William J. Lynn III
CNAS Board of Advisor
Chief Executive Officer, Leonardo DRS and Leonardo North America
William J. Lynn III is the Chief Executive Officer of both Leonardo DRS and Leonardo North America.
Mr. Lynn has had an extensive 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 has worked as a senior executive for Raytheon and Finmeccanica/DRS.
Prior to joining Finmeccanica/DRS in January 2012, Mr. Lynn served as the 30th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2009 to 2011. Serving under Secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, he managed three million personnel and oversaw an annual budget of $700 billion. He also personally led the Department's efforts in cyber security, space strategy and energy policy.
From 2002 to 2009, Mr. Lynn was Senior Vice President of Government Operations and Strategy at the Raytheon Company. In this position, he directed strategic planning, oversaw merger and acquisition activities and supervised government relations.
Previously, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) from 1997 to 2001. From 1993 to 1997, he led strategic planning for DoD as Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation. Mr. Lynn worked for Senator Ted Kennedy as counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987 to 1993.
Mr. Lynn is a member of the Boards of the USO, Marshall Legacy Institute and National Defense Industrial Association. He has been recognized for numerous professional and service contributions, including four DoD Distinguished Public Service medals and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His publications include a 2010 path-breaking article in Foreign Affairs on cyber security (“Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon’s New Cyberstrategy”). He also co-authored a book, Toward A More Effective Defense, and has published numerous articles in various professional journals and newspapers.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Mr. Lynn holds a law degree from Cornell Law School and a Master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He is married with two children.
Recent Publications & News
Future Foundry: Presentation of a New CNAS Report
By The Honorable William J. Lynn III, The Honorable Sean O'Keefe & Ben FitzGerald