Bolka named HSARPA head

David Bolka, a scientist and technology expert with a background in telecommunications, was named Monday as the director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The research group, part of the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate, was recently established as DHS' external research funding arm, to help advance technologies considered "critical" for homeland security.

"Dave Bolka brings a wealth of experience from both a management and scientific perspective," said Charles McQueary, undersecretary for the directorate. "I am confident that his unique combination of skills will help to build HSARPA and create a world-class scientific endeavor that will help protect our nation."

Bolka worked for Lucent Technologies in a variety of scientific and technical management positions, including vice president of special projects, vice president of utility solutions, director of the first office applications and radio performance and product director for utility bill, where he made substantial contributions in utility management billing systems and wireless software system releases.

He also worked for well-known organizations such as AT&T's Bell Laboratories and the Naval Sea Systems Command, where he was a major project manager for submarine combat systems. Bolka spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a captain in 1986.

Bolka has an undergraduate and masters degrees in marine geophysics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in engineering acoustics from Pennsylvania State University.

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