Arnold Punaro is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense program of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Punaro also leads The Punaro Group, specializing in federal budget analysis, business strategy, and government relations; Punaro Capital, specializing in national security investments; and Punaro Press, specializing in national-security publications.

Punaro has served in leadership roles in the National Defense Industrial Association, the country’s largest defense industry association, as vice chairman, chairman, chairman emeritus, and now serves as chairman emeritus and chair of the Emerging Technologies Institute Board. He has served on a number of boards and commissions, including as chair or co-chair of the Reserve Forces Policy Board, the congressionally mandated study “Assessment of Responsibilities and Authorities of the Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense,” the Independent Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, and the Defense Reform Task Force for Secretary of Defense William Cohen. He has served as a member or commissioner on the Defense Business Board, the US Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security in 2008, and the Independent Commission on the Iraqi Security Force. He was the deputy executive director of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century.

As an executive vice president at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from 1997 to 2010, Punaro served as a sector manager, as deputy president of the Federal Business Segment, and as leader of SAIC’s Corporate Business Development organization. From 1973 to 1997, Punaro worked for US Senator Sam Nunn as his director of national security affairs and as staff director and minority staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A retired US Marine Corps major general, Punaro served as the director of the Marine Corps Reserve; deputy commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (Mobilization); and commanding general, 4th Marine Division. In December 1993, he completed a tour of active duty as commander of Joint Task Force Provide Promise (Forward) in the former Yugoslavia. He was mobilized for a third time in May 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served on active duty as an Infantry Platoon Commander in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart.

Punaro holds a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Arts degree from Georgetown University, the latter in national-security studies. He was on the adjunct faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for ten years where he taught an annual graduate level course entitled “National Security Decision Making.” He is the author of On War and Politics: The Battlefield Inside Washington’s Beltway, published by the Naval Institute Press in October 2016, and The Ever-Shrinking Fighting Force, published in July 2021 by Punaro Press. His third book, If Confirmed, will be published in spring 2024.