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Organization Chain of Command

Originally, the ADL Initiative reported to the OSD Director for Readiness and Training Policy and Programs in the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) chain of command. Until April 18, 2021, the ADL Initiative reported to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training (DASD(FE&T)), who reported to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness (ASD(R)), who in turn reported to the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Today, the ADL Initiative reports to the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA), under the Director, DHRA.

The program is organized into key functional areas, which include Research & Development, Operations, IT, and Outreach. The following individuals comprise the program leadership team.

ADL Initiative Leadership

Laura Milham, Ph.D., Acting Director, effective 13 August 2022 (USAF Liaison)

Dr. Laura Milham is an Air Force civilian and an applied human-systems scientist, with an emphasis on individual and team training and assessment. Dr. Milham brings over 25 years of experience to oversee the program’s comprehensive execution, guiding its strategy, and ensuring it aligns with US DoD and Federal government priorities.

Karen Cooper, Ph.D., Research Scientist (USN Liaison)

Dr. Karen Cooper is a Navy civilian with over 34 years in both the fields of information technology and learning sciences. Dr. Cooper’s research focus includes emergent technologies including technology-enabled learning and their impact on our 21st century learner, worker and service person. As a scientist and engineer, she supports execution of the ADL program’s strategy and vision as well as assists with leadership and guidance to the ADL team.

David Lalich, Program Analyst

Mr. David Lalich is a DoD civilian who serves within the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative as a Program Analyst with focus of responsibilities on Operations. Prior to recent duties within Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, he served 10-years within the Defense Travel Management Office within various Leadership/Program Analyst positions. Mr. Lalich served 26 years in the United States Air Force serving numerous roles to include Technical Training Instructor and Career Development Course Writer.

Project Management Office

Derrick Vincent, Principal Program Manager (SETA Contractor)

Mr. Vincent has over 30 years of experience in training, exercises, wargaming, space and missile operations, missile defense, Modeling and Simulation (M&S), Testing and Evaluation (T&E), and management experiences with the DoD and US military, retiring from the US Air Force. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his master’s degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He spent his last ten years in the Air Force working for USSTRATOM J9 in the M&S/Wargame branch, and at NORAD and USNORTHCOM J7 Training, Exercises, and Wargaming directorate as a research analyst. After retirement, he spent two years working at NORAD and USNORTHCOM as a government civilian in the Wargame division focusing on discovery learning. As the ADL Initiative’s Program Manager, he oversees the program’s comprehensive planning and execution, guiding its strategy, and ensuring it aligns with US DoD and federal government priorities.

Tiffani Marlowe, Deputy Program Manager (SETA Contractor)

Mrs. Marlowe is an applied research scientist with over 8 years of experience, with an emphasis on modeling and simulation, team training and performance assessment, usability and instructional design for emerging technologies, behavioral cybersecurity, and quality assurance. As the ADL Initiative Deputy Program Manager, she supports day-to-day operations and quality, and oversees the program’s comprehensive planning and execution, guiding its strategy, and ensuring it aligns with US DoD and federal government priorities.

Lisa Gangitano, Operations Principal (SETA Contractor)

Retired DoD Civilian after 32 years of service, Ms. Gangitano serves as the Operations Principal where she plans, develops, coordinates, and oversees financial, budget, and contractual matters to support Government priorities. Ms. Gangitano has extensive background in budget analysis and contract & program management. She holds the following credentials: Certification Management System (CMS), Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level I.

Research and Development

Brent Smith, R&D Principal (SETA Contractor)

Mr. Brent Smith is a Software Systems Architect with over 20 years of experience in designing and developing learning technologies for government stakeholders, defining R&D roadmaps to meet organizational objectives, and establishing chains of research that align with strategic goals. As the ADL Initiative R&D Principal, Mr. Smith helps ensure the ADL Initiative research agenda is aligned with its overall strategy.

Charles Listak, Ed.D., R&D Manager (SETA Contractor)

Dr. Charlie Listak has served the federal government as both a military officer and civil servant. As an Air Force pilot he ascended to positions including Director of Operations of the 53rd Wing. Upon retirement from active duty, he became the Director of Training for the Wing. Charlie has received several awards and recognitions during his civil service career, including 2013 Air Combat Command STEM Educator of the Year; 2014 Civilian of the Year; and 2018 J7 Civilian of the Year. His most recent civil service post was USSPACECOM Chief of Training & Education. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of West Florida teaching courses in Human Performance Technology, where he was recognized as the 2021 College of Professional Studies Alumni of the Year. His doctoral dissertation examined the influence of technology on high school math achievement through a socioeconomic lens.


Charles Hampton, IT Principal (SETA Contractor)

Mr. Charles Hampton is a cybersecurity and information technology professional with over 45 years of experience guiding organizations on managing IT infrastructures. During his career, his has held a number of positions to include Chief Information Officer (CISO), Director of Program Management/Project Management, Director of System Security/Engineering, Networking Director and Cyber Security Manager. Mr. Hampton began his career in the military and has supported IT efforts for the Federal Government to include the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and the National Security Agency. As the ADL Initiative IT Principal, Mr. Hampton helps ensure the ADL Initiative’s IT business systems are maintained, configured, secure, and available to support business functions.


Karen Murgas, PMP, Outreach Principal (SETA Contractor)

Ms. Murgas has over thirty-five years of diversified expertise in project management for education and training programs as well as performing all aspects of outreach/event and meeting management for academic, industry, and government stakeholders. As the ADL Initiative Outreach Principal, she oversees the planning and execution of all outreach efforts domestically and internationally.