SRA honors RADM Gaffney for research administration accomplishments

October 14, 1999

Rear Admiral Paul G. Gaffney, II, Chief of Naval Research and Director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements for the Chief of Naval Operations, is the recipient of the Society of Research Administrators' prestigious Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration Award. He will be presented with the award on October 18, at the SRA Annual meeting in Denver.

A champion of research and development performers in academia, industry, DOD and the Department of the Navy, RADM Gaffney is committed to continuing the dialogue between the research community and the customers it serves. RADM Gaffney has long supported the SRA's efforts to promote quality, forward-looking and innovative research administration. Of particular significance was his Gulf Coast Initiative of 1998 that featured a major conference in Biloxi, MS, cosponsored with the SRA Southern Section. RADM Gaffney worked with SRA to reach out to the technical resources of a region historically underrepresented in the Navy S&T program. He and his staff made numerous visits throughout the region to better understand its strengths and help build the networks needed to exchange technical ideas, promote collaboration as a means to improved competitiveness, and increase the awareness of the processes and procedures for conducting business with ONR. These proactive efforts resulted in new partnerships formed, increased dialog between the region and ONR and a rise in proposals submitted to ONR. One of the new partnerships recently formed in the Gulf Coast region is the composites consortium between Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Mississippi, Clemson University, University of New Orleans, Ingalls Shipbuilding, and Seemann Composites. Results like this demonstrate that significant benefits to the Navy, the region and the nation can be achieved through bold and imaginative leadership in the administration of research and development.

Building on the theme of industry-academia partnerships, RADM Gaffney continues to reach out to the private sector and to regions of the country historically less involved in Navy R&D. Last year ONR conducted similar outreach efforts and conferences through its New England Initiative and will take part in the Intermountain Regional Conference in Salt Lake City, in April.

"This is the kind of vision and initiative that is needed in the government," Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) said in a letter endorsing RADM Gaffney's award. "Admiral Gaffney has shown himself not only to be a first class research administrator, but also to be a leader capable of focusing key personnel and organization to a common goal. Accomplishments like these build a stronger economy and a more secure nation."

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