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Donald W. Thompson, Jr., is the Director, F-35 Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  He is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the F-35 Joint Program Office’s Air Force workforce to enable the development, delivery, and sustainment of all airborne, surface, and ground-based assets, and advanced capabilities for the U.S and international partners. 

Prior to his current assignment, Donald Thompson was the Deputy, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was responsible for the development, production, fielding, sustainment, and modernization of the Air Force fighter portfolio, which includes the A-10, A-29, F-15, F-16, F-22, and special programs; as well as the development of the Next Generation Air Dominance program and other advanced aircraft capability development activities, to include the Skyborg Vanguard program. 

He has also served as the Deputy, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers and Deputy Director for the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate to which he assisted the Director in managing foreign military sales programs with totals exceeding $138.3 billion supporting more than 102 foreign countries. As AFMC’s center of excellence for international affairs, his responsibilities also included managing the command’s international cooperative programs and its foreign disclosure policy. Mr. Thompson also served as Chair for the Miami Valley Combined Federal Campaign. In this capacity he exercised executive management of a regional charity drive that encompassed 75 federal organizations in eleven counties in Southwest Ohio that realized total contributions of over $2.1 million in 2013.

Mr. Thompson began his Air Force career in 1988 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, as a Manufacturing Systems Engineer at the Aeronautical Systems Center. He has more than 34 years of experience in all aspects of system acquisition as an engineer, logistician, and program manager on several programs to include Propulsion, National Aerospace Plane, Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (X-45), Global Hawk, F-15, C-130, C-27J, and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System.

1988 Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee State University, Nashville TN
1993 Master of Science in Management Science, University of Dayton, Dayton OH
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2009 Program Manager’s Course, Defense System Management College, Ft Belvoir VA
2010 Executive Program Management Course, Ft Belvoir VA

1.    Sep 88 – Sep 91, Manufacturing Systems Engineer, Propulsion Systems Program Office, WPAFB OH
2.    Sep 91 – Mar 94, Manufacturing Systems Engineer, National Aerospace Plane Program, WPAFB OH
3.    Mar 94 – Nov 95, Manufacturing Systems Engineer, F-15 Systems Program Office, WPAFB OH
4.    Nov 95 – Dec 98, Systems Engineer, Special Projects, F-15 Systems Program Office, WPAFB OH
5.    Dec 98 – Mar 01, Program Manager, Special Projects, F-15 Systems Program Office, WPAFB OH
6.    Mar 01 – Aug 02, Executive Support to Center Director, Aeronautical Systems Center, WPAFB OH
7.    Aug 02 – Dec 04, Program Mgr, Sensors & Payloads, X-45 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, WPAFB OH
8.    Dec 04 – Mar 06, Deputy PM, Common System Tech, Joint Unmanned Combat Air System, WPAFB OH
9.    Mar 06 – Jul 06, Deputy PM, Engineering Manufacturing and Development, Global Hawk, WPAFB OH
10.    Jul 06 – Oct 08, Deputy PM, C-130J Program Office, 657th Aeronautical Systems Sqdn, WPAFB OH
11.    Oct 08 – Jun 10, Deputy Director, 866th Aeronautical Sys Group (C-130AMP/J & C-27J), WPAFB OH
12.    Jun 10 – Apr 11, Chief, Tactical Airlift Division (C-130AMP/J and C-27J), WPAFB OH
13.    Apr 11 – May 12, Deputy Chief, Aircraft Survivability Division, WPAFB OH
14.    May 12 – May 14, Deputy Dir., Air Force Security Assistance & Cooperation Directorate, WPAFB OH
15.    May 14 – Jan 17, Deputy Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers, WPAFB OH
16.    Jan 17 – Jun 20, Deputy Air Force Program Executive Officer, Fighters and Bombers, WPAFB OH
17.    Jun 20 – Nov21, Deputy Air Force Program Executive Officer, Fighters/Advanced Aircraft, WPAFB OH
18.    Nov 21 – Present, Director, F-35 Directorate, WPAFB OH

1997 and 1999 PEO Team of the Year for Fighters and Bombers
2000 and 2002 Exemplary Civilian Service Award
2007 Armament Cooperation Team Award
2007, 2017, and 2021 Meritorious Civilian Service Award

Acquisition Program Management, Level III
Systems Planning Research, Development & Engineering, Level III Production, Manufacturing & Quality Assurance, Level I

(current as of August 2022)