DTSA Leadership Blog


The anticipated notice came in and I couldn't hide my confusion with the words: military assistant, OSD(P) /Def Tech Security Administration(DTSA). DTSA, never heard of it.

So I did what anyone faced with the unknown would do, I googled it. I was routed to the DTSA public website where I read the mission, vision, organizational chart and read the blogs. Based on that exercise, it seemed there was a lot of work done in something called export control reform, technology release, and multilateral non-proliferation regimes. These were words I understood in theory, but in application I was in the dark. The slides I reviewed and the content I read only told part of the story and it didn't answer the question "what was I getting into and how would I fit in?"

I have been at DTSA almost 3 months and while I have learned about export control reform, technology release and the four non-proliferation regimes, there is so much more to what DTSA does. This organization is filled with licensing officers, scientists and engineers, security professionals, foreign affairs specialists, lawyers, personalists, management support, and (now with my addition), a single AF cyber operations officer who all play a vital role in protecting the warfighter's technological edge. As I uncover more about the DTSA mission, I find myself linking the DTSA mission to news articles, op-ed pieces, magazine stories, and other blogs and I feel a certain pride knowing "we" played role in "that".

Stay tuned as I share more experiences and insight on what team DTSA does. First up the Management Directorate, take a peek with me behind the green curtain.

The Republic of Korea and the United States – Partners in Technology Security

DTSA Director speaking

In late June, I attended the Fourth International Defense Technology Security Conference in Seoul, Korea, hosted by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The theme of the conference, “Strategies for Global Security through Technology Protection and Export Control,” aligns perfectly with DTSA’s mission. In my keynote address, I offered some perspectives on long-term global security trends and the need to partner with other countries, especially government-to-government partnerships.

One of the clearest examples of such a partnership is the one between the United States and the Republic of Korea. For more than a decade, we have worked together on technology security, primarily through the Defense Technology Security Consultative Mechanism, and through our recently formed Defense Technology Strategy and Cooperation Group.

This conference and a subsequent formal bilateral meeting with my Korean counterpart, Vice Minister Moon Sung Wook from DAPA, provided us the opportunity to discuss important issues that face us both, and discuss best practices as we enhance our respective export control and technology security postures. Such efforts will continue after the formal dialogue through practitioner engagement between DTSA and DAPA’s Defense Technology Control Bureau personnel.

Complimenting their experience in implementing their domestic Defense Technology Security Act, the Republic of Korea has become a leader in the international arena as well. The United States is extremely thankful to the Republic of Korea for assuming recent Plenary chairmanships for both the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, two of the key multilateral non-proliferation groups.

Addressing technology security long-term trends through effective partnerships is vital to safety and security. Thanks to our colleagues in Seoul who clearly agree that #defensetech is a shared global responsibility.

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The Change Nature of the Space Launch Industry and DTSA’s Role

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One of the most unique, but likely unknown responsibilities of DTSA is our space launch monitoring function. DTSA facilitates the U.S. space industry’s competitiveness in the international marketplace by providing responsive monitoring services that support the U.S. space industry’s State Department-approved export requests. Consistent with Public Law, DTSA must monitor technical data and defense services associated with approved launches of U.S. satellites by non-U.S. launch vehicles and other rocket-related programs to prevent the unauthorized transfer of critical U.S. space-related technology. The responsibility of our monitors has grown increasingly complicated over the past few years. The locations where the monitors have to go is quite challenging – remote, austere locations with few amenities, and even safety concerns from foreign military forces, striking workers, and even the occasional unwelcomed pests primarily small frogs!). The space industry is dramatically changing with new launch providers and a significant growth in smaller satellites -- micro satellites and cube-sats (estimate are that over 7000 will be launched in the next few years). There were also several launch failures, which resulted in unpredictable delays and uncertainty about when there will be “return to flight.” But DTSA has to be ready – so we must maintain a qualified and readily accessible workforce that can respond quickly to industry’s demands for monitoring services. Recently we combined the monitors from the Space Directorate with our Technology Directorate. This will allow these highly qualified engineers to perform other tasks when there aren’t any monitoring responsibilities, but also allows us to add additional resources if needed. I want to thank Brian Glancy who served as the Director of the Space Directorate over the past two years. With his expert technical knowledge and over 16 years of hands-on experience with every aspect of DTSA’s space launch monitoring program, Brian expertly led the Space Directorate through these challenging times. Brian, enjoy your much deserved retirement after 33 years of dedicated Federal service. As Brian often said, “in God we trust, all others we monitor.”

Encouraging STEM through Volunteerism


DTSA fully recognizes the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to our nation’s national security. In this technologically ubiquitous, globally interconnected world, we team with the interagencies every day to safeguard the technology investments our country has made. Part of the Department of Education’s 5-year plan is creating a STEM legacy that encourages youth to explore these career opportunities. DTSA appreciates this perspective and has a workforce full of volunteers who proactively seek opportunities to engage, educate, encourage, and recruit the next generation of scientists and engineers.

There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities and DTSA personnel like Tim Williams, Alethea Duhon, and Linda Smith, to name a few, have found ways to help. Our team does everything from judging projects at science fairs, volunteering to teach Girl Scout troops, and going to schools to teach children how to design science and technology projects. “The fulfillment I get judging these projects is priceless. I’m always amazed at how much they know at such a young age,” said Mr. Don Howell who coordinates judging at National Capital Region science fairs. Additionally, as a 23+ year mentor and leader in the STEM community, Mr. Riz Ramakdawala was recently recognized for winning the Secretary of Defense “Spirit of Service” award. This award is given to individuals who display outstanding public servant traits in both work and community environments. Mr. Michael Laychak, DTSA Deputy Director, said, “Riz’s work in the STEM arena, both within the Department of Defense and with children, is something for everyone to emulate. No doubt his efforts will pay huge dividends when his students begin their science and technology careers.”

“We love seeing children reach their full potential exploring STEM opportunities. Frankly, they are tomorrow’s DTSA employees,” said Ms. Beth McCormick, DTSA Director. “Any day we can recruit someone for tomorrow is a good day for the United States”

Aero India – Defense Trade in Full Display


I had the opportunity back in February to attend the Aero India in Bangalore, India. While I have been to several other international trade shows, I was impressed by the organization, size, and various platforms at this event. It was readily evident that India is on a good flight path to further modernize its military and solidify its standing as an important member of the international defense industrial base and its supply chain.

I was also proud of the Department of Defense's participation at Aero India. I was joined by other senior leaders from AT&L/International Cooperation, Air Force International Affairs, and the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, and a small contingent of senior civil servants and military officers.

In terms of U.S. provided equipment, there were two F-16s, a P-8, and C-130 from which a combined U.S.-Indian special forces team did daily jumps! Our collective presence sent a strong message to our Indian hosts. In addition, U.S. Defense Industry was well represented. I spoke with both U.S. and Indian industry representatives during the show.

Several key themes emerged:

  • India’s leadership is keen to modernize its military, and as such, India represents one of the few expanding defense markets for U.S. industry.
  • PM Modi’s Make-in-India initiative is designed to fuel India’s indigenous defense manufacturing capabilities and make India more self-reliant. Cooperative programs with foreign manufactures, which include co-production and co-development, are important elements of the Make-in-India initiative.
  • Indian private industry is rapidly emerging as a tour de force amongst defense manufactures and is hungry to do more. There are growing aspirations between Indian and U.S. companies to partner and compete in Indian defense acquisition programs.

In this environment, it will be important for U.S. industry to engage early with DTSA as industry seeks to develop cooperative opportunities with our Indian partners. Early discussions will help to define areas of potential cooperation ultimately leading to more meaningful discussion with Indian Government officials and Indian industry.

This is a very encouraging time for U.S.-India defense relationships. I look forward to working with my Indian colleagues and U.S. security cooperation stakeholders as we move forward together.

The Times They Are a Changin’

With a nod to Bob Dylan, the DTSA Licensing Directorate is seeing significant changes in the number of State Department and Commerce licenses we are reviewing. In 2012, at the height of processing licenses, DTSA reviewed 43,591 State Department licenses and 20,251 Commerce licenses for a total of 63,842 license applications.

DTSA witnessed a decline in overall license numbers and a gradual shift in the ratio of State Department to Commerce Department licenses following the implementation of export control reforms (ECR). Now, we review a greater number of Commerce licenses. In 2016, DTSA reviewed 21,995 State Department licenses and 29,878 Commerce Department licenses for a total of 51,873 license applications.

This decrease of almost 12,000 licenses and shift in regulatory exports are directly attributed to the success of ECR. Exporters are now taking advantage of license exceptions such as Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) afforded to them under Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Exporters can now export license free under a defined set of conditions, many of the less sensitive munitions articles that transitioned from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the EAR under ECR.

So, how has all this changin’ affected DTSA licensing? As the number of Commerce licenses outpaced State licenses, and because of their short statutory review requirement, priority is placed on processing Commerce licenses first. Even though State licenses now reflect a lower number of staffed licenses, their license content now represents a much greater level of complexity resulting in greater staffing and more review time. All the “easy” munition licenses now reside on the EAR. Greater complexity coupled with processing a greater number of Commerce licenses, has increased the average time DTSA takes to review a State license.

We continue to look for processing efficiencies as we move forward. Where we once had the luxury of segregating analysts to process strictly a State or Commerce license, all DTSA licensing export control analysts are now undergoing comprehensive training to be fully competent in processing both State and Commerce licenses. This continuity of effort will provide the Licensing Directorate the flexibility necessary to successfully meet future export regulatory changes … because, times they are a changin’.

DTSA’s 2016 Year in Review

2016 was a very busy, productive year for DTSA. Our expanded collaboration within DoD, across the interagency, and cooperative efforts with our valued partners and allies around the world has produced critical, positive results.

On the international front, we hosted bilateral working groups and consultations with Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine. Under the auspices of the National Disclosure Policy Committee, we hosted a reciprocal security survey with South Africa, and sent survey teams to Brunei, Latvia, and the European Union. Our Space Directorate monitors participated in technical meetings and launch campaigns in Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

On the multilateral front, DTSA represented the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Plenary and working-level technical experts meetings of three primary multilateral export control and nonproliferation regimes -- Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement. We worked closely with interagency colleagues and members of the three regimes to update control lists, reinforce best practices on licensing and enforcement activities, and expand outreach to industry and potential new partners. These efforts strengthened the effectiveness of the regimes in preventing countries of national security and proliferation concern from acquiring items and technologies for indigenous weapons programs.

The interagency Export Control Reform (ECR) effort reached critical milestones, notably with 18 of the 21 ITAR categories revised and functioning. Our partnership with State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security on ECR will be a lasting example of a “whole of government” approach.

Our close cooperation across the Department of Defense – the Military Services, Joint Staff, OSD organizations (AT&L, USDI, DSCA and numerous parts of OSD Policy) – has ensured the protection of critical technology for our warfighters, while building the capacity of allies and friends around the globe. In support of that goal, DTSA’s Cooperative Technology Security Program has been approved as the Defense Institution Building effort. We look forward to working with new and emerging international partners in the coming year as they establish institutions, policies and procedures to protect technology, sharing our best practices for analyzing the national security implications of exporting internationally.

DTSA’s resolution for 2017 -- continue working with our partners on #defensetech, #InfoSec, and #Exports.

Export Control Reform – Reflecting on Success

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A recent event afforded a chance to reflect and celebrate the significant accomplishments of the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative. Well wishes and congratulations were offered from some of the key architects of this Obama Administrative effort.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the main catalyst of ECR, noted “that this effort was good for our national security as well as helpful for expediting the export of defense articles to our friends and allies.”

Former Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher noted “the successful collaboration with the Administration, Congress, non-governmental organizations, and private industry should be a model for future reform initiatives.”

I believe the real secret to success was the expertise of the export control professionals across the interagency – State, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice and the Intelligence Community – working collaboratively on a common goal of modernizing our export control system while maintaining our national security.

From my DoD perspective, I want to recognize the significant and lasting contributions of a few: Former Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) Jim Miller, Former DTSA Director Jim Hursch, Former DTSA Deputy Directors Tony Aldwell and Tim Hoffman. Also special thanks to numerous DTSA employees who provided their technical and regulatory expertise.

Lastly, a very special “shout out” to Mike Laychak, DTSA Deputy Director, who from the very beginning served ably as the DoD representative to the interagency ECR task force. Mike was the driving force behind the dramatic changes in the U.S. Munitions List and ensuring USXPORTS is the single licensing information system.

To everyone involved in ECR, a heartfelt “well done.”

Multilateral Nonproliferation Regimes

U.S. export controls are often criticized for being stagnant and creating a disadvantage for American exporters. DTSA leaders and employees frequently field the question: “Why can’t the control lists be more exporter-friendly and updated more frequently”? The answer to this issue is complex, and not entirely within U.S. Government’s control.

Most of the items listed on the U.S. Commerce Control List are a result of our commitment to various multilateral nonproliferation regimes. The four major regimes are: the Australia Group (deals with chemicals and biological agents); the Missile Technology Control Regime (deals with---obviously enough—missiles), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (no explanation necessary), and the Wassenaar Arrangement (deals with conventional arms and dual-use goods). DTSA is the DoD’s office of primary responsibility for the MTCR, the NSG, and the WA. DTSA also provides substantive expertise for the AG.

Each of the regimes has its own rules and meets on its own schedule, at least annually, to, among other things, consider revisions to its own list of controlled goods. Typically, changes negotiated at the “expert” level must be approved at the policy level before they are deemed formally “agreed.” While the process is by necessity deliberate, the regime members are able to agree on important changes each year. In the WA, for example, this year participating states are poised to agree to 52 substantive changes: a mix of new controls, decontrols, and clarifications.

These multilaterally “agreed” changes are then implemented by the regimes’ member countries based on national legislation and practice. In the United States, the Department of Commerce promulgates regulatory changes to the Export Administration Regulations. This ensures all regime partners have uniform and consistent controls on sensitive technologies and advanced weapons. The result: up-to-date reasonable controls implemented by responsible governments; risks of proliferation are mitigated, without stifling international trade.

Israel’s Defense Export Control Agency Celebrates 10 Years


Last month, I attended the annual Export Control Conference hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Defense Export Control Agency, and congratulate the Government of Israel on DECA’s 10th anniversary.

DECA is evidence of Israel’s continued commitment to protecting sensitive technology and a foundational component of the U.S.-Israeli partnership in preventing proliferation or diversion of critical technology. Since the establishment of DECA in July 2006, and the Defense Export Controls Act’s entry into force the following year, DTSA has worked closely with DECA as it has established itself as the Component Authority for Export Control on behalf of the Director General of the Ministry of Defense.

Conference attendees heard remarks from Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, Director General Udi Adam, and Eric Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce. Also in attendance were the key individuals who have led DECA over the years – notably Eli Pincu, Meir Shalit, and Dubi Lavi.

It was announced that Rachel Chen will replace Dubi as DECA Director, as Dubi moves to the Ministry of Defense Mission in New York City later this year. Congratulations to Rachel as she assumes this important leadership position, bringing with her a wealth of experience in acquisition and program management, and building on her one year tenure as DECA Deputy Director.

I am proud to have been a part of those early days of DECA’s establishment, and a pleased to continuing work with the DECA and the Israeli Ministry of Defense as true partners in technology security.

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DTSA Director Beth M. McCormick

Beth M. McCormick

Director, Defense Technology Security Administration

DTSA Director Biography

Mike Laychak, DTSA Deputy Director

Michael Laychak

Deputy Director, Defense Technology Security Administration

DTSA Deputy Director Biography

Colonel Lisa Martinez, Senior Military Assistant

Colonel Lisa Martinez

Senior Military Assistant

Tom Devendorf, Director, Technology Directorate

Tom Devendorf

Director, Technology Directorate

Jud Rose, Director, Policy Directorate

Jud Rose

Director, Policy Directorate

Ken Oukrop, Director, Licensing Directorate

Ken Oukrop

Director, Licensing Directorate

Lou Ann McFadden, Director, Management Directorate

Lou Ann McFadden

Director, Management Directorate

Jesse Crump, Director, Technology Security & Foreign Disclosure Office

Jesse Crump

Director, Technology Security & Foreign Disclosure Office