Dr. William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Dr. William A. LaPlante

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment 

William A. LaPlante received an undergraduate degree in engineering physics from the University of Illinois. He earned a master’s degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University and received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America. 

He spent 26 years heading the Global Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  

He has served on a number of boards dealing with scientific aspects of national security. Among them are the U.S. Strategic Command Senior Advisory Group, the Naval Research Advisory Commission, and Defense Science Board. He spent 3 years as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, a Senate-confirmed position. He served in the private sector as vice president and general manager for a national security company and was part of federally-funded research and development centers for the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Science and Technology. 

In April 2022, the Senate confirmed Dr. LaPlante as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. 

In the News…

Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante recently launched the inaugural U.S.-Japan Defense Industrial Cooperation, Acquisition, and Sustainment (DICAS) forum with his counterpart, Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency Commissioner Masaki Fukasawa, in Tokyo, Japan.

The Defense Department announced that the co-chairs “signed the Terms of Reference to restructure the Systems and Technology Forum into the DICAS.“

The department stated that the two leaders “also agreed to establish working groups for further discussions on identifying opportunities for missile co-production, co-sustainment of forward-deployed U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Air Force aircraft, and supply chain resiliency for priority defense requirements, in partnership with U.S. and Japanese industry.“


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