BREAKING: NDIA Names Former DepSecDef Norquist as New President, CEO

By Stew Magnuson

Defense Dept. photo

The National Defense Industrial Association announced March 31 that former Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist will be the association’s next president and CEO effective May 1.

“David's exemplary experience and stellar reputation make him the ideal leader for NDIA, and the board and I could not be more pleased to have him join and lead the executive management team,” said NDIA chairman retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro in a statement. “We’ve selected a strong leader at a time of great challenge in the defense marketplace, With his proven experience and accomplishments in our industry, the legislative branch, and two of the largest, most complex federal government organizations, David is capable from day one to continue enhancing the industry-government relationship that is essential to supporting the warfighter and the taxpayer. He will also continue NDIA’s strong tradition of nonpartisan leadership.”

As deputy secretary of defense from 2019 to 2021, Norquist was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Defense Department, including managing the Pentagon’s budget and personnel. He also oversaw efforts to reform the military’s acquisition and accounting practices. Prior to this, he served as undersecretary of defense (comptroller)/chief financial officer, making significant progress toward passing a defense-wide clean audit.

During the early days of President Joe Biden’s administration, while the Senate considered the nomination of current Secretary Lloyd Austin, Norquist served as acting secretary of defense and remained as deputy secretary until Dr. Kathleen Hicks was confirmed.

Norquist began his career as a Presidential Management Fellow and a program budget analyst for the Department of the Army before joining the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense as a professional staff member. From 2002 to 2006, he served as the deputy undersecretary of defense in the Office of the Comptroller. In 2006, former President George W. Bush selected him to be the first Senate-confirmed chief financial officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Between his stints in government service, Norquist was a partner with Kearney and Company, a certified public accounting firm focused exclusively on the federal government.

“It is an honor to be selected to serve as president and CEO of NDIA,” said Norquist. “As a nation, one of our core strategic advantages is the innovative character of our defense industrial base. Our long-term national security depends on government effectively capitalizing on that strength and I look forward to assisting in that effort.”

Norquist’s selection came following a thorough and thoughtful search with the support of the executive search firm Russell Reynolds. “We sought a leader with extensive, tested, and proven experience in industry, in the legislative branch and in the executive branch in positions of ever-increasing responsibility and accomplishment,” Punaro said of the search process. “Most importantly, potential CEO candidates had to be committed to NDIA’s high standards of performance and ethical behavior, and have the strategic vision to help our members address current and future challenges in the defense marketplace.”

Executive Vice President James Boozer will serve as acting CEO and president until Norquist takes over in May. Norquist is replacing retired Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, who announced his retirement in February.

Topics: Defense Department

Comments (0)

Retype the CAPTCHA code from the image
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Please enter the text displayed in the image.