Austin Yamada, vice president for intelligence research at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation in Arlington, Va. and long-time national security executive with both government and industry, will deliver the keynote address at the Virginia Tech National Capital Region commencement ceremony to be held Sunday, May 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va.
Approximately 400 National Capital Region students are expected to complete their degree requirements this spring.
Yamada was deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism from 2000 to 2003. He performed interagency and interdepartmental planning and coordination at the National Security Council level, and with law enforcement and first-responder elements at the federal, state, and local levels, and supported the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Since leaving the Department of Defense, Yamada has continued to support national security, first as director of homeland defense with Lockheed Martin Systems Management, then as vice president for national security strategy with ManTech International Corporation from 2006 to 2009, and most recently as senior vice president for strategy and business development with the QinetiQ North America Mission Solutions Group.
With QinetiQ, he directed and managed the development and implementation of strategies and business development activities for defense, intelligence, aerospace, federal civilian, cyber security, and homeland security business areas. He oversaw business intelligence, capture operations, proposal operations, and knowledge management activities.
In 2011, he joined the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, an organization that forms multi-disciplinary teams to solve real-world problems that strain our social, political, industrial, and economic foundations.
From 1994 to 2000, he was director of the Special Advisory Staff of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, supervising civilian and military personnel responsible for the policy development, program oversight, and operational approvals of some of the most sensitive national security activities.
Yamada received his bachelor's degree in earth science from Montana State University and a master's degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1981. He was a Senior Executive Fellow with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1991.