John Burkhead has been named director of the Pine Bluff Arsenal’s Directorate of Chemical and Biological Defense Operations.


Burkhead, who grew up in Pine Bluff, was chief of the production division and has been at the Arsenal since 2003, according to a news release.


As director, Burkhead will be responsible for planning, organizing, staffing and leading the directorate through four functional divisions and be an integral part of the senior leadership team.


He succeeded Phillip Vick, who retired in December.


“I worked for Phillip since 2010, and hired in as a quality management division chief,” Burkhead said in the release. “When I came to the Arsenal, I worked in the Directorate of Material Management. I was as a quality assurance engineer. I worked with both ammunition and chem bio at that time.”


He has also served as a project manager with the Chemical Defense Equipment Go-to-War program, now known as the Individual Chemical Equipment Management Program. In 2015, Burkhead was named Supervisor of the Year.


A native of Little Rock, Burkhead is the son of Joyce and Fred Burkhead and graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1994.


He has a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He is Level III acquisition certified and is a registered professional engineer. Before joining the Arsenal, he worked as an industrial engineer for Waterloo Industries at Pochahontas.


Burkhead and his wife, Carrie, live in West Little Rock, and have a son and daughter.