NSRI Announces Key New Hires

September 15, 2016

The National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska (NSRI), a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) has announced the addition of three new staff members across various roles.  Recent hires include Mr. Marty Sikes, appointed as Director for Global Health Security and Strategic Engagement, Mr. Daniel Polanski, appointed as Deputy Director of Field Operations and Training and Ms. Michelle Jensen, appointed as Executive Assistant for the NSRI’s new National Capital Region (NCR) Office, opening in the near future.  

Mr. Marty Sikes joins NSRI as the Director for Global Health Security and Strategic Engagement after serving 13 years as a member of the Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL).  Sikes has an extensive background working with Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Government Interagencies, and International Partners; integrating and evaluating Chemical and Biological Defense Technologies, Biosurveillance, and Information Management systems used for situational awareness and reporting of All Hazard Health incidents.  During his tenure at JHU/APL, Sikes led a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and public health and safety professionals supporting a multitude of Chemical and Biological Defense and Health Security focused projects for DoD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal, state, and local agencies.  Sikes is a retired U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps Officer with specializations in Public Health and Disaster Preparedness planning and operations.  During his 22 years on active duty service he served in a variety of positions leading Force Health Protection, Environmental Health, and All Hazard Preparedness and Response Programs.   

As the Director for Global Health Security and Strategic Engagements, Sikes will guide and facilitate NSRI’s strategic engagements and initiatives in support of Global Health Security and Force Health Protection.  Sikes will also serve as NSRI’s on-site lead with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD), providing consultation to senior leaders and program managers with strategic planning, integration, and synchronization of the JPEO Chemical and Biological Defense portfolio.

Mr. Daniel Polanski, recently named Deputy Director of Field Operations and Training, joins NSRI’s Wes Carter in leading the NSRI’s All Hazards Response Training (AHRT) program.  Polanski comes to the NSRI as the former State of Georgia Department of Public Health Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness and Response.  As the WMD Coordinator, Polanski was the primary contact for all coordination pertaining to any Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and/or Nuclear (CBRN) events within the State of Georgia.  He was responsible for integration of state CBRN operational capabilities into local, federal and DoD plans, exercises, and operations.  He also served as a liaison to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force and as the State’s counterpart to the FBI’s WMD Coordinator.

Polanski brings extensive experience in U.S. government agency security, tactical and firearms instruction, military and Civil Support Team expertise.  As a subject matter expert, Polanski will co-direct the AHRT program, offering Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) training scenarios across nationwide & international sites inside real-world, operational facilities.  Polanski’s precision in National Level Exercises (NLEs) will springboard the guidance of counter-WMD preparedness practices of government agencies, law enforcement, public health and first responder personnel.  

Ms. Michelle Jensen, newly appointed Executive Assistant, joins the NSRI after serving 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst and Operator.  She worked directly with Cyber Command, Signals Intelligence, Space Systems and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) research operations.  Before retiring in May 2015, she held the positions of the Commander's Executive Assistant and Unit Enlisted Superintendent.

Jensen serves as the Executive Assistant and Project Coordinator for the NSRI NCR Office, a satellite location in the U.S. Capital region scheduled to open in fall, 2016.  She is responsible for senior administrative support and project management in areas of DoD research requirements, government relations, marketing, communications, event planning, scheduling high level meetings and economic development efforts.

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law.  Learn more at nsri.nebraska.edu.