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Ms. Kathleen L. Berst

Deputy Component Acquisition Executive and Deputy Assistant Director for Acquisition and Sustainment, DHA

Berst headshotMs. Kathleen L. Berst is the Deputy Component Acquisition Executive and Deputy Assistant Director for Acquisition and Sustainment for the Defense Health Agency. She leads the establishment of the Agency’s acquisition framework and implementation of tailored principles to support the delivery of medical products and services. Ms. Berst oversees a diverse portfolio of over $70 billion of medical products, devices, equipment, and services that enable the DOD’s readiness and care missions. In this role, she leads the delivery of new and improved medical capabilities in support of Military Medical Treatment Facilities, Services, and Combatant Commands.

Ms. Berst graduated in 1997 from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, and in 2017 from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, with a Master of Business Administration. She is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and holds Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certification in Program Management. Additionally, Ms. Berst has achieved Program Management Professional certification and a Regulatory Affairs Certification. She has held numerous progressive positions within the DOD medical community in research, acquisition/program management, and regulatory affairs. She served as a biologist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, conducting research on Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis vaccines.

In 2001, she left the laboratory and started working for the Chemical Biological Defense Program’s Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program, where she advanced from Assistant Vaccine Manager to Director of Development Program Integration, leading multiple ACAT II programs. She transitioned to the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity in 2011 and served as the Project Manager for the Medical Countermeasures Test and Evaluation Facility, a program that she terminated, resulting in over $1 billion of cost avoidance for the DOD. Ms. Berst served in many other roles at USAMMDA, including Director of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine Project Management Office, leading a team responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of research and development efforts for novel products to treat and restore service members from traumatic injuries. She has also held leadership roles in Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Development divisions. In January 2013, Ms. Berst was selected as USAMMDA’s Deputy for Acquisition, where she led USAMMDA’s Project Management Offices and provided integration and oversight to a large portfolio of operational medicine acquisition programs spanning the medical continuum of care. Ms. Berst’s awards include four Department of the Army Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service, Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, Federal Executive Career Service Award (Gold) for Outstanding Professional Technical, Scientific, and Program Support, two Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Awards, Fort Detrick Woman of the Year (2011), the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the prestigious Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

Last Updated: November 15, 2023
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