Mr. Farooq A. Mitha
Mr. Farooq A. Mitha currently serves in the Biden administration as the Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). As Director, Mr. Mitha oversees more than $140 billion of annual awards to small business. In addition, he assists the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretaries of Military Departments, Under Secretaries of Defense, Directors of Defense Agencies and Major Commands in including small business planning into the readiness of the Department. These efforts aim to modernize and restore the nation’s industrial commons through focusing on advanced manufacturing, applied research, and innovative programs that align small business capabilities with the DoD’s current and future needs.
Prior to his appointment Mr. Mitha served on the Biden-Harris transition team as a member of the DoD Agency Review Team. Mr. Mitha also served in the Obama administration as the Senior Advisor to the Director of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy.
Mr. Mitha served as the President and CEO of Imbue Group, Inc., which provided the subject matter expertise to DoD’s industrial base and innovation programs on small business programs, supply chain risk, defense procurement policy, utilization of other transactional authorities, engaging small businesses within the national security technology and industrial base, and advanced manufacturing.
In his previous time at the Department of Defense, Mr. Mitha led several programs and initiatives that have increased the visibility of small business within DoD, modernized programs to infuse small business capability into major defense acquisition programs and increased effective dialogue with industry.
Mr. Mitha has a strong background in international policy and national security. He is fluent in Arabic and published opinion-editorials offering commentary on issues concerning the Middle East and the American political system. In 2009, Mr. Mitha was a Fulbright Fellow in Amman, Jordan where he coordinated a Track II diplomacy conference and conducted research on economic reform in the Middle East. Mr. Mitha has also lectured at domestic and international universities on economic reform in the Middle East, U.S. policy in the Middle East, and civic engagement.
Mr. Mitha obtained his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and holds a B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences from the University of South Florida
Ms. Kasey Diaz
Prior to joining DoD OSBP, Ms. Diaz worked in the private sector where she provided direct program management support for federal government small business policies and programs with the objective of maximizing utilization of small and disadvantaged small businesses. She currently serves as the Director of the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program.
Prior to providing programmatic and management support to the federal government, Ms. Diaz was instrumental in enhancing membership recruitment, retention and outreach and influential in all membership-level activities as the Assistant Director for nonprofit associations. Ms. Diaz has more than 17 years of experience in technical, programmatic, administrative and management assistance in support of DOD as a subject-matter expert on small business and acquisition policies, procedures and related matters at the major command level. She has a BS in Biology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Elijah Cornish
As the Associate Director of Industry Engagement and External Affairs, Mr. Cornish provides leadership and strategic oversight for the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) cross-cutting partnership with industry, external digital and communications strategies, and promotes events and activities for small businesses who are interested in doing business with the DoD.
Prior to joining the DoD OSBP, Mr. Cornish served as the Program Manager for Industry Engagement at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) where he executed the agency’s plans, priorities and expectations related to Industry Engagement. His focus was on the following areas: supplier communication and interaction, balancing business decisions and fiduciary responsibilities, supplier feedback management and advocacy, driving efficiencies and innovation, and assessing and mitigating supply chain risk. Mr. Cornish also served in numerous roles during his twelve-year tenure with DLA in the DLA Energy Procurement and Policy Directorate, DLA Energy Small Business Office and the Headquarters DLA Office of Small Business Programs. Prior to his DLA assignments, Mr. Cornish served in various civilian roles within the Department of Defense, including the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).
Mr. Cornish earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology and his Master of Public Administration, from Old Dominion University.
Mr. Khalil Mack
Mr. Mack currently serves as the Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), and Apex Accelerators, for the Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). The PTAP was established to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in government contracts. The accelerators, which have a local presence in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands, serve as the axis for existing and new businesses to strengthen the defense industrial base by accelerating innovation, fostering ingenuity, and establishing resilient and diverse supply chains. The result is the creation of a domestic industrial base that can deliver preeminent solutions to the military and other government users.
Mr. Mack previously held the position of Associate Director of Policy for the Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), serving as the Principal Advisor to the Director on small business industrial base related policy, regulation, and legislation.
Prior to joining the DoD OSBP, Mr. Mack served as Branch Chief for the Rapid Prototyping Acquisition Branch at the Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate, where he planned and executed non-FAR based acquisitions, including Other Transactions, for several customers within the Department of Defense. Previous to his tenure at Washington Headquarters Services, Mr. Mack served in various contracting roles for the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).
Prior to becoming a federal civilian, Mr. Mack was a consultant, specializing in acquisition and finance, for several federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Mack earned his Bachelor of Science degree, in Business Management, from Hampton University and his MBA from the George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Federal Procurement and Contract Management Graduate Program.
Ms. Carla Johnson
As the Associate Director for Acquisition Support and Contracting, Ms. Johnson manages the Subcontracting portfolio and the Office of Small Business Program (OSBP) contracts. Ms. Johnson monitors and reports on the Department’s Subcontracting performance toward goals and executes the OSBP contractual requirements and translates these requirements into actionable contracts. She directly supports the Office of Small Business Program’s mission by striving to fulfill present fiscal year goals in prime contracting and subcontracting, as well as tracking DoD's performance history.
Prior to joining OSBP, Ms. Johnson worked in CFIUS as a member of the International Outreach and Strategic Engagement Team. She has also held positions in OUSD/Acquisition and Sustainment as the Contracts Lead, Project Manager for Business Systems, and Resource Manager for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Command, Control, and Communication (C3), Cyber, and Business Systems.
Ms. Johnson has also served in a number of leadership positions in the DoD, in support of project management, contracting, budgeting and financial management, as well as, private industry where she served as Budget Director for Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Senior Program Analyst with Northrop Grumman.
Mr. Jonathan Wright
Mr. Wright has held various positions of increasing responsibility throughout his 12 years in federal government. Mr. Wright started his career within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Industrial Base Policy (OSD IBP) in 2015. During his tenure, he has assumed various roles including Business Intelligence Analyst, Deputy Director of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Deputy Director of Foreign Investment Review Non-Notified. He now assumes the role of Associate Director, for the Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).
Effective March 2022, Mr. Wright's role as the Associate Director of Performance Management is to support the implementation of the small business strategy. He will monitor, analyze, report, and communicate the small business goals across the Department and collaborate with the Small Business Administration to meet and exceed small business goals for the Department. His focus will be to collaborate across the inter-agencies and DoD small business offices to share best practices with the purpose of exceeding the federal government's small business goals. He also serves as the Program Manager for the Indian Incentive Program, which is designed to encourage the use of Native American Organizations and Native Hawaiian Small Business Concerns by providing incentives to prime and sub-tier contractors who subcontract with such eligible firms.
Mr. Wright has more than 20 years of corporate finance, investment management, and financial analysis experience within private industry and government organizations. Mr. Wright started his career working as an investment banker on Wall Street focusing on M&A within the consumer retail industry. Mr. Wright also served in a variety of capacities at Northrop Grumman and for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) as a business intelligence analyst.
Mr. Wright is an alumnus of Hampton University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business where he graduated top of his class.
Dr. Jacqueline Charles
As the Associate Director of Small Business Policy, Legislative Affairs and Workforce Development, Dr. Charles serves as the Principal Advisor to the Director on small business industrial base related policy, regulation, and legislation.
Prior to joining the DoD OSBP, Dr. Charles served as a Product Support Manager in the Combat Data Systems Program Office within the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. Dr. Charles advised on logistics policies. She led efforts to sustain various software and hardware tools that Combat Data Systems provides to its operational units that are responsible for developing combat mission data files with the latest capabilities for the F-35. She also held other key leadership roles in her 24 year career in support of various DoD acquisition and sustainment programs.
Dr. Charles earned her PhD in Education with a specialization in Leadership for Higher Education and a MBA with a specialization in Global Operations and Supply Chain Management from Capella University. She is also a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps.
Dr. Bryson Reynolds
AAAS Policy Fellow
As a AAAS Policy Fellow, Dr. Reynolds oversees efforts to expand market intelligence including the Market Research Center of Excellence (MRCOE), develop of digital platforms to streamline workflow including the Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) Portal, and mitigate risk to small businesses in the defense industrial base posed by foreign, ownership, control, and influence (FOCI).
Prior to joining OSBP, Dr. Reynolds worked in neuroscience research at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University focused primarily on neuroimaging and the biomechanics of head impact, and in STEM education at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach.
Dr. Reynolds earned his BS degree in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University, and his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia.