Patrick A. Mason, Ph.D.
Head, Warfighter Performance Department
Dr. Patrick Mason has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2011. He currently heads the Warfighter Performance Department at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Virginia. He is responsible for establishing, managing, evaluating and maintaining basic research, applied research and advanced technology programs to meet the operational needs of the Department of the Navy. Areas of research funded by his department include autonomy, biological sciences, cognitive science, human-systems integration, irregular warfare, manpower, personnel and training, medicine related to naval operations (undersea, surface, aerospace, marine mammals), neuroscience, socio-cultural sciences, and warfighter performance and resiliency. Dr. Mason serves as a consultant and advisor in these areas of research to the Chief of Naval Research and other leadership in the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, other government agencies, industry and academia. Dr. Mason is Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering – Level III and Science & Technology Manager – Level III certified, and is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps. He has extensive experience interacting with professional staff members from the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee on Authorization- and Appropriation-related issues. Since 2011, Dr. Mason has served as the United States national representative on The Technical Cooperation Program - Human Resources and Performance Group and as the United States voting member on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - Human Factors and Medicine Panel.
From 2011-2016, Dr. Mason served as the director of the Human Performance, Training and BioSystems Directorate in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. His responsibilities included providing technical leadership, management oversight, policy guidance and coordination for over $3 billion per year in research and engineering programs in the DoD, to ensure that these areas were focused, relevant and capable of satisfying current and anticipated defense needs. Dr. Mason had purview over a broad range of research areas, including medical and life sciences, human performance optimization, human factors, human-system integration, autonomy, exoskeletons, combat feeding, chemical and biological defense, language and culture understanding, non-lethal weapon bioeffects, training, and environmental sciences. Dr. Mason was also responsible for oversight of the DoD’s animal and human use policy and regulatory affairs programs.
Dr. Mason sat on numerous committees within the federal government. Dr. Mason was the DoD representative on the White House National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He served as a co-chair of the NSTC’s Subcommittee on Toxics and Risks and as the DoD representative on the NSTC Subcommittee on Life Sciences, NSTC Subcommittee on Social, Behavior, and Economic Sciences, and NSTC Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience. Within the DoD, Dr. Mason was the OSD senior member on the following communities of interest: Armed Services Biomedical Research Evaluation and Management, Autonomy, Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Human Systems. He was a member of the DoD Sustainability Council and serves as the AT&L Senior Language Authority on the Defense Language Steering Council. Dr. Mason served as the OSD proponent for the Human Factors and Engineering Technical Advisory Group, Deployed Warfighter Protection Program, and Genetics and Synthetic Biology Research for Human Performance Council. He served as the chair of the Combat Feeding Research Executive Board and Human Performance Optimization Committee. Dr. Mason was a co-chair of the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin program, Irregular Warfare Senior Technical Advisory Group and Joint Human Systems Integration Steering Committee.
Internationally, Dr. Mason organized and served as the co-chair of the United States – Singapore Cognitive Sciences workshop (2012) and as the co-chair of the United States – Singapore Human Systems Workshop (2014). His office provided oversight of the United States – India workshops and research collaborations supporting the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative and Joint Technical Group. Dr. Mason regularly reviewed proposed international project agreements, as well as documents, for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.