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David Burns

Director, Science and Technology Office
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

David Burns is the Director of Marshall's Science and Technology Office. Prior to joining NASA, he worked for the U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency, where he served as the director of Science and Technology. He led the teams that managed the agency’s directed energy programs, conducted university and small business innovative research and modeled the impact of new missile defense capabilities. Prior to his time with MDA, Burns was a senior leader in private industry. From April 2006 to May 2008, he was founder and chief executive officer of Dielectric Blue Inc., which specialized in the design and manufacture of anti-tamper sensors for military and commercial applications. Burns retired from the U.S. Air Force in August 2003 after 20 years of active duty. His Air Force career included assignments in the Pentagon, multiple product centers, and London. In London, he was technical director of the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development. Burns holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Academy. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program. He and his wife Cheryl have four children and reside in Huntsville.