George Mason UniversitySchool of Business
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Hillen, John

Focus:Adjunct Faculty
Academic Unit:Management
Positions:Adjunct Faculty, Executive in Residence
Office Location:Enterprise Hall
Office Hours:By Appointment
  • PhD - International Relations, University of Oxford
  • MBA, Cornell University
  • MA - War Studies, King's College London
  • BA - Public Policy Studies and History, Duke University 

The Honorable Dr. John Hillen is a highly accomplished CEO in the government contracting space and a former high ranking U.S. government official. A decorated combat veteran and noted national security scholar, he has led four defense and intelligence technology firms in Northern Virginia, most recently as President and CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions—awarded the 2012 GovCon Contractor of the Year award in the large company category. Hillen took Sotera public in 2009, one of the few successful IPOs in the American economy that year. He was confirmed by the Senate as the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs in 2005 and served in that role until 2007.

In the MBA program at George Mason, Hillen teaches courses in leadership, strategy, international business strategy, and the general government contracting industry. In 2017-18 he was voted the Outstanding Professor in the MBA program by the students. A Forbes contributor (https://blogs.forbes.com/hillennevins), he also writes a column on leadership and strategy issues in Washington Technology magazine (https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/list/new/john-hillen.aspx). The author of several books, his latest work is What Happens Now? Reinvent Yourself As A Leader Before Your Business Outruns You (Select Books, 2018). www.whathappensnowbook.com

A recognized industry leader in the technology contacting space, Hillen served in 2012 and 2013 as the chairman of the Professional Services Council and currently sits on the boards of SOS International LLC, Software AG Government Solutions Inc., Cygnacom Solutions Inc., IAP Global Services LLC, Govini, Inc., and Atkins Nuclear Solutions. He previously served as President of CGI Federal. He has led several other companies in both the government contracting and financial services space.

Hillen received the Fed100 award twice - in 2011 and 2017 - has been the subject of cover stories in Smart CEO Magazine, Government Computer News, and Washington Technology. An experienced director of both public and private companies, he has served on the boards of over half a dozen federal contracting firms.

Research and Awards:

2017-18 Outstanding Professor Award, MBA Program, George Mason University School of Business

2017 FCW Fed 100 Award Recipient

2017 US Navy Meritorious Public Service Medal  (https://www2.gmu.edu/news/319041)

Latest Article: May 18, 2018 – Washington Technology

Not just a job: 7 tips for new grads with new jobs 


Teaching Interests:
  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • International business strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business issues in national security
  • Government contracting industry
Media Clippings:

Latest Book: What Happens Now? Reinvent Yourself As A Leader Before Your Business Outruns You, Select Books, NY, NY 2018

January 22, 2019—Washington Technology
Can the Shutdown Lead to Better Government

May 3, 2018—Market Watch
“Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg could use a chief philosophy officer,” in Marketwatch.

August 15, 2017—Washington Technology
How to lead a business through non-business challenges

May 1, 2017—Washington Technology
Trump and the GovCon Market

February 12, 2017Washington Technology
2017 Fed 100 Winners Include John Hillen, Other GovCon Leaders

November 10, 2016—Washington Technology
New GMU center puts special focus on the GovCon industry

October 17, 2016—Washington Technology
What I've Learned Teaching Leadership During the 2016 Presidential Campaign Season

August 16, 2016—Washington Technology
Are you a strategic thinker or just a planner?

July 13, 2016—Washington Technology
Do you know who your most dangerous employee is?

June 06, 2016—Washington Technology
Leading change and the CEO's role as chief explaining officer

March 31, 2016—Washington Technology
Why climate matters when you make a career transition

February 16, 2016—Washington Technology
Why you need to know the source of your authority

January 27, 2016—Washington Technology
Leadership or Management?

January 22, 2015—GovConExec
2015 Wash100: The GovCon Sector’s Most Influential Voices

November 19, 2014—Washington Technology
Don't overlook boring business opportunities

November 19, 2014—Washington Technology
Are we headed for more budget uncertainty?

November 10, 2014—Washington Technology
GOP in charge: What changes, what doesn’t?

June 12, 2014—WashingtonExec
Dr. John Hillen Traces GovCon Market’s Maturation in Three Columns on Washington Technology

June 4, 2014—Washington Technology
Is the GovCon market a 'real' market?

May 27, 2014—Washington Technology
What stands in the way of a more mature GovCon market?

May 20, 2014—Washington Technology
How mature is the GovCon market?