Welcome to Science and Technology (S&T) Program Protection (STPP)

Our Vision:

Enduring Warfighter and technological dominance enabled through superior mission systems resilient to exploitation; a competitive, assured national security innovation base; and preservation of advanced technologies and practices

Our Leadership

Photo of Robert Irie

Dr. Robert E. Irie, Director, S&T Program Protection

Dr. Robert E. Irie is the Director, Science and Technology (S&T) Program Protection (STPP) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). He serves as the Department lead for maintaining technology advantage through mitigating vulnerabilities and exploitation, and oversees program protection policy, software assurance, and anti-tamper practices. Dr. Irie’s accomplishments include leading the interagency assessment of the defense electronics industrial base in response to Presidential Executive Order 13806, and rapid fielding of emerging capabilities for Special Operations Command. Dr. Irie received an S.B. in Engineering Science from Harvard College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ms. Melinda K. Reed, Director, Systems Security

Ms. Melinda K. Reed is the Director for Systems Security in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) S&T Program Protection Office (STPP). She brings a wealth of engineering and technical experience to her role, serving as the principal OUSD(R&E) executive for policy, guidance, education, and methods to ensure defense systems perform free of known vulnerabilities and exploitation. Her responsibilities include overseeing Department of Defense initiatives in secure cyber resilient engineering; program protection; hardware, software, and system assurance; supply chain risk management; design for exportability; anti-tamper; and controlled technical information. Ms. Reed is a recipient of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics) Award for Excellence and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Acquisition Excellence Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State University.

Jessica Appler Official Photo

Dr. Jessica M. Appler, Director, Maintaining Technology Advantage

Dr. Jessica M. Appler is the Director for Maintaining Technology Advantage in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) S&T Program Protection Office (STPP). She serves as the principal R&E executive for policy, guidance, education, analysis, and capabilities to identify exploitation opportunities and enhance protection for critical and emerging technologies vital to maintaining Department of Defense (DoD) technology advantage, ensuring the unquestioned superiority of the American joint force. Dr. Appler brings a wealth of experience across the acquisition cycle to oversight of DoD Joint Acquisition Protection and Exploitation Cell; Damage Assessment Management Office; science and technology protection; international partnership engagement for technology protection on shared common interests; and integration of technical, intelligence, counterintelligence, security, and law enforcement information to proactively mitigate exploitation and unwanted technology transfer. During her career, Dr. Appler was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Award for Meritorious Service, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response (ASPR) Pinnacle Medal, ASPR Superior Contribution Medal, and Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service. She received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies from Naval War College, and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University.