Department of Defense 5G lead Evans steps down

Amanda Toman is understood to have replaced Joseph Evans as principal director for 5G technology on an acting basis.
Dr. Joseph Evans, technical director for 5G with the Defense Department's Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, stepped down in mid-August. (DoD Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

Joseph Evans, the Department of Defense’s principal director for 5G technology, has left his post at the Pentagon.

He departs after two years in the position, during which time he oversaw the development of the DOD’s 5G strategy, implementation plan and established major public-private partnerships.

Following Evans’ exit, Amanda Toman is understood to have taken up the role of acting principal director for 5G.

Prior to joining the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in August 2019, Evans was a program manager at DARPA. Earlier in his career, he also worked as a program manager at the National Science Foundation, according to his LinkedIn profile.


“We now have 5G testbeds under construction or soon to start deployment at over 15 DoD facilities around the country, and these testbeds will give the U.S. military the ability to prototype new 5G applications for military missions,” Evans wrote in a farewell post on LinkedIn.

The public-private partnerships Evans oversaw issued more than $600 million to companies willing to test new tech on military bases. The exchange allowed 5G developers to trial new networks in low-regulation environments like military bases, and thus allow the DOD to have first access to using the tech.

The strategy involves both advancing the DOD’s own use of the tech but also giving private companies the opportunity to advance a technology that the U.S. has identified as being critical for strategic competition with China.

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