Please join the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Forward Defense program for the next event in the Captains of Industry series titled “Strengthening the middleground of the defense-industrial landscape” on Monday, May 13, 2024, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET at the Atlantic Council headquarters and via livestream. This event features keynote remarks by John Goodman, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture Federal Services, as well as a moderated discussion about the role middleground companies play to strengthen the defense-industrial ecosystem, with William J. Lynn III, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo DRS and Atlantic Council board member, and Ellen M. Lord, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment.

The Pentagon’s National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) emphasizes the need for a robust and modernized defense industrial ecosystem. This event, mirroring the ecological concept of a vital middleground between nature and human-dominated settings, brings together industry leaders to address the challenges faced by mid-sized defense companies. These companies, positioned between ubiquitous small businesses and dominant primes, play a critical role in the defense ecosystem’s health. The discussion will focus on the issues these mid-scale players face and explore solutions through both public policy and corporate strategy.

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Keynote remarks by

John Goodman

Chief Executive Officer
Accenture Federal Services

Former Deputy Under Secretary (Industrial Affairs & Installations)
US Department of Defense


The Hon. William J. Lynn III
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Leonardo DRS

Former United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
US Department of Defense

The Hon. Ellen Lord
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
US Department of Defense

Former President and Chief Executive Officer
Textron Systems Corporation

Welcome remarks by


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Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.

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