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2023 Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Annual Report

Equity &

Annual Report 2023

Messages from Leadership



For more than 80 years, the Applied Physics Laboratory has focused on solving many of the most complex technical challenges facing our nation. In this quest, our greatest resource has always been our people. Every day, our staff members exemplify ingenuity, commitment, and dedication, leveraging all of their experiences and expertise to develop innovative solutions to the difficult problems our sponsors bring to APL.

As part of our continuing journey to ensure APL is a welcoming, inclusive workplace — where diverse teams collaborate to develop and deliver incredibly creative ideas, and everyone knows they are a valued contributor — we created this report to highlight the Laboratory’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and progress, through both data and the first-hand experiences of our staff members and teams.

The Laboratory’s vision is to create defining innovations that ensure our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century. We know that we can only achieve that vision by recruiting, developing, and empowering a diverse, multidisciplinary staff that can contribute fully to the difficult research and development challenges ahead.

In this report, you will see our continuing progress in developing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, one focused on inspiring all staff members to create new innovations and breakthroughs that will greatly benefit our nation and the world.

Signature for Ralph Semmel


Talent Services Department Head & Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

APL is dedicated to solving complex problems, pioneering new technologies, and taking on the nation’s toughest challenges. But what makes APL truly unique is the culture that enables the work we do.

When a team functions optimally, and its members are equipped to examine a challenge from multiple angles, creativity, collaboration, and perseverance lead to groundbreaking initiatives.

APL recognizes that innovation requires diverse perspectives, and we value the unique mix that each staff member brings — from their background and education to their professional experience to their hobbies and volunteer endeavors.

APL seeks to attract top talent from all over the country, and we’re committed to ensuring a diverse workforce and equitable and inclusive work environment. Every day we see the remarkable outcomes that occur when bold, curious minds with diverse perspectives join together and empower each other to explore, take risks, and do amazing things.

Fostering this culture means ensuring leaders and staff members understand the value that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) bring to the Lab, both in elevating the everyday work experience and enabling innovation. Our commitment to DEI is embedded in our strategic goals, as well as in everyday life at the Laboratory through our numerous clubs, groups, teams, and programs.

We are proud of the advances we continue to make toward our vision of being a model organization for DEI. The path to achieving that begins with appreciating the unique and talented people we have the privilege of working with every day.

Signature for Kristine Frohman

We are APL

Our Commitment

Together, we create defining innovations that ensure our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century.

Coming from diverse backgrounds and experiences, we are united by our desire to contribute solutions to the critical challenges of our nation and the world. Only by enabling and empowering all of our people can we solve these complex problems.

A diverse workforce and equitable and inclusive work environment enable us to develop talent and foster a culture in which all of us are comfortable being our authentic selves and sharing our ideas. Having everyone’s voice heard empowers us to be bold, do great things and make the world a better place.

We make our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) something we live by every day.

Workforce Highlights

The Laboratory ended 2023 with 8,746 staff members.

Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

By Sector/Department

Force Projection Sector

Precision Strike, Sea Control and Strategic Deterrence Mission Areas


Asymmetric Operations Sector

Cyber Operations, Global Health and Special Operations Mission Areas


Air and Missile Defense Sector

Homeland Defense and Theater Defense Mission Areas


Space Exploration Sector

Civil Space Flight, National Security Space and Space Formulation Mission Areas


Research and Exploratory Development Department

Research and Exploratory Development Mission Area


Business, Construction and Facilities Department


Information Technology Services Department


Security Services Department


Communications Department


National Security Analysis Department

National Security Analysis Mission Area


Talent Services Department


Central Laboratory


Diversity Award Winners

See our winners