-2000 Budden lived in Dhaka, Bangladesh, serving as Director, Office of External Affairs, in the Office of the President, UNOCAL Bangladesh, Ltd. She managed American and Bangladeshi staff, her office comprised of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Strategic Communications, Community Projects, Government Relations, and Press Relations. She developed and directed long-range outreach/budget plans, and executed the Community Affairs programs in remote villages near UNOCAL drilling operations. Lead for regional joint USAID/UNOCAL Polio Campaign, built first Tuberculosis hospital in Dhaka, built four regional libraries with Bangladesh national partner, built seven schools, upgraded orphanage. Coordinated national flood relief efforts in 2000 with CARE and Shell Oil Company. Lead, UNOCAL’s principal role in President Clinton’s state visit to Bangladesh in March 2000.

Budden holds degrees in Marine Geology from Oregon State University Graduate School of Oceanography (1977), and the University of California at Santa Cruz Department of Earth Sciences (1974) and a Masters in Business Administration from California Lutheran University (1982).

Nancy Ann Budden has published numerous technical papers on Cenozoic Antarctic Ocean productivity, Moon and Mars Exploration, and Global Geosciences/Earth System Sciences, and Community Projects in Bangladesh, in professional journals and books. She has spoken to professional and government audiences around the world, and has appeared on a number of television programs and films dealing with the human exploration of space. She is married and has one son.