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Report: Jim Faist, Milan Nikolich Named Directors at DoD’s Research & Engineering Org

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The Defense Department has appointed government industry veterans Jim Faist and Milan “Mitch” Nikolich as directors within the newly created research and engineering division, Inside Defense reported Thursday.

Faist will oversee hypersonics, autonomy, space and networked command, control and communications areas as director of defense research and engineering for capabilities, a DoD spokeswoman told the publication.

He will also be responsible for the offices of deputy chiefs for developmental test and evaluation and mission engineering and integration.

Faist previously held senior leadership roles at several defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman, Harris, Schafer, System Planning Corp. and Trident Systems.

He served as an electronic warfare officer and weapons systems officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Nikolich, a former executive associate at CACI International, will manage machine learning/artificial intelligence, cyber, microelectronics, quantum science and directed energy as head of defense research and engineering for research and technology, a DoD spokeswoman told the publication.

He will also oversee the Defense Technical Information Center and Defense Microelectronics Activity in his new role.

Nikolich served as a board member at the nonprofit think tank George C. Marshall Institute and participated in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review.