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News | June 17, 2019

R&D program manager receives innovation award

By Sara Moore, DLA Information Operations

A program manager in DLA Information Operations Research and Development was recognized as a top innovation leader in the Department of Defense by the Asian-American Government Executives Network. 

Senthil Arul, who leads the Defense Logistics Information Research Program in R&D, was named one of AAGEN’s Innovative Leaders in Defense at its 2019 Leadership Workshop June 6 in Crystal City, Virginia. The award recognizes civilian and military leaders from throughout DoD who have embraced and promoted innovation during their careers. 

Arul was recognized for his work on research projects that help improve the quality and interoperability of logistics data to streamline DLA operations as well as his work on cyber network resiliency and sustainability groups. Arul is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, where he lectures on quality, innovation and sustainability.

“Dr. Arul is an outstanding program manager for our Research and Development Division,” said David Koch, chief of DLA Research and Development. “He is extremely active in the community, so it is exciting to see him recognized for his service to the AAGEN. We are so very proud of him!” 

Arul, who has been a member of AAGEN for seven years, said he was honored to be recognized by the organization, especially since the awardees were from such a diverse, highly qualified background. He said he appreciates the award and AAGEN because they recognize the efforts of minorities and promote their involvement in the future of the workforce.

“We in DoD need to be on the leading edge, and the AAGEN organization wants to make sure the upcoming people in the leadership positions are uplifted and empowered to make an impact and bring about positive change,” he said. 

Innovation has been an important part of his career, Arul said, because he believes in the necessity of change when it comes to making a difference and achieving the mission.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten. You need to look for opportunities to change, either in a small way or a big way, and this country’s all about that,” he said. “That’s why I migrated to this country, and that’s why I went and did my Ph.D. You want to be adaptable and able to change.”