Rick Evans, USAF, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)
Rick Evans, Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.), is Executive Director for the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska, the DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command.
Since taking the leadership reigns of NSRI in January 2021 from Lt. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Bob Hinson, NSRI's founding executive director, Evans has guided the institute’s team of researchers and strategists through the ups and downs of operating during uniquely dynamic times, responding to ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts, delivering critical national security research, retooling training, growing expertise and launching new partnerships and programs. Highlights include but are not limited to the launch of:
- NSRI Fellows program
- Collaborative Biosecurity Laboratory
- Food, Agriculture and Environment Security research focus area
- IDIQ with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration
Immediately prior to joining NSRI, Evans served in several senior positions at U.S. Strategic Command, including as Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Global Operations, Deputy Commander and Commander; Deputy Commander for Joint Functional Component for Global Strike; and Director of Reserve Forces. He served as the command's Acting Deputy Commander in 2016 and as the Program Manager for the command's $1.3B Command and Control Facility from 2017-2019.
In these capacities, Evans was a principal advisor to the Commander and staff on all aspects of the command's diverse missions, including:
- Strategic deterrence and assurance
- Nuclear operations
- Nuclear command, control and communications
- Space and cyberspace operations
- Full-spectrum global strike
- Integrated missile defense
- Joint electromagnetic spectrum operations
- Joint warfare analysis
Listen to December 2022 podcast episode with General Evans for career highlights and describes the value of DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers.
Evans received his commission in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science. He has commanded at the detachment, squadron, group and wing levels. His operational flying assignments include instructor weapon systems officer in the RF-4 Phantom II; instructor and evaluator navigator in the KC-135 Stratotanker; and evaluator Airborne Emergency Action Officer (AEAO) in the E-6B Airborne Command Post. His staff assignments include:
- Wing-level operations, plans, tactics and personnel assignments
- Acting Director for Space and Information Superiority at the National Guard Bureau in 2005
- Special Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard for the Quadrennial Defense, Nuclear Posture and Space Posture Reviews in 2010
- National Reconnaissance Office Liaison Officer to U.S. Strategic Command
Evans also chaired two separate Air National Guard Weapon Systems Councils, the KC-135 Council and the Space, Intelligence and Cyber Council. He was a member of the Air Directorate Field Advisory Council from 2004-2012.
Evans has commanded expeditionary forces and flown combat missions in the KC-135 supporting operations Uphold Democracy, Decisive Endeavor, Deliberate Guard, Deliberate Forge, Allied Force, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He also served as Director of Mobility Forces for NATO Operation Unified Protector. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School and is rated as a master navigator with over 4,000 flying hours, including 153 combat hours. He has also completed over 100 operational missions as an Airborne Emergency Actions Officer leading the Battle Staff onboard the U.S. Strategic Command E-6B Airborne Command Post.
Evans is an Omaha native, graduating from Omaha Northwest High School and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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