Leadership

IARPA has been fortunate to have a number of distinguished leaders since its inception in 2007. Each leader has brought a wealth of expertise to help guide and support IARPA and the crucial role it plays within the Intelligence Community (IC).

Going forward, IARPA’s leadership will continue to push the boundaries of scientific research to ensure the IC maintains its edge and continues to be the indispensable backbone of our nation’s security.

Dr. Catherine Marsh, IARPA Director

Dr. Catherine Marsh, IARPA Director

Dr. Catherine Marsh became director at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity in November 2019, where she is responsible for investing in high-risk/high-payoff research that has the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage. Prior to this assignment, Dr. Marsh was the chief scientist for the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology from 2016-2019, where she was responsible for ensuring that leading-edge science and technology underlies current and future mission capabilities. Before that, she was dean of the DS&T’s George Methlie School. From 2013-2015, she served as IARPA's deputy director. Dr. Marsh joined the CIA in 2001 and served in serval capacities to innovate power solutions for the Intelligence Community. While in industry, she led the team that put lithium-ion technology on numerous platforms, including NASA’s MARS exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Dr. Marsh is a director of National Intelligence Fellow and member of the DS&T’s distinguished expert cadre. She holds a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in inorganic and analytic chemistry from Brown University.

Dr. Gurpartap “GP” Sandhoo, D.SC., IARPA Deputy Director

Dr. Gurpartap “GP” Sandhoo, D.SC., IARPA Deputy Director

Dr. Sandhoo became deputy director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity in December 2021. Dr. Sandhoo previously occupied the Distinguished Visiting Professor Robert A. Heinlein Endowed Chair in Astronautics at the U.S. Naval Academy since 2020. At the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, he headed the Spacecraft Engineering Division, and was also the acting director of the Naval Center of Space Technology. He provided executive direction and technical leadership in conducting research of space systems with advanced technologies. He was also a flight controller at NASA’s Johnson Space Center from 2000-2005, and was a research & development engineer at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory from 1997-2000, as well as in industry. Since 1986, he has served in uniform in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. Dr. Sandhoo is a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an Engineering Duty Officer. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Master’s from the U.S. Naval War College, a Master’s and a Doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from George Washington University, and is a MIT Seminar XXI fellow.

Mr. Robert Rahmer, Director of Analysis Research

Mr. Robert Rahmer, Director of Analysis Research

Mr. Robert Rahmer is IARPA’s Office Director for Analysis Research. Mr. Rahmer joined IARPA in 2014 as a Program Manager. He specialized in discovering and developing novel proactive and predictive methods for securing computational environments, and led the CAUSE, CORE3D, VirtUE and FUSE programs. Mr. Rahmer’s primary research focus included cybersecurity, cyber-event forecasting, cyber-actor behavior and cultural understanding, threat intelligence, threat modeling, cyber-event coding, and cyber-kinetic event detection. Prior to arriving at IARPA, Mr. Rahmer led several technical computer network operations teams that focused on reverse engineering, incident response, tactical development, and cyber threat intelligence analysis, in support of multiple government organizations. Mr. Rahmer has supported the IC since 2003 in various roles as a contractor, providing technical expertise in cyber-security analysis, security engineering, and cyber intelligence analyst training for commercial, Department of Defense, and IC organizations. He also served in the U.S. Navy as part of its Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Mr. Rahmer holds a master’s degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He also holds several industry information security certifications, including the Certified Information System Security Professional certification.

Dr. Pedro Espina, Director of Collection Research

Dr. Pedro Espina, Director of Collection Research

Dr. Pedro Espina joined IARPA in September 2020 as the Office Director for the Office of Collection. Prior to joining IARPA, he led the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s geophysics research efforts and supported the National Reconnaissance Office’s basic research portfolio. From 2015-2016, Dr. Espina served as the National Institute of Science and Technology’s (NIST) international science and standards advisor. From 2013-2015, he supported the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the senior science and technology advisor and was the executive director of the White House National Science and Technology Council from 2010-2013. From 2005-2010, Dr. Espina served at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris and served as a flow measurement scientist for the Department of Commerce from 1987-2005. Dr. Espina was also part of NIST’s response to the Deepwater Horizon incident, where he served on the team that calculated the size of the oil spill. His efforts earned him accolades, including the Department of Commerce’s silver medal, which is granted by the secretary of commerce for exceptional contributions that have a direct and lasting impact. Dr. Espina earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Maryland.