Chief Operating Officer
As chief operating officer of the SEI, Robert Behler directs internal operations and execution of the SEI’s annual operating plan and technical program.
Robert Behler was the president and CEO of SRC Inc., a not-for-profit research and development corporation with a for-profit manufacturing subsidiary (SRCTech). SRC Inc. developed, manufactured and deployed life-saving electronic warfare and advanced counter-fire radars, electronic jammers, cyber security defensive systems and environmental protection capability. Under his leadership SRC Inc. was named to the prestigious Fortune Magazine Best Companies to work for list 2010.
He also served as the Senior Vice President/General Manager of the MITRE Corporation C2 Center responsible for defining and executing the FFRDC strategy within the Air Force, Army, Navy, and joint and defense programs. Additionally he provided leadership for developing advanced command and control concepts.
Before joining MITRE in April 2006, Behler was general manager of Precision Engagement at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. In this capacity he supervised over 250 scientists and engineers working on command, control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) programs for the Department of Defense. Under his leadership, the Precision Engagement organization turned new and emerging technologies into transformational operational capabilities.
Behler retired from the Air Force in 2003. During his distinguished 31-year career, he accumulated extensive experience managing and developing advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) technologies at all levels. His last assignment was commander of the Air Force C2ISR Center at Langley Air Force Base, where he was principal C2ISR advisor to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Prior to that, he served as deputy commander of NATO Joint Headquarters North in Stavanger, Norway, and was the senior U.S. military officer in Scandinavia. He has also served as director of command, control, communication, computers, and intelligence (J-6) and CIO of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. During the 104th Congress he served in the U.S. Senate as chief of the U.S. Air Force Senate Liaison Office.
Behler entered the Air Force in 1972 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Oklahoma. He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours in 65 types of aircraft, including the SR-71 and U-2. He has commanded the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, 9th Operations Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing and AFC2ISR Center.
Behler received a BS and MS in aerospace engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and was a National Security Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also is an alumnus of the JFK School’s Senior Officials in National Security program and the Executive Program for Russian and U.S. General Officers. He received a master's degree in business administration from Marymount University. He is an associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Air Force Association and AUSA.
In addition to his numerous service medals, Behler received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Norwegian National Defense Medal with Laurel and was the first recipient of the General Jerome F. O'Malley Award for Best Reconnaissance Crew in the Air Force.