Ellen Lord spent August 2017 until January 2021 as Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment, reporting to the Secretary of Defense with oversight of a $400 billion per year budget. Previously, she spent 33 years at Textron, a global multiple industry corporation, finishing as CEO of Textron Systems. During her time at DoD, her team rewrote the Pentagon’s acquisition policy with a focus on speed and simplicity while adding procedures for cybersecurity, intellectual property and software development. Ellen now serves on public, private and non-profit boards, as well as advising companies in the aerospace and defense sector.
Chris Rogers founded and leads the Harris Williams Aerospace, Defense & Government Services (ADG) Group. Chris has nearly 20 years of investment banking advisory and operating experience in the aerospace and defense industry, and wide-ranging expertise in the origination and successful senior level execution of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financings, and strategic advisory assignments. He has advised on the sell-side and buy-side for many of the world’s leading commercial aerospace, business aviation, defense, and government technology companies, and has a deep understanding of their end markets, business models, and strategic priorities. Earlier in his career, he served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Chris earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in History, with Honors and Distinction, from the United States Naval Academy.
Vance Serchuk is the Executive Director of the KKR Global Institute, the geopolitical analysis and strategy unit at the global investment firm KKR, where he is also a Managing Director on the Americas Private Equity Industrials Team responsible for KKR’s investments in aerospace and defense. Vance currently serves on the board of directors of two KKR portfolio companies, Novaria Group and Advanced Navigation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board to Söderberg & Partners, a European asset and wealth management firm. In parallel to his work at KKR, Vance is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC. Prior to joining KKR, Vance served for six years as the senior national security advisor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and a professional staff member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In this capacity, Mr. Serchuk worked on a wide range of international security issues, including Indo-Pacific strategy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Russia. A former monthly columnist for the Washington Post based in Asia, Vance’s writings have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and Politico. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, holds a JD from Yale Law School, and was a Fulbright scholar in the Russian Federation. Vance is a trustee of the American University of Iraq Suleimani in Iraqi Kurdistan and serves on the board of directors of the Afghan Future Fund, a nonprofit he co-founded amidst the 2021 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan which successfully led the evacuation and relocation of hundreds of at-risk Afghans. He is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, currently assigned to an intelligence unit supporting PACFLT.
Nick Sinai is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at HKS and a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center. Nick teaches Policy Design and Delivery II (API-502); prior, for five years, he taught the field course Tech and Innovation in Government. Nick joined HKS in 2014 as an inaugural recipient of the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship. He is an advisor to the Harvard Open Data Project, Harvard Computer Society's Tech For Social Good, and Upsolve. He also serves as a board member of Coding It Forward.
Nick helped found the U.S. Digital Corps, a new two-year federal fellowship for early-career technologists, launched in the summer of 2021.
Nick is the co-author, with Marina Nitze, of Hack Your Bureaucracy: Get Things Done No Matter What Your Role On Any Team, published in 2022.
Nick is also a Senior Advisor at Insight Partners and serves on the boards of Rebellion Defense, Shift5, Hawkeye360, and LeoLabs. He also serves as a Commissioner for the Atlantic Council’s Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption.
Nick joined Harvard in 2014 from the White House, where he was U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer. Nick led President Obama’s Open Data Initiatives, co-led the Open Government Initiative, and helped start the Presidential Innovation Fellow program. Prior, Nick played a key role in crafting the National Broadband Plan at the FCC.
Nick earned a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard.
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