AFRL Basic Research Directorate welcomes new director

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, welcomes Dr. Kevin Geiss as the new director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, the basic research directorate of AFRL.

Geiss officially assumed the role March 10, 2024. He will lead the management of the U.S. Department of the Air Force’s global basic research investment with a staff of over 200 scientists, engineers and business professionals in Arlington, Virginia, and international offices located in England, Japan, Brazil, Chile and Australia, and execute an annual budget of $400+ million-per-year.

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The newly appointed Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Dr. Kevin Geiss, arrives in Arlington, Va., for a day of immersion briefings at AFOSR on March 12, 2024. Dr. Geiss comes to AFOSR with many years of experience leading multiple Department of the Air Force and Department of Defense Science and Technology organizations. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Cherie Cullen)

A member of the Senior Executive Service, Dr. Geiss will ensure the success of the basic research investment portfolio and the transition of resulting discoveries to AFRL directorates, defense industries and federal agencies.

Currently, AFOSR’s basic research investment is distributed among over 300 leading academic institutions across 50 states, 65 countries, 150 industry-based contracts and more than 230 internal AFRL research efforts, all aligned to support AFRL in delivering integrated capabilities to the warfighter.

“The basic research mission is at the core of our military competitiveness,” said AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Scott Cain. “The future begins with basic research and Dr. Geiss is just the kind of leader we need to execute this crucial mission. Having a diversified investment strategy for maximum discovery potential, like the one we have for AFRL basic research, is key to our competitive edge.”

As the former director of AFRL’s then Airman Systems Directorate, now Human Effectiveness Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Geiss welcomed the opportunity to continue serving the AFRL, but this time through the basic research mission.

“I look forward to carrying out the basic research mission and working with the subject matter experts at AFSOR to continue efforts to identify areas for investment and collaboration to advance the DAF’s research and development enterprise across the full spectrum of air, space and cyber operations,” said Geiss. “AFOSR builds bridges to the world’s most prestigious universities and talented researchers to support ground-breaking research, enhance partnerships and provide revolutionary science and technology discoveries to the warfighter. I look forward to leading this effort.”

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit:


The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, expands the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Department of the Air Force’s basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, AFOSR’s mission is to discover, shape, champion and transition high risk basic research to profoundly impact the future Air and Space Force. AFOSR accomplishes its mission through global investment in advanced discovery research efforts in relevant scientific areas. Central to AFOSR’s strategy is the transfer of the fruits of basic research to industry, the supplier of Department of the Air Force acquisitions; to the academic community, which can lead the way to still more accomplishment; and to the other directorates of AFRL that carry the responsibility for applied research leading to acquisition.