A nexus for government, industry, and academia
to explore issues in government contracting
Education & Training
|Affiliated Faculty - Case Studies - Senior Fellows - Commentary||Career Advancement - GovCon Courses - Accounting Certificate||Alumni - Events - Industry Discussions - Partners|
Structuring leadership at the Defense Department
Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University, discusses possible changes to management leadership at the Pentagon, and the future of the CMO position. [link]
These are the M&A deals that Wall Street likes the most, according to new research
Brett Josephson, an Affiliate Faculty member of the Center and Assistant Professor of Marketing for the School of Business, shares interesting research on mergers and acqusitions in government contracting and which M&As offer the most value to the company. “But we actually found the biggest bang for the buck was buying for efficiency, not buying for new access,” said Josephson. It is worth the read. [Carten Cordell, Washington Business Journal, Government & Regulations, January 15, 2020]
Crafting policy for Middle-Tier Acquisitions
Eric Lofgren, research fellow at George Mason University, discusses procurement policy changes at the Pentagon, and what it could mean for rapid acquisition efforts. Government Matters, January 14, 2020 [link]
Will the Space Force control its own destiny?
Eric Lofgren has written a Commentary for DefenseNews on the organizational structure for the new Space Force with interesting implications for acquisition. [Defense News, Dec. 26, 2019, article]
Center for Government Contracting Appoints Research Fellow
The Center for Government Contracting has appointed Eric Lofgren as a Research Fellow to conduct research, writing, and lead initiatives on business, policy, regulatory, and other issues in government contracting.
Lofgren is a researcher and podcaster specializing in government acquisition of major systems. He manages the daily blog Acquisition Talk and produces a podcast with the same name where he speaks with leading experts in the field. Before joining the Center for Government Contracting, Lofgren was the emergent ventures fellow at the Mercatus Center at Mason. Prior to that, he was a senior analyst at Technomics Inc., supporting cost estimates, policy development, and economic analyses for the Defense Department’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office. [Announcement]
Does the Pentagon need a chief management officer?
Jerry's latest commentary piece in Defense News for your consideration. [DefenseNews, January 15, 2020, Article]
Our First Program Year
It has been an amazing first year for the Center! From our January launch reception, we’ve been moving out to implement our vision—to be a nexus for government, industry, and academia to address the business, policy, and regulatory issues impacting the $500B+ government contracting community. Our 2019 work centered around our three lines of effort: research, education and training, and collaboration. To highlight just a few of these initiatives, we published numerous commentary pieces and launched our White Paper series; we started a Government Contracting Minor to help educate the future workforce; and we held events on foreign direct investment, the education of naval leaders, and budgetary challenges for the government contracting community. We also held our inaugural Government Contracting conference, which we co-hosted with Defense Acquisition University, in early October. With an overflow crowd of senior presenters and participants from government, industry, and academia, it was an outstanding event that we look forward to holding on an annual basis in the coming years.
We also added twelve new members to our Advisory Board and held Alumni happy hours to engage graduates across the community. We hope that you can join us as we conduct our program next year and please let me know if you would like to get involved in our work!
The complete recap of our 2019 program is provided on this website — Report.
Fond wishes to all for a joyful Christmas and Holiday season and I look forward to seeing many of you in the New Year!
Budgetary Opportunities and Challenges for GovCon Programs
The Center for Government Contracting was pleased to partner with the Association for Corporate Growth to co-host an event, Budgetary Opportunities and Challenges for GovCon Programs, on December 11. The recurring cycle of continuing resolutions and budgetary uncertainty creates significant turbulence for both company executives and government program managers. The start of programs can be delayed, development programs can be disrupted, and the sustainment of critical capabilities can be significantly impacted. Beyond these near-term impacts, the cyclical nature of spending over time has led to repeated boom or bust periods that also lead to increased inefficiencies and cost in the development and delivery of programs.
The discussion panel, pictured above, included Jennifer Taylor, Senior Fellow, Center for Government Contracting; Jeff Bohling, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Group, Perspecta; Alan Stewart, CFO, Peraton; and Chris O’Donnell, DASD, Platform and Weapon Portfolio Management. Jen, the panel moderator, wrote a Center White Paper as background to the discussion. The paper, "The Cost of Saving Money: The Negative Impact of Roller Coaster DoD Funding," is described on this website.
Media Mention — Center White Paper Series
Congrats to Sumeet Shrivastava — A WashingtonExec 2019 Top CEO to Watch
The Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University’s School of Business has released the first three research papers in a series examining challenges in the government contracting industry.
“The Center for Government Contracting White Paper Series is a central focus of our mission to inject ideas into the government contracting ecosystem and identify potential solutions for challenges facing the community,” said Executive Director Jerry McGinn, PhD. “We are excited to launch this White Paper Series with these three reports, and we look forward to feedback and ideas for future topics.”
In releasing these White Papers, the Center gratefully acknowledges the works of its Senior Fellows who produced them:
Additional information is provided on this website, under Research, White Papers.
Another Successful Mason Alumni GovCon Happy Hour
Many thanks to the George Mason alumni who joined us for our latest GovCon happy hour. As anticipated, it proved fruitful for the attendees – as a chance to connect and share with other alumni and to hear about Center programs and plans. We look forward to another happy hour in the Spring.
Confronting the Challenges Facing Today's Government Contracting Community
2019 Government Contracting Conference, Oct. 3, 2019
From left: John Hillen, Roger Krone, Maury Peiperl, Jim Woolsey, and Jerry McGinn.
The School of Business' Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University cohosted a first-time conference geared toward the government contracting community on October 3 at the Washington Marriott Metro Center. The Conference offered Fireside Chats with Roger Krone, Chief Executive Officer of Leidos; Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, and Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA) with a perspective from the Hill; and four panels on New approaches to Federal contracting; Intellectual property and supply chain security; Small business policy trends; and Workforce challenges for government and industry.
Post-Conference Media Reports
School of Business: Government Contracting Conference Highlights Continuing Challenges and Need for Increased Government, Industry, and Academic Collaboration, Robert Appel, October 21, 2019
Inside Defense: Section 809 panel chair warns against ‘abuse’ of other transaction agreements, Justin Doubleday
Inside Defense: Lord says key acquisition reforms near completion, Tony Bertuca, October 4, 2019
Washington Technology: Leidos CEO shares insights on his commercial strategy
Government Contracting Conference — Media Buzz
Graduate Programs Develop Talent Pipeline for New Amazon HQ and Local Businesses
Shortly after the announcement by Amazon that their newest headquarters will be located in Northern Virginia, George Mason University announced an initiative to bolster research and develop more high-tech talent through a large-scale expansion of its Arlington Campus. This move will rapidly increase the number of highly skilled graduates for Amazon and other regional employers. “Amazon coming to our area is a symbol of the transition that Washington, D.C., is making, transitioning from a primarily federal government town to a primarily business and tech town with a significant portion that has a technology focus,” says Dean Maury Peiperl. “It’s very clear that in our regional economy, the government slice has stayed constant and the business slice has grown.” [Announcement]
Specialization Is Key for Government Contracting Industry Success
Brett Josephson, assistant professor of marketing, has studied government contracting since he was a PhD student. In recently published research, Josephson—together with Ju-Yeon Lee, assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State University, and Babu John Mariadoss and Jean Lynn Johnson, associate professors of marketing at Washington State University—recommended that companies focus on specialization. Damian Cristodero, November 4, 2019. [Announcement]
Washington Technology: Why government services M&A deals seem to breeze through antitrust reviews
In an article written by Ross Wilkers, senior staff writer for Washington Technology, Jerry McGinn shared insights on why service firms seem to have an easier time in gaining government approval of their mergers and acquisitions. [Article]
FedTech — Government Reset
Jerry McGinn was included in a panel discussion led by Wylie Wong, a writer with FedTech Magazine, on the long-term effects of the government shutdown on federal technology projects. The topics discussed included IT modernization projects, procurement, cybersecurity and contracting. [Article, Summer 2019]
Commentary: In Praise of the Revolving Door
James Hasik, Senior Fellow at the Center for Government Contracting, has written a piece for Defense News. [July 24, 2019, Article Link] Jim offers his thoughts of a plan "To Reduce Corporate Influence at the Pentagon.
Executive Director’s Commentary on Navy’s Education for Seapower Study on the Future Education of Navy Leaders, June 19, 2019 [Article Link]
New Advisory Board Members
School of Business Opens Registration for Executive MBA in National Security
The Executive MBA in National Security provides professionals interested in working in national security, the defense industry or government contracting space the competencies and knowledge to benefit their careers and long-terms goals. Focusing on national security and defense industry government contracting, a participant can complete the program in 16 months. [Program Description]
Center for Government Contracting Appoints New Advisory Board Members
The Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University’s School of Business has appointed nine new Advisory Board members. “These additional appointments continue our efforts to diversify the composition of the center’s board, from small to large firms, whether products or services, and with business and government representation,” said Center Executive Director Jerry McGinn. “These new members add to the rich ecosystem of thought leadership to help drive future center research and events on topics of great interest to the GovCon community.”
New members of the Center for Government Contracting board are:
Scott Hine is serving on the Board in his personal capacity. His service does not reflect the activities or opinions of the Department of Energy or the federal government. [Press Release]
Transatlantic Industrial Interests and the Risk of Technological Gap in the Defense Sector
Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University’s School of Business, was invited to speak and participate in a discussion led by The German Marshall Fund of the United States. The discussion was held as part of an on-going Transatlantic Security Task Force project in Paris, France, from April 8–9, 2019. The theme of the discussion was U.S. Strategic Priorities and the New Terms of the Transatlantic Defense Partnership.
This program underlined the key challenges that will continue to frame debates on the transatlantic defense cooperation in an increasingly complex political and strategic environment. Jerry’s paper addressed the panel topic: “Transatlantic Industrial Interests and the Risk of Technological Gap in the Defense Sector.”
Media Mention — "Ripe for engagement: George Mason's 'GovCon' center targets massive
Industry Discussion — CFIUS Modernization: Implications for Government and Industry, with Heath Tarbert, Assistant Secretary for International Markets, U.S. Department of the Treasury — April 5, 2019. Secretary Tarbert shared insights on the reasons for recent reforms in the CFIUS process, including a pilot program regarding controlling investments and the process of identifying emerging and foundational technologies.
Alumni Happy Hour — Why we look forward to these events
The most recent Happy Hour for Alumni, held March 20, brought together alumni, faculty, and members of the Center's Board of Advisors. The chance to network and share ideas and interests has proven to be a highly sought after event. The background of the attendees ranged from junior, mid-level and senior practitioners in the industry. A point of pride for the Center is that this event attracts all Mason alumni who work in the GovCon industry, from the Business School, to Schar, and the Law Center.
Korn Ferry, Perspective — In search of 'cleared' talent
Jerry McGinn joined a discussion with Jon Barney, a senior client partner with Korn Ferry's Aerospace and Defense practice and a member of the Center's Advisory Board, on the challenge for technology companies to find "cleared" employees to add to their workforce. The article includes suggestions are how to hire and employ workers in face of this challenge. [February 29, 2019, article]
Federal News Network — New government contracting center aims to fill independent research, education void Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Government Contracting Center, talks to Executive Editor Jason Miller about the center's three-pronged approach to research, education, and collaboration. Interview Link. This February 20, 2019 interview also appeared in on ExecutiveBiz Blog.
Center for Government Contracting Launch Reception: A reception was held on January 30, 2019 to celebrate the launch of the School of Business Center for Government Contracting. The great crowd of attendees manifested our vision to be a nexus for government, industry, and academia to address issues in government contracting. Pictured above, from left to right: Sumeet Shrivastava, Maury Peiperl, Jerry McGinn, John Hillen, and Jerry Grossman. [Reception Photographs]
Can the shutdown lead to better government? A Commentary by Jerry McGinn and John Hillen in Washington Technology on January 22, 2019 that examines how government and government contractors are managing the shutdown and keys for the future. [link]
Government Matters: Interview with Jerry McGinn on how the public and private sectors are navigating the shutdown, and mitigating issues that could arise, January 17, 2019 [link]
Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship Recipient Committed to Serving Community as CPA, Business Owner: Karen Crosswhite, a Master of Science in Accounting student at the George Mason University School of Business, is the first student to receive the Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship. Crosswhite is also the founder of BAS Accounting Services, a small Certified Public Accountant firm located in Ashburn, Va. Sumeet Shrivastava, EMBA ‘94 and president and CEO of ARRAY established the scholarship. Shrivastava is also a member of the School of Business Dean’s Council and GovCon Advisory Council. In addition to providing funds to the scholarship awardee, the Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship includes a mentorship component. Crosswhite will receive support from the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Center for Government Contracting. [announcement]
Have you seen our FALL 2018 Report on Center activities? Here is the link.
Share Our Story
Join Our E-mail List
If you are interested in receiving email notices of CGC events or reports, here is an Email Link to make that happen.