Thomas Callender

Thomas Callender

Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs (Naval Warfare and Advanced Technologies)

Areas of Expertise

  • Defense

Thomas Callender focuses on defense programs pertaining to Naval warfare and other advanced technologies.

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Thomas Callender was born in Bridgeport, CT, and grew up in Liverpool, NY.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at U.S. Naval Academy (1990) and a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from John Hopkins University (1998). Thomas is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society and Harvard Kennedy School’s executive development program.  

Before joining Heritage, he worked for the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Policy) as director of capabilities for 5 years.  As the director for capabilities in the Capabilities and Concepts Directorate of the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Policy, (DUSN (P)), Tom Callender was responsible for assessing naval programs, technology development and warfighting concepts and analyzing their implications for the development of future naval capabilities, and for building the capabilities, requirements and strategic posture for the Navy and Marine Corps of the future. 

Prior to this position, Thomas worked as a senior maritime analyst for Delex Systems, Inc. and as senior strategy consultant for Toffler Associates.   He served for 20 years in the United States Navy as a submarine officer, serving onboard USS CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI (SSN-705) and USS ALBANY (SSN-753) while deploying numerous times to the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In addition, his tours ashore included: Submarine Tactics Intelligence Analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence, Physics Instructor and Math and Science Division Deputy Director at the United States Naval Academy, Navy Strategy and Policy Action Officer on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Speech Writer for the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and Senior International Affairs Action Officer in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy.    

He lives in Annapolis, MD with his fiancé Tricia and her daughter Katy. In addition, he has a grown daughter, Amanda, who resides in North Carolina. Thomas earned the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his exceptional service to the Department of the Navy, specifically in advancing the Secretary of the Navy’s key initiatives for unmanned systems, directed energy weapons and space policy. In addition, Thomas’ personal awards and decorations during his naval career include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, as well as various campaign and unit awards.