Erik Nutley

Director of Operations, Discovery Institute

As Director of Operations, Erik assists the president with management, oversight, and growth of Discovery Institute programs. 

Erik served in the United States Air Force for over twenty-six years in a number of capacities, including squadron commander, operations officer, instructor pilot, aeronautical engineer, and assistant professor of aeronautical engineering at the US Air Force Academy. Following his retirement as a colonel in 2008, he was a senior analyst with the Defense Planning Corporation, supporting the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, where he facilitated coordination of interagency planning between the Department of Defense, State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, Justice Department, Transportation Department, and other interagency partners.

Before joining Discovery Institute, he served as staff specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon, where he was responsible for oversight of large defense weapon system acquisition programs, including Air Force and Navy aircraft. He teamed with government and industry stakeholders to work technical, programmatic, industrial, budget, and legal issues and provided recommendations to senior Department of Defense leaders regarding program decisions. He also drafted reports to Congress and responses to congressional inquiries and represented the U.S. at NATO planning meetings in Brussels for Alliance Ground Surveillance program.

Erik earned a B.S. in Engineering Science and a B.A. in History from Seattle Pacific University, an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington, a Master of Strategic Studies from Air War College, Air University, and a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University. 

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