Biden Picks Shyu for Top Pentagon Research and Engineering Job

President Biden nominated Heidi Shyu, formerly the Army’s acquisition executive in the Obama administration, as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. In that role, if confirmed, she would oversee and manage the Pentagon’s technology development enterprise.

Shyu, 67, worked at Raytheon for many years, managing the company’s electromagnetic systems lab, and was director for integrated radar/electronic warfare sensors on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. She also oversaw the company’s unmanned aircraft efforts and served as corporate vice president for technology and research and vice president of technology strategy for Raytheon’s space and airborne systems unit.

Previously, she served on the Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board, serving as co-chair from 2003 to 2005 and chair from 2005 to 2008.

Since 2016, she has served on the board of trustees at The Aerospace Corp.

Mark J. Lewis, who was the acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and served as director of defense research and engineering in the Trump administration until February, called Shyu “a marvelous choice” for the job.

“She is an extraordinary engineer, one of our nation’s leading experts in electronic warfare and radar systems. Heidi knows the Air Force extremely well, having served eight years on the Scientific Advisory Board, including three as the board chair,” said Lewis, now the director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s nonpartisan Emerging Technologies Institute.

She will be “a champion for science and engineering” and leverage her “extensive leadership experience from her many years in industry” as well as from her Army acquisition position, Lewis said.

Shyu holds master’s degrees in mathematics and system science/electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and University of California, Los Angeles, respectively. She has a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of New Brunswick, Canada. She also graduated from UCLA’s executive management course and a University of Chicago business leadership program.

Shyu was born in Taipei, Taiwan.