Our People

Mr. Robert R. Soule, Division Director
Robert R. Soule has served as Director of IDA's Operational Evaluation Division since May 2001. He came to IDA following two decades of civilian service at the Department of Defense, where he advised senior DoD officials on issues related to the effectiveness and costs major defense programs, and the DoD budget and acquisition process. Prior to his DoD experience, Mr. Soule was an economist for Science Applications, Inc. and a defense analyst for the National Security Division of the Congressional Budget Office.
Bob’s contributions to our nation’s defense have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, and the Vice President's Hammer Award for Reinventing Government. He has authored several publications relating to the long-term budgetary implications of modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces.
Bob earned a Masters of Economics and Public Affairs degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Amherst College.

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Dr. Rebecca Medlin, Test Science and Air Warfare Groups
photo, Rebecca Medlin Dr. Rebecca Medlin is a Research Staff Member in the Test Science and Air Warfare Groups in OED. Dr. Medlin began her IDA journey as a graduate student in IDA’s Summer Associate program, while completing her PhD in Statistics from Virginia Tech.
She uses her background in statistics and experimental design to help plan test events for a variety of major weapons systems.

Dr. Elliot Bartis, OED Naval Warfare Group
Dr. Elliot Bartis is a Research Staff Member within the Naval Warfare group of OED. After completing his PhD in Material Sciences from the University of Maryland, Elliot joined IDA to support undersea warfare programs.

At IDA, he uses his background in experimentation and his understanding of signal processing to inform defensible tests of undersea weapons systems.
Mr. Michael Mellor, OED Land Warfare Group
Mr. Michael Mellor is a Research Staff Member within the Land Warfare group of OED. Michael combines an extensive military background in operational testing with a Masters in Operations Research from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.

He uses this background to inform the full lifecycle of operational testing – planning, design, evaluation, and analysis. Michael is one of several key RSMs in our division who provide both an academic and an operational perspective to the work we do.
Dr. Laura J. Itle, IDA SAFETY Act Program Support
Dr. Laura Itle is an IDA Research Staff Member and the Program Manager for IDA’s support of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Office of SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act Implementation. She is an expert in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) detection technologies and venue security.

In her SAFETY Act role Laura oversees the work of over 150 scientists, engineers, and economists who serve as peer reviewers of the efficacy of new anti-terrorism technologies. Laura directs a small cadre of specialists in fields such as risk management, critical infrastructure security (e.g., canine explosive detection, blast hardening, and emergency response), and cyber security, who in turn draw on subject matter experts from the Federal government, national laboratories, academia, and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. Besides overseeing their work, Laura synthesizes their findings and recommendations and prepares final results for the DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology. IDA’s SAFETY Act team has won two Under Secretary’s Awards for Program Support for their efforts.

Laura has B.S.E in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular Transport Dynamics from the Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Erick McCroskey, OED Net-Centric Warfare Group
Colonel Erick McCroskey (USAF, retired) is a Research Staff Member within the Net-Centric Warfare group of OED. Erick combines an extensive military background as a pilot, analyst, operational planner, and Joint Staff officer with his Masters in Engineering Applied Science (Physics) from the University of California, Davis (at the Livermore National Laboratory) as a Hertz Foundation Fellow, and a Masters of Military Arts and Science (Operational Level of Warfare) from the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.

He uses his background to inform the full lifecycle of operational testing – planning, design, evaluation, and analysis – as well as to plan, execute, and analyze DoD-wide cybersecurity assessments and to develop new cyber theoretical concepts and innovative practical approaches. Erick is one of several key RSMs in our division who provide both an academic and an operational perspective to the work we do.