April 06, 2016

CNAS Launches Project On “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense”


The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce a major new project, “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense.” The project, led by Technology and National Security Program Director and Senior Fellow Ben FitzGerald, will develop and articulate a positive vision for healthy collaboration between the Department of Defense (DoD) and its partners from multiple industries.

A high-level Task Force will provide guidance and thought leadership for the Future Foundry project. The Task Force will be co-chaired by William J. Lynn III, CEO of DRS Technologies and former Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Obama Administration; andSean O’Keefe, the Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, former CEO of Airbus Group Inc., and former Administrator of NASA in the George W. Bush Administration.
Deputy Secretary Lynn gave a two-part interview about the Future Foundry project with Francis Rose of National Defense Week on Washington D.C.’s WMAL radio.  The first part of the interview will air April 10th at 11:00am and the second part will air April 17th at 11:00am on WMAL AM 630 or 105.9 FM.  You can also listen to the interview online atWMAL.com starting April 10th.
The task force draws together senior executives from a wide variety of sectors and will provide key insights into methods by which the DoD can maintain its technical edge while also contributing to the success of its industry partners and generating positive externalities for the U.S. economy.
The Task Force members include:

  • Denis Bovin, Senior Advisor, Evercore
  • Marta Dassù, Senior Director of European Affairs, The Aspen Institute
  • John Fenwick, Co-founder, Terra Bella (formerly Skybox Imaging)
  • Nate Fick, CEO, Endgame
  • Mark Koro, Vice President for Government Affairs, Qualcomm
  • Mike Leiter, Executive Vice President and Head of Integration, Leidos
  • Ellen Lord, President and CEO, Textron Systems Corporation
  • Greg Mallory, Global Leader for Aerospace and Defense, BCG
  • James Murdoch, CEO 21st Century Fox

The Task Force will grow as the Future Foundry project progresses.
The project builds on two years of research by the CNAS team describing the challenges faced by the global defense industry in Creative Disruption and considering the DoD’s attempts to maintain its technological superiority in Beyond Offset. There is now widespread recognition that the existing defense industrial regime is not optimized to cope with both the rapidly evolving and varied threat landscape and the decentralization of innovation and diffusion of technological advances.
Anticipating these demands, it is clear that the 21st century requires a more innovative, flexible, adaptive, and inclusive set of industries that support the Department of Defense. Future Foundry will engage in a strategic level analysis of what structures and processes allow the DoD to develop and acquire the capabilities necessary to generate military-technical superiority across a range of threat profiles in a sustainable manner.
In an effort to capitalize on several timely opportunities, the project will take advantage of the momentum currently surrounding acquisition reform, emphasize possible actions to be taken by various stakeholders, and explore how presidential candidates and the next administration can best consider and implement solutions to some of the challenges in this space. Results of the project will include the release of a number of issue-specific memos, recorded interviews with experts, and a final report detailing the project’s findings.
To speak with Project Director Ben FitzGerald, please contact Neal Urwitz atnurwitz@cnas.org or call 202-457-9409.