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SECNAV Del Toro Establishes DON Office of Strategic Assessment

11 December 2023

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro today announced the establishment of the Department of the Navy Office of Strategic Assessment (DON OSA). 

A cornerstone of the Secretary’s Maritime Statecraft initiative, DON OSA will inform the development of guiding principles and priorities to promote a modernized and more lethal force that stands ready to deter high-end conflict while simultaneously protecting and advancing the global maritime interests of the Nation. 

DON OSA will provide the Secretary independent, data-driven assessments and recommendations that will help drive smart choices for the Department of the Navy to balance current readiness investments and future modernization, enhancing the Department’s competitiveness against the pacing threat. OSA demonstrates the Secretary’s commitment to ensure the DON is the best possible steward of taxpayer dollars.  

“The Office of Strategic Assessment will provide a critical capability ensuring that we are ready to build upon our maritime supremacy across the globe today while also preparing for the dynamic challenges of the future,” said Secretary Del Toro. “Data-driven assessments looking strategically across the entire DON enterprise in support of the Joint Force will help us make smarter choices as we balance investments in current readiness and future modernization in order to enhance the Department’s competitiveness against the pacing threat.”

Additionally, Secretary Del Toro appointed Dr. Cara LaPointe to serve as the first Director of Strategic Assessment. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, LaPointe brings more 25 years of national security, technology policy, and leadership experience to the position. LaPointe’s deep background of government service includes service as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer and experience within the acquisition community as an Engineering Duty Officer. She also has served within the Executive Office of the President under three administrations, including as a Senior Advisor. Most recently, LaPointe came from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a founding Co-Director of the Institute for Assured Autonomy. She has also served as an expert advisor for global emerging technology initiatives at both the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as an inaugural member of the DON Science and Technology Board.  

“I am deeply honored to serve in this new role as Director of OSA.  I look forward to collaborating with the Navy and Marine Corps as well as with our other key partners across the Department of Defense, academia, and industry as we collectively chart a course for the future of the DON in the face of dynamic global change,” said LaPointe.  “In close partnership with our One Navy-Marine Corps Team, OSA will build on the transformational paths the Services have charted to advance the Department’s enduring priorities.” 

By aligning investments and actions to the Department’s enduring priorities of strengthening maritime dominance, building a culture of warfighting excellence, and enhancing strategic partnerships, OSA will ensure the Department continues to field the world’s most dominant maritime force. 


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