Atlantic Council Captains of Industry Series

The Captains of Industry Series is a platform for senior defense industry executives to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that shape their markets.
  • Corporate-Venture Investing in Aerospace & Defense


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  • Can Aerospace and Defense Avoid US Automakers' Mistakes?

    At the end of 2014, the CEO of naval shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries, Mike Petters, delivered an address at the Atlantic Council entitled, “Playing the Long Game”. In it, Petters made the case for the chief executive’s leadership antidote to what he called “the institutionalization of the short-term”:

    No. 1: You have to think that you're the longest person—you have the longest horizon—in the room; and that you're gonna have a view that is about creating value in your organization that is longer and farther out than anyone else. No. 2: You have to decide what are the things that you really believe in.”

    These remarks came back to mind recently while reading Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster,by Paul Ingrassia. Crash Course chronicles the now familiar story of how General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford, which in 1970 stood at the very pinnacle of that global industry,...

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  • The Battlestar Strategy

    The future of Big Space depends on the defensibility of big satellites.

    Last week, Rick Ambrose of Lockheed Martin Space Systems gave the 15th address in the Atlantic Council's Captains of Industry series, our forum for aerospace and defense executives to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that affect their markets. Ambrose's talk on “Thriving in the Evolving Space Sector” covered several big ideas, including prospects for colonizing Mars. The impulse to explore and settle is fetching, but in the short term, it’s information from Earth orbit that makes space matter. And how those flows of information are best defended will strongly affect the future structure of the space industry.

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  • Thriving in the Evolving Space Sector: A Conversation with Richard Ambrose

    On June 8, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Emerging Defense Challenges Initiative (EDC) hosted its fifteenth address in its Captains of Industry (CoI) series. The CoI series aims to provide a forum for senior executives in the aerospace and defense industry to address the various public interests their companies serve and the public policies that affect their markets. This event featured Richard Ambrose, Vice President of Space Systems at Lockheed Martin. Steven Grundman, Lund Fellow for EDC, provided brief introductory remarks before Mr. Ambrose’s talk.

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  • Captains of Industry Series Featured in Inverse


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  • Should Silicon Valley take the Pentagon seriously?

    Culture still trumps law in the quest for military innovation.

    On Tuesday evening, as part of the Council’s Captains of Industry series, our Lund Fellow Steve Grundman hosted a panel discussion amongst the CEOs of three Californian startup firms. Mylea Charvat's Savonix is building a “mobile, clinically valid, reliable, neuro-cognitive assessment and brain health platform.” John De Santis’s Hytrust is writing and deploying software that automatically monitors and secures computing infrastructure for “continuous compliance.” Gary Gysin's Liquid Robotics is “instrumenting the ocean” with its fleet of Wave Gliders, solar- and wave-powered robots that track everything from whales to submarines. All three want to help, but...

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  • Westward Ho? Silicon Valley and the Future of Defense Innovation


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  • Westward Ho? Silicon Valley and the Future of Defense Innovation

    On Tuesday, April 19th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council Captains of Industry initiative featured a discussion with three business leaders from Silicon Valley whose companies are responding to Secretary of Defense Carter’s outreach to the commercial technology sector.

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  • The Space Race in Business

    On November 18, 2015, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, as part of its Captains of Industries Series, hosted a discussion entitled “The Space Race in Business,” moderated by the Council’s M.A. and George Lund Fellow on Emerging Defence Challenges Steven Grundman. The event explored current issues and trends in the space sector as the most dynamic corner of the aerospace and defense marketplace, drawing insights from a panel of distinguished executives from prominent aerospace companies. The event’s participants concluded that the current structure of the industry, historically built around “big space” projects, is now being disrupted by businesses with new sources of capital and novel ambitions for how to employ space for social good and commercial gain.
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  • Accelerating Defense Innovation: Lessons from Silicon Wadi

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    On October 20, the Atlantic Council's Captains of Industry series hosted Mr. Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America, for an address entitled, "Accelerating Defense Innovation: Lessons from Silicon Wadi." The event explored what practical lessons the United States can learn from Israel's long tradition of commingling defense and commercial technologies, and how Elbit Systems in particular has been able to accelerate innovation by leveraging partnerships and dialogue with the United States' and Israel's technological hubs.

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