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Operational Evaluation Division

Applied Technical Expertise

OED researchers apply deep technical, analytical, and subject-matter expertise to support Department of Defense (DoD) operational testing and evaluation, allocation of resources, weapon system sustainment decisions, combatant command- and service-level cybersecurity evaluations, and DoD’s COVID-19 response. OED researchers also assess anti-terrorism products and services and support cybersecurity evaluations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Our government sponsors depend on us to meet complex challenges with determination, creativity, and unparalleled insight. Our researchers work on fascinating technical issues that make a difference. We support DoD and DHS to protect our warfighters, save taxpayer dollars, and defend our nation.

Our People

OED’s interdisciplinary team of nearly 200 researchers includes academics, industry professionals, and former military personnel. The vast majority of our research staff hold advanced degrees, two-thirds at the doctoral level.

We come from diverse educational backgrounds, including engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, psychology, data science, statistics, economics, political science, and operations research.

Meet some of OED’s Researchers and our Leadership team.

OED staff

Our Work

Department of Defense seal

The DoD and DHS trust OED’s researchers to provide independent factual analyses backed by technical expertise. We work collaboratively to deliver effective solutions across the entire project lifecycle.

We draw upon our scientific expertise and operational experience to objectively evaluate major defense and anti-terrorism programs in the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal

We develop test concepts, observe tests in the field, perform program reviews, employ modern data-driven analytical approaches, develop and apply modeling and simulation tools, write reports, publish research papers, and present our results and recommendations to senior government decision-makers.

OED researchers do not just work in the office. We observe operational and cybersecurity testing on board ships, submarines, and aircraft, and at military installations across the world. We also conduct anti-terrorism assessments at locations across the US, everywhere from LaGuardia to Lambeau Field.

See pictures of OED in Action.

Our Culture

OED’s culture fosters intellectual freedom and analytical rigor. We value the free discussion, discipline, drive, and focus found in both academia and the military.

OED strongly encourages, and funds, professional development. Our researchers frequently participate in seminars, workshops, classes, and conferences at IDA and across the country.

OED researchers actively support IDA initiatives by tutoring local students and mentoring junior scientists through our Summer Associate Program.

OED Softball team photo

Teamwork is fundamental to our culture, and OED understands that non-work activities help build effective teams. Our researchers enjoy many opportunities to socialize, like lively debates around the lunch table, friendly games of softball, and home-grown skits for our holiday party.