About us 3.2020

History of the Acquisition Research Program at NPS

Established in 2003, ARP delivers warfighter-focused acquisition research that informs and improves acquisition policy and practice. ARP research connects military and civilian acquisition professionals, policymakers in DoD and Congress, industry, and acquisition researchers from a range of federal and independent institutions. At NPS, ARP works with the Graduate School of Defense Management to support 60-80 graduate student research projects each year.

Every year, ARP increases its effectiveness in the acquisition community. ARP’s first annual symposium showcased 8 papers and had 53 attendees. The latest symposium spotlighted over 70 papers and welcomed more than 300 participants from around the globe representing all military services, government, industry, academia, and the NPS community.

Sponsors and Partners

ARP works closely with our sponsors, whose foresight and vision have assured the continuing success of the Acquisition Research Program:

  • Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment)

  • Director, Acquisition Talent Management, U.S. Navy

  • Program Executive Officer, Integrated Warfare Systems, U.S. Navy

  • Program Executive Officer, Ships, U.S. Navy

Through our grants program, ARP coordinates research with organizations and individuals throughout the broader acquisition community, including 15+ universities and think tanks as well as innovation generators. These organizations include NPS, Ohio State University, Syracuse University, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, Stevens Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of California branches at San Diego and Irvine, Air Force Institute of Technology, and more.

Interesting in joining the ARP network as a sponsor? Browse our handy guide: 

Get to Know the Team

David H. Lewis, VADM USN (Ret.)
Chair of Acquisition

VADM Lewis joined the Acquisition Research Program in 2020 as the second chair of acquisition. As chair, he connects acquisition research from the program and NPS with the larger defense acquisition community, interfacing with the DoD, industry, and government leaders. Prior to joining NPS, VADM Lewis served as Director of the Defense Contract Management Agency. Other career assignments include time as a communications officer, fire control and missile battery officer, and combat systems officer aboard destroyers and guided-missile cruisers. As a flag officer, Lewis was Vice Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Program Executive Officer, Ships, and Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. He holds a BS in computer science and industrial engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a MS in computer science and weapons engineering from Naval Postgraduate School, and a JPME Phase I from the U.S. Naval War College. 

  • Email: david.h.lewis@nps.edu

  • Phone: 831-656-2092






Bob Mortlock, PhD
Principal Investigator

Bob is the Principal Investigator for ARP and Professor of the Practice with the Graduate School of Defense Management at NPS. He coordinates the relationships between ARP sponsors and researchers, and he advises many ARP student projects. Bob is a retired Army colonel with 15+ years as an acquisition professional in a variety of DoD programs. His current research interests are acquisition reform, acquisition program case studies, business case analysis, and leading change through stakeholder management and engagement. Bob holds an MBA from Webster University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of California-Berkeley.

  • Email: rfmortlo@nps.edu

  • Phone: 831-656-2672



Karey Shaffer, MBA
Program Manager

Karey is the founding program manager of the Acquisition Research Program, which she helped create in 2003.  She manages ARP’s daily and strategic operations, supports the graduate student research program and faculty research grants, and is the manager of ARP’s world-class annual research symposium, which she helped launch as an integral component of ARP’s mission in its initial year. Through her efforts, the impact of ARP and the annual symposium have grown steadily, establishing and reinforcing strategic connections among government, academia, and industry. She earned her MBA from San Francisco State University.

e: klshaffe@nps.edu, p: 831-656-2257




Michelle Johnson, PhD          
Communications Manager

Shel joined the ARP team in 2019 to support the program’s outreach efforts and its research processes for students, faculty, and grant recipients. Previously, Shel was a professional staff member at the Section 809 Panel and, before that, an assistant professor of English. She brings expertise in defense acquisition, academic research, plain writing, and rhetorical analysis. She earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Michigan State University.

e: michelle.johnson.ctr@nps.edu


Nadia Greer
Program Analyst

Nadia joined the ARP team in 2016. She provides financial management for ARP as well as logistical support for ARP-sponsored researchers in the NPS faculty and the greater acquisition community. She brings business experience with a proven record of accomplishments in the areas of planning, project management, customer service, and administrative management.



Jochele Benson
Program Analyst

Jochele is the face of ARP’s graduate student research program. She provides logistical support for students throughout the research process, from application to finalizing publication of capstone projects. She also supports ARP’s signature event, the annual research symposium. Having lived in Monterey for over 30 years, Jochele is your go-to tour guide for the local area.

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