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Thank you for attending!

On behalf of the 2008 UARC Administrative Challenges Meeting organizing committee, thank you for attending this year’s event. CASL welcomes your feedback on the program, facility, and speakers so that we can make future meetings better.

To view the presentations from this year’s meeting, please visit to the Conference Presentations page.

Speaker Profile: Mr. Gary Bliss


Gary R. Bliss is currently the Deputy Director, Enterprise Engineering and OSD Studies in the office of the Undersecretary, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)).  His responsibilities include oversight of the five OSD-funded Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), the OSD’s university research program, as well as review and development of innovations to overhaul the AT&L enterprise management systems. 

He is perhaps best known from his recent position as the longstanding Director of OD(PAE) Weapon System Cost Analysis Division  (WSCAD).  WSCAD’s ten staff members constitute one of the two offices dedicated to OSD Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) functions, and responsible for the preparation of independent development and procurement cost estimates for major systems that range from munitions (e.g., tactical missiles) through platforms (e.g., helicopters, submarines, fighter aircraft, tanks, etc.).  As such, Mr. Bliss has been a key player for more than twelve years in DoD’s most important system decisions by the Services, OSD, and the Congress.

Generally recognized in both industry and government as a leading authority on the economics of defense procurement, Mr. Bliss has also an established track record in institutional reform/reengineering including:

  •       Management information system reengineering helping to develop a broad-based re-definition of the core management systems used to coordinate the far-flung value chain of major defense program focusing on the key signals that individual decision makers face throughout the supply-chain — at both the prime and vendor.
  •       Manufacturing enterprise reengineering conducting studies of the potential for savings from enterprise reengineering reviewing in considerable detail the four basic enterprise-wide systems:  design/engineering; manufacturing shop floor performance; supplier-chain management; and overhead/indirect functions.
  •       Public/Private Competition acting as a principal economic advisor on the Source Selection Evaluation Boards for both McClellan AFB and Kelly AFB public/private competitions.
  •       CCDR Project Office as the architect of the initiative that reengineered DoD’s Contractor Cost Data Reporting (CCDR) system.

Ga  Gary has a BA, Mathematics and Economics (Highest Honors in Economics) from College of William and Mary and done PhD graduate work at School of Business, University of Chicago. 


Speaker Profile: Dr. John Parmentola

Director for Research and Laboratory Management, U.S. Army         

 John Parmentola has built a career as a pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator. His extensive background in science and technology spans three decades of fundamental research, technology development and acquisition, and manufacturing technology.  He has broad experience in the private sector, academia and has held many positions in the Federal government and Defense Community. Born in the Bronx, New York, Dr. Parmentola received his BS degree in Physics cum laude from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1971 and his PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1977.

He currently serves as Director for Research and Laboratory Management for the US Army, directing laboratory management policy for all Army laboratories, research, development and engineering centers—including the Army’s Basic and Applied Research programs spanning 12 basic research disciplines and 14 technology areas at the Army Research Laboratory, Army Research Institute, Army Corps of Engineers, and Simulation and Training Technology Center.  He also oversees Environmental Quality technology, Manufacturing Technology, Small Business Innovative Research, and Army High Performance Computing programs—with a combined annual budget of roughly $750M.  His responsibility encompasses policy for personnel systems, laboratory infrastructure, laboratory security, and Base Realignment and Closure.


Before coming to the Army, Dr. Parmentola was Science and Technology Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Energy, where he provided technical, budgetary, and programmatic advice to DOE leaders for more than $7B in science and technology investments—including Defense, Non-proliferation, Science, Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency, Nuclear Energy and Environmental programs. Prior to joining the US Department of Energy, he was co-founder of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office of the newly formed Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), where he led a diverse group of 20 scientists and engineers in addressing major national challenges concerning the threat of weapons of mass destruction.    






Speaker Profile: Mr. Robert Hardy


Robert B. Hardy is Director, Contracts and Intellectual Property and provides staff support to the CIP Committee. Prior to coming to COGR in April 2001, Bob was with the National Science Foundation (NSF) for over 30 years, serving in a variety of capacities.

Most recently he was Director of the Division of Contracts, Policy and Oversight at NSF. He holds a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College and J.D. from Catholic University. He served as the NSF representative on the National Science and Technology Council Task Force working group charged with developing the response to and overseeing the implementation of the Presidential Review Directive on the Government-University Research Partnership. He also served as Co-Chair of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Membership Committee for Phase III of the FDP and Co-Chair of the FDP Task Force on Cost Sharing and Effort Reporting. He was a founding member of the National Assistance Management Association (now NGMA) and has a number of publications on issues related to research and grants administration.


Cheryl Birch

Intrigued by the developments in the world of microcomputers, Cheryl entered UCLA’s MBA program in 1983 to study Management Information Systems. UCLA’s exposure to the bright lights of Hollywood rekindled Cheryl’s interest in the Entertainment Industry, and upon graduation, Cheryl joined MCA Inc/Universal Studio’s network television division. As a member of the Business Affairs Department, Cheryl negotiated deals for such popular series as “Murder, She Wrote,” “Coach,” and “Quantum Leap.” In 1984, after some of the key management team moved to Paramount Pictures, Cheryl joined Paramount’s network television division as a Vice President of Business Affairs, negotiating deals on the popular “Star Trek” series, “JAG,” and “Wings.”

Attracted at the opportunity to combine Hollywood and High-Tech, Cheryl joined mentor Richard Lindheim at the the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, where she serves as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance, Administration, and Personnel (she calls it “Queen” for short!).

Cheryl has always been motivated by her belief that one person truly can make a difference. She co-founded the national nonprofit organization, Compassion in Action, which is dedicated to the mission that no one need die alone. Through that organization, volunteers are recruited, trained, and placed at the bedsides of the terminally ill.