Mr. Christopher J. Ristich, SES, Director AFRL/RS
Director of Data Science
Mr. Christopher J. Ristich, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director, Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office, or SDPE, and the Transformational Capabilities Office or TCO, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The office is responsible for facilitating Air Staff sponsored development planning activities, experimentation campaigns, and multi-domain modeling, simulation and analysis and for implementing the transformational component of the Air Force Science and Technology Strategy, including managing Air Force's Vanguard programs.
Prior to his assignments in the SDPE office, Mr. Ristich served as Technical Director of the AFRL Plans and Programs Directorate. There, he was responsible for establishing and shaping new engagements with the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and commanders of the Air Force major commands to integrate Science and Technology into Air Force corporate processes.
Mr. Ristich has held numerous technical and leadership positions. As a subject matter expert in directed energy effects, he led counter-precision guided munitions red-team efforts that provided critical vulnerability insights for Air Force senior leadership. Through a series of management and technical leadership positions in AFRL, Mr. Ristich supported projects and special initiatives including Space Capabilities Protection, Directed Energy Task Force, and the OSD Software Protection Initiative. His multi-domain experience led to his selection as Chief of the Layered Sensing Exploitation Division.
Mr. Ristich’s career includes more than 30 years of experience in research, development and test and evaluation of Air Force, Army, Navy and joint programs. He has provided leadership and technical expertise in programs that span air, space and cyber domains.
1987 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Systems Engineering, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
1995 Master of Science, Materials Engineering, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
2007 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2011 Executive Leadership Program, Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio
2012 Leadership for a Democratic Society, Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Va.
January 1983 – April 1988, U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
April 1988 – March 1995, Direction Manager, Airborne Sensor Hardening, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
April 1988 - December 2001, Branch Technical Advisor, Hardened Materials Branch, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
March 1995 – April 1998, Advanced Development Project Manager, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
December 2001 to June 2004, Chief, Electro-Optic Threat & Target Identification Branch, Sensors Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
June 2004 – September 2006, Division Technical Advisor, Anti-Tamper and Software Protection Initiative Office, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
September 2006 – July 2008, Chief, Sensor Materials Branch, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
July 2008 – June 2014, Chief, Layered Sensing Exploitation Division, Sensors Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
June 2014 – May 2016, Technical Director, Plans & Programs Directorate, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
May 2016 – May 2019, Deputy Director, Air Force Strategic Development Planning & Experimentation, AFRL, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
May 2019 – present, Director, Air Force Strategic Development Planning & Experimentation, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Test and Evaluation, Level III
Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering-Science & Technology Management, Level III
SPRDE-Systems Engineering, Level III
Program Management, Level 1