Ellen Lord

Member, CNAS Board of Advisors

Ellen Lord is a defense industry participant whose career has spanned the c-suite to the federal government. Currently operating at the nexus of the U.S. industrial capability and domestic and foreign government acquisition processes, Lord understands how national security products and services are successfully sold.

Lord has more than 30 years of corporate experience in the automotive and defense industries, serving in a variety of capacities, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of Textron Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Textron Inc. from 2012-2017. In this role, she led a multi-billion dollar business with a broad range of products and services supporting defense, homeland security, aerospace, infrastructure protection, and customers around the world.

From 2017-2021, Lord served as the first U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, leading the Department of Defense’s personnel, policy and processes for acquisition of products and services, lifecycle sustainment and the security and resiliency of the defense industrial base. Lord is credited in her government work for driving significant acquisition policy change focused on simplicity and speed. She implemented procedures that recognize major platforms and weapon systems are hardware enabled yet software defined. Additionally, she is recognized for addressing cyber vulnerabilities and incorporating an aggressive cybersecurity posture into acquisition policy. Lord also focused on a high level of communication with all stakeholders as well as strengthening human capital. During her time with the Department of Defense, she developed strong relationships with Congressional members in both a bipartisan and bicameral manner. She holds TS and SCI security clearances.

After leaving her Department of Defense role in January 2021, Lord established EML Enterprises, LLC, providing advisory services that leverage her industry and government experience. Lord serves on the Board of Directors for AAR Corporation, Parsons Corporation, GEOST and Voyager Space, is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and advises a number of aerospace, defense, and industrial companies while serving on the Naval Institute Board of Directors.

Ellen earned a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Connecticut College.

Support CNAS

View All Reports by Ellen Lord View All Articles & Multimedia by Ellen Lord