A discussion with
William J. Lynn III
Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies Inc.
M.A. and George Lund Fellow
Autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, nanotechnology, and 3-D printing comprise some of the astounding advances in technology. These and other marvels of the twenty-first century are refreshing the technology base of defense and security, providing new opportunities for and capabilities to our military. At the same time, independent research and development spending among US defense contractors is declining compared to these investments at leading global commercial firms. Reflecting these trends is the fact that more than one-third of all procurement dollars the United States recently has spent to buy platforms are flowing to commercial and international companies.
How will the US military maintain technology leadership on the battlefield in an era when the locus of game-changing technology now lies outside the defense sector? William J. Lynn III, the CEO of Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies, will share his perspective on how next-generation technologies from the commercial sphere and international markets can drive change in a restructured defense-industrial base and in the Pentagon’s defense-industrial strategies.
The Atlantic Council 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. By engaging the perspective of business leaders about issues at the interface of defense ministries and industries, the series will cultivate a constituency for practical solutions to these problems.
Lynn is the CEO of Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies Inc. Prior to his current position, he served as the thirtieth deputy secretary of defense from 2009 to 2011 under both Robert Gates and Leon Panetta. Before that, from 2002 to 2009, he was the senior vice president of government operations and strategy at the Raytheon Company. Previously, he was the chief financial officer and under secretary of defense (comptroller) from 1997 to 2001. He also worked for Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy as a counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987 to 1993.