Tom Drake, Ph.D.Acting Head, Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department

Dr. Tom Drake

Dr. Tom Drake is acting head of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department—one of six science and technology (S&T) departments at ONR. The Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department is responsible for Navy and Marine Corps S&T in ocean and meteorological science, undersea warfare, mine warfare, space technology and marine mammals. It comprises two divisions and 14 programs spanning sensing systems and geophysical processes and prediction. The department has also built and cares for six oceanographic research vessels. Drake is currently the U.S. national representative for the Maritime Systems Group of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), coordinating technology among the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Since 2013, Drake has served as the director of ONR’s Ocean, Atmosphere and Space Research Division. He is responsible for planning, execution and management of integrated basic research, applied research and advanced technology development of ONR S&T programs in physical oceanography, marine meteorology, ocean acoustics, Arctic and global prediction, littoral geosciences and optics, marine mammals and biology, and the space environment. The Ocean, Atmosphere and Space Research Division provides advanced, high-resolution environmental observations and prediction capabilities in support of anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare and naval special warfare missions.

Drake entered the Senior Executive Service in 2013. He joined the Federal Civilian Service in 2003 as program officer for the Coastal Dynamics program at ONR, directing work in nearshore processes, sediment transport and wave dynamics. In 2006, he also assumed direction of the Marine Geosciences program, directing marine geophysics and geology research, in addition to elements of the ONR Sea Mine Burial program.

Prior to joining the Federal Civilian Service, Drake was a tenured professor at North Carolina State University, conducting research and teaching courses in terrestrial and coastal surficial processes from 1995 to 2003. From 1990 to 1995, he was a research oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and studied nearshore and riverine sediment transport.

Drake holds a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous articles in technical journals and conference proceedings.

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