Interview with Sean O’Keefe, Professor at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. O’Keefe describes moving around as a child when his father worked for the Navy. He discusses his undergraduate work at Loyola in New Orleans, and he explains his interest in pursuing a career in public service in the post-Watergate, post-Vietnam era when there was much cynicism about working for the government. O’Keefe describes his participation in the Presidential Management Intern Program and his work for the Department of the Navy and after that, for the Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, where he worked on budgetary policy against the backdrop of the Cold War in the 1980s. He describes his work at Comptroller for the Department of Defense where he worked on identifying budgetary waste at the Pentagon. O’Keefe describes the scene at the Pentagon during the Gulf War, and he discusses the opportunity that led to him becoming Secretary of the Navy. He describes his career prospects outside of government after George H.W. Bush lost re-election and the opportunity leading to his professorship at Syracuse University, where he mentored students in public service leadership. O’Keefe describes being named NASA administrator in the administration of George W. Bush and some of the challenges he encountered coming from a defense background. He discusses the tragedy and his strategy in dealing with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, both in terms of lessons learned from the engineering failures, and the grief that he shared with the families of the astronauts who died. O’Keefe describes some of the ways he attempted to turn the disaster into institutional opportunity at NASA and its impact on the Hubble space servicing mission. He describes his decision to become Chancellor at Louisiana State University, where he focused on building up the school’s endowment, dealing with Hurricane Katrina, and working to keep LSU graduates in the state. O’Keefe describes his tenure as CEO of Airbus North America before returning to Syracuse to teach in his current position. At the end of the interview, O’Keefe reflects on what he has learned about organizational leadership over the course of his career, and what he tries to convey to his students as they prepare to become the nation’s next generation of leaders.
The interview focuses on Pakiser’s training at the Colorado School of Mines, his career in geology and seismology with an emphasis on his crustal studies in the 1960s. During this period Pakiser headed the crustal studies branch of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and contributed to the Department of Defense’s “Project Vela Uniform,” which aimed at the improvement of seismic detection capabilities.
Effect of Sputnik on Navy research and development, position as Chief Scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and selection to be the first Director for Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). Origins of DDR&E, its relationship with the services, and the uniformed Navy’s success in keeping R&D projects under control. DDR&E’s contacts with high level government officials, major trends and problems encountered as DDR&E, management style. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s effect on centralization of the armed forces, DDR&E and the general growth of bureaucracy, reasons for leaving DDR&E. Effect of increased R&D on the escalation of the arms race and trends in technology. Review of his career, background experience, including the Manhattan Project, Livermore Laboratory, advisory committees; Chief Scientist, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), 1958; Director Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E); reasons for and problems involved with the establishment of the DDR&E.
Laser work at Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory (AFCRL) (Rudolph Bradbury); early work on ruby lasers (Charles H. Townes, John Howard); Department of Defense (DOD) high-energy laser program; Steve Harris and Anthony DeMaria; optical masers and phased array lasers; CO2 laser at Avco-Everett; reform of service laboratories (Peter Schweitzer), 1960s; laser color centers and pump light attenuation (application to rangefinders); interaction with Office of Naval Research; spinoffs of laser research. Laser damage studies at AFCRL (q-switching); instigated by Peter Avizonis and Art Guenther; Raman light (R. K. Chang), development of Optical Parametric Oscillators; simulated Brillouin scattering (George Wolga); tunable laser work (Tony Siegman, Steve Harris); Avco Gas Dynamic Laser (GDL); Erlan Bliss and Dave Milam; Stickley replaced by Howard Schlossberg; dispersion of laser damage group; transfer of laser glass and damage experience to DOE—Livermore. Stickley moves to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Glenn Sherwood, Maurice Sinnot, Ed Gerry, David Mann, Steve Lukasik; Laser Window Program; DARPA interdisciplinary materials science program; Chemical Laser Damage Program (J. A. Harrington). Joins the Department of Energy (DOE) and its laser fusion program; politics and recruitment; Lawrence Livermore Laboratory vs. Los Alamos National Laboratory; DOD vs. DOE laboratories. The Strategic Defense Initiative; Stickley moves to Battelle Memorial Institute.
Family background; education at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institution, New York University (Richard Courant); works as engineer at Republic Aviation while a graduate student in mathematics at Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics; Ph.D. thesis on rolling up of von Karman vortex sheet (Kurt Otto Friedrichs). To Convair, 1954; Atlas development program (Hans Friedrich); origins of the University of California, San Diego; moved up to General Dynamics Research & Development division, 1958; organizing and filming the Convair Lecture Series (von Karman, George Gamow). Enters government committee work (von Karman, Courant); transition to Department of Defense; the Kennedy administration (Robert McNamara, Herbert York, Harold Brown); member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC). Takes position as vice-president at North American Aviation; leaves as a result of Bobby Baker scandal, 1964. Starts non-defense division of Rand Corporation. Commercial contact with scientists in Soviet Union. Defense Science Board Task Force on High-Energy Lasers. Project 137 (Eugene Wigner, John Wheeler, Oscar Morgenstern, Marvin Goldberger); Project Bassoon (Nick Christofilos); A. G. Hill, James McCormack; origins of JASON (Charles Townes, Goldberger).
Interview focuses on Frosch's involvement in issues related to seismic detection of underground nuclear weapons test during the 1960s. He also describes his time as director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency's Nuclear Test Detection Office from 1963 to 1965. In this position Frosch helped to manage the Department of Defense's "Project Vela Uniform," which aimed at the improvement of seismic detection capabilites. He played a major role in the realization of the Large Aperture Seismic Array (LASA).
In this interview E. A. Frieman discusses topics such as: being a member of JASON; Princeton University; John Wheeler; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ken Watson; Keith Brueckner, Murph Goldberger; Francis Low; Geoff Chew; Lyman Spitzer; Charles Townes; Project Matterhorn; Edward Teller; Stanford Research Institute (SRI); Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Herbert York; Dick Garwin; Department of Defense; Department of Energy; Stan Flatte; Strategic Defense Initiative.
In 1965 Evernden, a Berkeley-trained seismologist, became involved in the scientific-technical-political debate about the seismic detection of underground nuclear weapons tests. From 1965 to 1969 Evernden worked inside the Department of Defense as a sesimologist expert, first for the secret Air Force Technical Applications Center, later for the Advanced Research Projects Agency. He soon became convinced that only a few seismologists were actively working towards a solution of the detection problem, and that a number of individuals tried to prevent such as solution to the test ban treaty issue. Since then he has been an outspoken supporter of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and critic of the Department of Defense's work on seismic detection.
The interview focuses on Archambeau's geophysical training at the California Institute of Technology and his career as a seismologist, covering the period before 1970. Major emphasis lies on his involvement in issues related to the seismic detection of underground nuclear explosions and his advocacy for a nuclear test ban treaty. He discusses the Department of Defense's "Project Vela Uniform," which aimed at improving seismic detection capabilities, and he describes Vela's impact on his career on seismology in general.