Jack Blackhurst, executive director of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) since June 2017, is set to retire Wednesday after a 46-year career that saw him take on various military and federal civilian roles.
In his current capacity, Blackhurst oversees USAF's $2.5 billion science and technology portfolio and serves as the principal assistant to the AFRL commander, the military research organization said Friday.
He received his Senior Executive Service appointment in 2010 while serving as director of the human effectiveness directorate within AFRL.
Blackhurst started his military career in 1975 as communications electronics officer of the 509th Bomb Wing and held various management roles across the branch following master's degree completion in 1979 at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He achieved the rank of colonel upon his military retirement in 2004.
Prior to his current role, he led the plans and programs directorate at the AFRL headquarters for three and a half years.