Center Executive Director Jerry McGinn's Commentary, "Where is defense M&A policy headed? Here’s some advice for the new administration" discusses how, "Lockheed Martin’s proposed purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne is either critical for strengthening or catastrophic to the health of the defense-industrial base" depending on who you listen to. [March 30, 2021]
"DOD Tech Outreach Undermined By Contracting Barriers" by Daniel Wilson. Center Senior Research Fellow Eric Lofgren said, "Part of the problem is the DOD's rigid budgeting process, whereby acquisition programs, in addition to the multiple years they often take to establish, are usually expected to have clearly defined long-term plans and outputs." [03/23/21]
"A Deeper Dive" by Michael Bold in Army ALT Magazine reported on the Center for Government Contracting Playbook Study. Center Executive Director Jerry McGinn was quoted, "If you're reforming something for 50 years, then there's something fundamentally wrong." [March 19, 2021]
Commentary: A bridge fund can’t solve the Pentagon’s emerging tech problem, by Eric Lofgren and Matt MacGregor, DefenseNews, March 15, 2021
Center Executive Director Jerry McGinn was quoted in the Washington Business Journal article, "Big Game Gets Bigger - Contractors Are Fishing for M&A Megadeals to Reel in More Federal Dollars." McGinn said, "“The biggest driver of M&A is that defense and federal contract spending is generally flat, not including COVID, so companies are looking for growth, and they are going to go where the money is.” [03/05/2021]
Center research fellow, Eric Lofgren, along with Stephen Rodriguez wrote, "How to Reconnect the Pentagon's Strategy to its Budget". Eric and Stephen explain how Biden will need to tie strategy more closely to funding due to having less time and money to implement policies. [02/08/2021]
Inside Defense reported on the Center research project, "An Acquisition Playbook for the Information Age". Marjorie Censer wrote the article and quoted Jerry McGinn, "Our end goal is to develop a playbook of leading practices for defense acquisition and this would be sort of a briefing -- eight to 12 findings or recommendations that we have -- and then a longer report". [02/08/2021]
Executive Director Jerry McGinn wrote an op-ed for Market Watch, "Why ‘Buy American’ doesn’t do enough for the economy and national security". McGinn says 'Buy American' is counterproductive, and that we should reshore industrial capacity with help from our allies. [2/04/2021]
Building Resilience: The Defense Industrial Base in an Era of Great-Power Competition
A webinar hosted by The Heritage Foundation to discuss Jerry McGinn's essay in the 2021 Index of U.S. Military Strength. January 27, 2021, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM ET
Biden Administration has opportunity to set new precedents in contracting
Francis Rose interviewed Center Research Fellow Eric Lofgren about updating the DoD cost based pricing model. The current industrial era pricing model no longer works in the information age. [1/21/2021]
Updates on the Defense Industrial Base
Francis Rose interviewed Executive Director Jerry McGinn about the Fiscal Year 2020 Industrial Capabilities Report. McGinn said the U.S. must address dependence on China for things like rare earth minerals and micro electronics. [1/19/2021]
Don't take the national security contractor workforce for granted
John Hillen, Chairman of the Center's Advisory Board, makes a strong argument to support the workforce that is vital for the GovCon industry. "Poor workforce decisions will undermine a critical national security asset," says John. "Keep both [government and industry] workforces intact and motivated during crisis moments. Washington Technology, Commentary, March 23, 2020 [link]
Sending in the cavalry: How the Defense Production Act can assist during the COVID-19 crisis
Jerry McGinn has written a Commentary in The Hill that provides a history and use of the Defense Production Act since it was enacted. He also offers insights regarding the application of DPA to combat coronavirus. The Hill, March 19, 2020 [link]
Congress may be turning against recently confirmed CMO role for DoD
Tom Temin, host of Federal Drive on the Federal News Network, spoke with Jerry McGinn, Center Executive Director, on recent reforms related to the Chief Management Officer position at the Department of Defense. Here is the link to the twelve-minute podcast. The podcast was taped on January 29, 2020.
University Researchers: M&As That Drive Efficiency Provide the Most Value
The M&A research conducted by Center Affiliated Faculty member Brett Josephson continues to attract attention. Jane Edwards with ExecutiveBiz wrote an article highlighting the key conversation and the challenge behind decisions to acquire a company: Do you buy for access or efficiency? [Article, January 16, 2020]
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. [Article, January 15, 2020]
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
GMU Explores Challenges in GovCon with White Paper Series, Amanda Ziadeh, WashingtonExec, December 5, 2019 [article]
2019 Government Contracting Conference
Confronting the Challenges Facing Today's Government Contracting Community
The School of Business' Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University are co-hosting a first-time conference geared toward the government contracting community on October 3, 2019 at the Washington Marriott Metro Center.
George Mason University, Defense Acquisition University to Host Government Contracting Conference on Oct. 3rd; Featuring Wash100 Awardees Roger Krone, Hon. Ellen Lord, William McCormick, GovConWire, September 30, 2019
"GMU Conference Aims to Become Go-To Event for GovCon Community," WashingtonExec, September 24, 2019
"GMU’s Dr. Jerry McGinn: Happy warrior for contracting and acquisition learning," by Tom Temin, Federal News Network, August 6, 2019
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 Magazine — 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]
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. [Press Release]
University-Industry Engagement Advisor: "Ripe for engagement: George Mason's 'GovCon' center targets massive federal contracting market." Chairman John Hillen and Executive Director Jerry McGinn shared the history and direction of the Center for Government Contracting in an interview for the University-Industry Engagement Advisor, April 2019. Here is a link if you would like to subscribe to this newsletter and read the interview.
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 Feb. 20, 2019 interview also appeared in on ExecutiveBiz Blog.
Mason named a top-tier research university once more, Press Announcement, Dec 17, 2018
George Mason University Center for Government Contracting Appoints Senior Fellows and New Advisory Board Members, Press Announcement, Dec 17, 2019
With new center, Mason seeks to drive GovCon conversation was the topic of an interview between Ross Wilkers, a senior staff writer for Washington Technology, and Jerry McGinn, the executive director of the Center for Government Contracting. The interview examined the vision behind the Center and introduced the three major activities of the newest Center of the School of Business: Research, Education and Training, and Collaboration. The Center seeks to explore areas of interest by including government and business stakeholders, and the School's academic community, in any GovCon discussion. [link]
George Mason University Establishes Center for Government Contracting, Press Announcement, Dec 6
Jerry McGinn, Executive Director of the Center and Brett Josephson, Assistant Professor of Marketing, have written a Commentary for Washington Technology: Are performance drivers shifting in the GovCon market? The article provides insights on the strategic choices companies must make to grow their business. The article also proved a useful introduction for the Center's Dec. 11 discussion that was held on Dec. 11: Growth Drivers in the Government Contracting Marketplace. Washington Technology, Nov 30, 2018 [link]
Government Matters: Interview with Jerry McGinn on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States — A "Top Story" for Nov 19, 2018 [Link]
Defense News — Defense and Silicon Valley: Don't let Google's folly set the tone: Mason GovCon Executive Director Jerry McGinn and Chairman John Hillen have written a thought provoking commentary in Defense News that is proving to be very popular. Using the backdrop of Google's decision to discontinue work on artificial intelligence for the Department of Defense under Project Maven, the author's promote the value of adopting an innovation ecosystem for companies to grow a sustainable competitive advantage. Enjoy the read. [link]