Hon. Ellen Lord
Ellen Lord is a veteran defense industry participant whose career has spanned the c-suite to the halls of government. Her career has kept her at the nexus of the U.S.’s industrial capability and our and allied governments’ ability to procure. Ellen has CEO-level strategic and operational experience, seasoned business acumen, operational and technology know-how, and a track record of recruiting, compensating, developing and retaining critical talent. Her substantial commercial, governmental and academic network enables industry, government and non-profit organizations to achieve their goals. Ellen fundamentally understands how products and services are successfully sold to government, both domestically and internationally.
Ellen has more than 30 years of experience in the defense industry, 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. Her prior roles at Textron include Senior Vice President and General Manager of Textron Defense Systems, now Weapon & Sensor Systems; and Senior Vice President and General Manager of AAI Corporation, now known as Textron Systems’ Electronic Systems, Support Solutions, and Unmanned Systems businesses. Earlier in her career, Ellen served as Vice President of Integration Management for Textron Systems and Vice President of Intelligent Battlefield Systems for Textron Defense Systems, in addition to other business and operations positions.
From 2017-2021, Ellen 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. Ellen 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. Ellen 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, Ellen established EML Enterprises, LLC, providing advisory services that leverage her industry and government experience. Ellen serves on the Board of Directors for AAR Corporation,Voyager Space Holdings and GEOST, is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and advises a number of aerospace, defense, and industrial companies. She is the former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association and served as a Director of the U.S. – India Business Council. Additionally, Ellen served on the Task Force providing guidance for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense” project which was formed to examine key technological trends and challenges facing the global defense industry. Ellen also served as a Trustee on the Board of the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation.
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.