Dr. Matt Willis leads the Army’s portfolio of private sector engagements through prize competitions and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, comprising over $275,000,000 in annual research and development investments. Through his tenure, Dr. Willis has delivered a deliberate and strategic portfolio management approach that centralizes oversight and synchronizes execution of the Army’s SBIR program and prize authority to meet Congressional economic intent and Army technology gaps; he also identified and promulgated the highest technical quality, best emerging tech business partners providing the most effective technical solutions to overcome Army challenges, while reinforcing the national industrial base in face of great power competition.
Previously, Dr. Willis served as the Army Director for Laboratory Management, leading policy development for STEM, Technology Transfer, and workforce initiatives across the Army science and technology ecosystem. Prior to DASA(RT), Dr. Willis was the Chief for Acquisition at the Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Program Analysis and Integration Office, providing independent oversight, guidance and cross-cutting policies for the Chemical Biological Defense Program (CBDP) and laboratories. Dr. Willis also served as the Deputy Director for Special Projects in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research, providing alignment for DoD’s S&T investments amongst the Services. Dr. Willis started his Army career as a Research Chemical Engineer at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.
Dr. Willis received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, a MS and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is the author of numerous manuscripts, technical reports, and patents. He has received several awards including the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service in 2014 and 2015.