William J. Lynn III

Chief Executive Officer, Leonardo DRS

William J. Lynn III is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo DRS, Inc. a leading defense electronics company focused on delivering integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and defense contractors worldwide. He was appointed to this role in January 2012.

Mr. Lynn has a distinguished career in national security, both in government and in industry. In government, he has served two Presidents, five Secretaries of Defense and as an aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. In industry, he worked as a senior executive for Raytheon and Leonardo DRS.

Prior to joining Leonardo DRS, Mr. Lynn was the 30th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2009 to 2011. Serving under Secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, he was the Chief Operating Officer managing three million personnel and overseeing an annual budget of over $700 billion. During this time, he also led the Department’s efforts to develop a new cyber strategy.

Previously Mr. Lynn was Senior Vice President of Government Operations and Strategy at the Raytheon Company where he directed strategic planning, oversaw merger and acquisition activities, and led government relations.

He served in the Department of Defense from 1993 until 2001, where he first led the Clinton Administration Defense Transition Team. He then held the role of Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E), leading DoD’s strategic planning and program/budget development. In 1997, he was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as the Chief Financial Officer and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), serving in that role until 2001.

Prior to his DoD experience, Mr. Lynn worked as counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee for Senator Edward Kennedy supporting the senator’s work as Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee. During this time, Mr. Lynn was instrumental in the passage of several important pieces of legislation, including the Military Childcare Act of 1989, which established childcare as a benefit for military families, and the 1991 bill that repealed the longstanding ban on women flying in combat.

Mr. Lynn was a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), serving as the executive director and principal author of the study of defense organization that helped lead to the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which reorganized the U.S. armed forces to improve joint and combined operations.

His publications include a 2010 path-breaking article in Foreign Affairs on cyber security (“Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon’s New Cyberstrategy”), which set out a new cyber strategy for the Department of Defense. He also co-authored a book, Toward A More Effective Defense, and has published numerous articles in various professional journals and newspapers.

During this career, Mr. Lynn has been recognized for his numerous professional and service contributions, including four Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service medals, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and equivalent awards from the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force. He also was awarded the title of Commendatore of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

He currently serves as a member of the Board of Accenture Federal Services, the USO Foundation, the Atlantic Council, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the National Cathedral School.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, he holds a JD from Cornell Law School and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He is married with two children.

Mr. Lynn’s background in defense and his leadership roles in government and industry have contributed to his expertise in national security, defense technology, and strategic management, making him a notable figure in the defense and technology sectors.