In September 2013, President Obama appointed Dr. Huban A. Gowadia as the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).
DNDO serves as the lead federal agency mandated to develop and enhance radiological and nuclear detection and national technical nuclear forensics capabilities. Under her leadership, DNDO conducts research and development of detection and forensics technologies, characterizes system performance, acquires and deploys detection systems, supports operational partners, and builds and sustains the pipeline of next generation technical experts.
Prior to this role, Dr. Gowadia served at DNDO as the Acting Director from 2012 to 2013 and as the Deputy Director and Component Acquisition Executive from 2010 to 2012. Previously, as Assistant Director of DNDO’s Mission Management Directorate, she was responsible for ensuring an effective link between user requirements, operational support, and technology development across the nuclear detection architecture. Dr. Gowadia joined DNDO in 2005, and served as its first Assistant Director for Assessments until 2007. In this capacity, she was responsible for DNDO Test and Evaluation, Pilot programs, and “Red Team” assessments.
Before joining DNDO, Dr. Gowadia led DHS’s Science & Technology Countermeasures Test Beds as Program Executive from 2003 to 2005, evaluating state-of-the-art and next-generation threat detection technologies, in conjunction with operational requirements and response protocols. This effort resulted in technical and operational concepts for defending urban areas from terrorist threats. She began her federal career in September 2000 with the Federal Aviation Administration, working on aviation security technologies and policies. When the office transitioned to the Office of Security Technologies in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in November 2001, she served as Checkpoint Program Manager, and, after September 11, 2001, led TSA’s initiative to replace all walk-through metal detectors at airports with enhanced systems within nine months.
For her doctoral research, Dr. Gowadia investigated the fluid mechanics, heat/mass transfer, and aerobiology of sampling traces emitted by explosives concealed upon the human body, leading to the development of an explosives detection portal for security screening. Dr. Gowadia received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.