ADL Initiative

The ADL Initiative is an applied Science and Technology organization for the exploration of learning science and technologies (LS&T). Through research, development, and collaboration, ADL is working on next generation strategies, best practices, and innovations to advance the way we learn. Established in 1999, ADL serves as the thought-leader for facilitating learning for our nation’s Warfighters, government agencies, and the International community. The ADL Initiative has two locations (Alexandria, VA and Orlando, FL) sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD P&R).

The ADL Co-Lab, Alexandria is located just outside Washington, DC, in the Alexandria Mark Center. The Mark Center is home to the Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services and many other DoD and government agencies. It is also a short bus ride to the Pentagon which makes it an ideal location for meeting, collaborating, and serving our number one stakeholder, the DoD.

The ADL Co-Lab, Orlando is located in Research Park in Orlando, FL. Research Park is home to Team Orlando, a unique, collaborative alliance formed by leading military simulation commands, and supplemented, supported and augmented by academic and industry leaders in the modeling and simulation, human performance and training domains. The ADL Co-Lab, Orlando is also adjacent to the University of Central Florida (UCF).



ADL’s mission is to develop and advocate open source software, tools, and specifications to create/accelerate the establishment and utilization of technology-driven learning standards that prepare and enable our nation’s learners, both military and civilian.




Dr. Sae Schatz, ADL Director, is widely respected in the distributed learning community for her work in learning science, with a focus on andragogy, human performance assessment, adaptive training, simulation, online/blended learning, and human-systems integration.As Director of the ADL Initiative, Dr. Schatz emphasizes advocacy for learning science, demonstration of the “art of the possible” involving learning technologies, and wide-ranging collaboration with our stakeholders.

Prior to joining ADL Initiative in the summer of 2015, Dr. Schatz was a Senior Consultant with Executive Development Associates, and before that she was the Chief Scientist for MESH Solutions, LLC (a DSCI Company) in Orlando, Florida. She has worked on a number of well-known projects including the Marine Corps’ “Making Good Instructors Great” effort, the NTSA award-winning Border Hunter research and instructional design project, and the Joint Staff (J7)’s Blended Learning–Training System.

Dr. Schatz received her Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida in 2008. She served on the UCF faculty from 2006–2011 (teaching courses in human-systems integration, visual and web design, and web development) and continues to support the Modeling and Simulation graduate program as an occasional adjunct instructor.

Dean Marvin is the Director of Operations for the ADL Initiative.

Jonathan Poltrack is the lead for ADL’s Research & Development and serves as the Director of Operations for the ADL Alexandria office.



Alexandria Co-Lab:
1901 N. Beauregard St.
Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22311

Orlando Co-Lab:
13501 Ingenuity Dr.
Suite 248
Orlando, FL 32826