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April 20, 2021

Hon. Ellen Lord, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Named Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins APL

Image ofThe Honorable Ellen M. LordL

The Honorable Ellen M. Lord

Credit: Hon. Ellen Lord

The Honorable Ellen M. Lord, former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment in the Department of Defense, has joined the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, as a Senior Fellow.

Lord was presidentially appointed as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics in August 2017 and then served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment (A&S) from February 2018 until January 2021.

As undersecretary of defense for both organizations, Lord was responsible to the secretary of defense for all department matters related to acquisition. She led department efforts on developmental testing; contract administration; logistics and material readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological and nuclear weapons; workforce acquisition and the defense industrial base.

“Ms. Lord’s deep expertise across both government and private industry is remarkable,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “Having her as a Senior Fellow will greatly enhance our ability to innovate thoughtfully and meaningfully for the defense community.”

To her career in government, Lord brought more than 30 years of experience in industry, with over 20 years in the defense industry. She was president and chief executive officer of Textron Systems from 2012 to 2017 and was previously senior vice president and general manager of Textron Defense Systems as well as senior vice president and general manager of AAI Corporation (now a division of Textron).

Earlier in her career with Textron Systems, Lord served as vice president in multiple capacities, including as the vice president of integration management, of integrated battlefield systems and of strategic planning.

Lord’s leadership has been recognized with appointments to senior advisory positions across the defense industry. She is a former vice chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, is a former director of the U.S.-India Business Council and sat on the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation’s board of trustees.

In partnership with the Center for a New American Security, Lord also contributed to thought leadership on key technological defense industry trends and challenges. She served on the industry steering committee for the center’s task force on “Strategy, Technology and the Global Defense Industry” and the center’s Department of Defense-Industry collaborative project “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense.”

Lord earned a Master of Science in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Connecticut College.

APL’s Senior Fellows are distinguished experts in national security and space who work with technical experts at the Laboratory to better inform technology and policy decisions made by U.S. military leaders and senior government officials.

Media contact: Geoffrey Brown, 240-228-5618,

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