Dr. Regina E. Dugan, President & CEO

Dr. Dugan is an experienced professional in defense against explosive threats and counterterrorism. On these topics, she has briefed or advised such esteemed figures as the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, the Deputy Director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, the Chief Scientist of the FAA, as well as the Army Science Board, the Defense Science Board, and the National Research Council, among others.


While a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),
Dr. Dugan led a $50M program focused on the development of an advanced, field-portable system for detecting the explosive content of land mines. The “Dog’s Nose Program” was successful in the creation of several new products and in their follow-on transition to commercial and military customers. She is field-experienced, having participated in active mine clearance efforts in Mozambique and field tested equipment in both Africa and Bosnia.

In 1999, she was named DARPA Program Manager of the year for her efforts, and in May of 2000, Joe N. Ballard, Lieutenant General US Army, awarded Dr. Dugan the Bronze deFleury medal, the most prestigious award of the Army Engineer Regiment. Lieutenant General Ballard cited that Dr. Dugan exhibited an exceptional degree of dedication and perseverance attacking an extraordinarily difficult, critical, life-threatening mission area for the Engineer Regiment, and succeeded. He also states, “Without her intensity, dedication, and passion this program would have failed. Through strength of will, she carried disheartened experimenters past points of discouragement and led them to solve seemingly impossible problems. In the highest leadership traditions, she acted as coach, mentor, cheerleader, and taskmaster to achieve the program goals.”

Dr. Dugan led a counterterrorism task force for the Deputy Secretary of Defense in 1999 and, from 2001 to 2003 she served as a special advisor directly to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, completing a Quick Reaction Study on Countermine for Enduring Freedom. The results of this study were subsequently briefed to more than ‘50 stars’ and implemented in the field with success. She continues to serve on senior advisory panels including the Defense Science Board, the Army Science Board, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency on topics as diverse as defense science and technology and reducing vulnerabilities to weapons of mass destruction.

In 2001, Dr. Dugan co-founded Dugan Ventures, a niche investment firm, where she has served as President & CEO with primary responsibility for identifying new opportunities, due diligence, and investment transactions. Dugan Ventures provides senior executive leadership in addition to capital investments, and in this capacity, she has served in senior executive positions in three companies with responsibilities ranging from the development of strategic business relationships, legal and financial matters, as well as the building of a direct sales, marketing, and distribution capability throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. During her tenure in these companies, Dr. Dugan was responsible for approximately $35M in fundraising and business development activities.

Widely recognized for her leadership in technology development and an experienced public speaker, she has appeared on the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, and the AAAS Science Report and her projects have been the subject of articles in The New York Times Science Times, The New York Times Circuits, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Chemical and Engineering News and Science News.

Dr. Dugan obtained her PhD in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her master's and bachelor's degrees from Virginia Tech. She is the co-author of Engineering Thermodynamics, 1996. She is the sole inventor on one issued patent and inventor or co-inventor on nine additional patents pending.

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Dr. Dugan's deFleury medal citation

Dr. Regina E. Dugan is awarded the Engineer Regiment’s Bronze deFleury medal for her exceptionally meritorious service as Program Manager of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency UXO Chemical Detection Program. In this position she exhibited an exceptional degree of dedication and perseverance attacking an extraordinarily difficult, critical, life-threatening mission area for the Engineer Regiment, and has succeeded.

Dr. Dugan fought passionately to build and sustain a program designed to detect the high explosive content of landmines because, alone in the mine detection field, she believed that technologies previously discarded had matured to the point that they would work and finally provide the long-sought solution to landmine detection. In doing this she challenged both the establishment and the scientific community to push beyond what they considered to be possible and find a solution.

Dr. Dugan first educated herself on the mine detection problem by training with engineer soldiers and marines. Going beyond what is normally expected of a scientific program manager, she entered several actual minefields with demining teams and located and destroyed live antipersonnel mines. As a direct result of this she achieved a high level of understanding of the mine detection problem. Recognizing early that the significant problem in mine detection is the exceptionally large number of false target detections, she conducted the first ever minefield characterization experiment to develop an understanding of the clutter problem. The resulting database has significantly assisted work in every detection technology area.
She fought through the bureaucratic maze to build a state of the art detection facility at Ft. Leonard Wood in order to provide experimenters for the first time with a clean test site containing real land mines. On this site several technologies demonstrated the potential to detect buried explosives.

When experiments indicated that a particular technology had a high detection probability and low false targets, Dr. Dugan forced the development team to push time lines and technical limitations to take it to Bosnia and test it in an actual landmine environment working with engineer units and soldiers. Success in the actual environment inspired the technical team to push on to solve final problems. Dr. Dugan throughout worked closely with the Army and the Marine Corps to build transition bridges to move the emerging technology into formal acquisition programs and field real equipment.

Without her intensity, dedication, and passion this program would have failed. Through strength of will, she carried disheartened experimenters past points of discouragement and led them to solve seemingly impossible problems. In the highest leadership traditions, she acted as coach, mentor, cheerleader, and taskmaster to achieve the program goals.

For the first time in history, technology can actually detect landmines. Dr. Dugan’s impressive performance and success has brought great credit on herself and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Because of the increased safety she has provided to all engineer soldiers on this most dangerous mission, the Engineer Regiment is in her debt.

The Army Engineer Association on behalf of the Engineer Regiment is proud to award the Bronze Order of the deFleury Medal to Dr. Regina E. Dugan for inspirational leadership to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.


Joe N. Ballard, Lieutenant General, USA
Chief of Engineers.

 

 

 

 

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