ADELPHI, Md. -- The U.S. Army announced the selection of a new senior research scientist for cyber resiliency March 23.
Dr. Alexander Kott will assume the position March 29. He has been serving as chief scientist for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory since 2017.
As the Cyber Resiliency senior research scientist, Kott will continue to serve as the lab’s chief scientist, but also be dual-hatted as the U.S. Army’s principal scientific leader for national and international fundamental cyber resiliency research programs. Cyber resilience has been defined as “ensuring mission success in a cyber-contested environment.”
“I hope to ensure that the importance of cyber science for the Army’s future is fully understood and that the most effective promising directions in cyber research are selected and pursued vigorously,” Kott said.
Across the Army there are less than 50 senior research scientists, known as STs, who serve as general-officer equivalents, advising leadership on science matters.
“The foundational research of the Army and our partners is critical to Soldiers and the Army’s persistent modernization efforts,” said laboratory Director Dr. Pat Baker. “As a new Army ST, Dr. Kott’s expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will combine well with his continued leadership and vision as ARL chief scientist. He is a great asset to our Army’s modernization enterprise.”
The Army is looking at some of the greatest changes in its history in respect to how it fights its wars. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, hypersonics, machine learning, nanotechnology, robotics, and cyber weapons are driving a fundamental change in the character of war. As a result, Army leadership embraced a new military doctrine known as multi-domain operations. Should conflict come, the U.S. Army will employ multiple layers of stand-off in all domains--land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.
“Much intellectual and practical work is done towards multi-domain operations,” Kott said. “What is the biggest difference between multidomain operations and conventional warfare? One major difference is the role of the cyber domain. It emerges as one of the most important domains in how the battle will unfold and permeates everything that the Army does on the battlefield.”
As the laboratory’s chief scientist, Kott provides leadership in development of the laboratory’s technical strategy, maintaining technical quality of the lab’s research, and representing the Army to the external technical community. Among other responsibilities, he chairs and leads the activities of the lab’s Senior Technical Council comprised of over 40 among most distinguished scientists of the U.S. Army.
“Just as the survivability of our forces against kinetic weapons is a critical aspect of our ability to win, similarly cyber resilience and cyber survivability are becoming critical factors in the outcome of the battle,” Kott said.
Kott said the practice of cyber warfare has been advancing rapidly; however, the scientific underpinnings of cyber warfare -- and particularly the foundational science of cyber resilience -- remain in its infancy.
“The ability to achieve a decisive overmatch for the Army in the cyber domain requires an intense effort to build and operationalize the scientific foundations of cyber battle and resilience,” Kott said.
Kott has previously served as the chief of the Network Science Division at the laboratory; and as a program manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Kott earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, where he researched artificial intelligence approaches to invention of complex systems. He received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award, in October 2008. He has published more than 100 technical papers and served as the co-author and editor of twelve books.
"Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kott on this significant professional accomplishment as he becomes a member of the prestigious senior professional community," wrote CCDC Commanding General Maj. Gen. John A. George in an email to the workforce.
U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.