Ellen Lord

Industry Service to the Flag Luncheon Awardee Hon. Ellen Lord

2023 Women In Defense National Conference

Ms. Lord is a high energy executive with extensive experience in aerospace and defense. Her expertise lies at the intersection of industry and government in addition to general management. She develops efficient and cost-effective business processes to commercialize technology for aircraft, maritime, space and automotive systems that mitigate cybersecurity threats. Ms. Lord understands how products and services are successfully sold to U.S., particularly the Department of Defense (DoD), and international government entities.

Ms. Lord brings 33 years of industry experience in conjunction with 3 ½ years in a senior political government position, the combination of which provides an understanding of the nexus of industrial capability and government ability to procure. She leverages her experience to focus on national and economic security issues that intertwine industrial and government entities. Ms. Lord's technology know-how, coupled with her business acumen, uniquely positions her to envision capability delivery to meet customer demand. In industry, she is respected for her strategic perspective, operational know-how, and the ability to recruit, develop and retain critical talent.

Ms. Lord served as the first Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, leading the Department of Defense’s personnel, policy and processes for acquisition of products and services, lifecycle sustainment and the security and resiliency of the defense industrial base. Ms. Lord is credited in her government work for driving significant acquisition policy change focused on simplicity and speed. She implemented procedures that recognize major platforms and weapon systems are hardware enabled yet software defined. Additionally, she is recognized for addressing cyber vulnerabilities and incorporating an aggressive cybersecurity posture into acquisition policy. Ms. Lord also focused on a high level of communication with all stakeholders and strengthening human capital. During her time with the DoD, she developed strong relationships with Congressional members in both a bipartisan and bicameral manner. 

After leaving her DoD role in January 2021, Ms. Lord established EML Enterprises, LLC, providing advisory services that leverage her industrial and government experience. Prior to her government appointment, Ellen was President and CEO of Textron Systems, a subsidiary of Textron Company where she led a broad range of products and services supporting defense, homeland security, aerospace, infrastructure protection, and customers around the world.

She is the former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association and served as Director of the U.S. – India Business Council. Additionally, Ms. Lord served on the Task Force providing guidance for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense” project which was formed to examine key technological trends and challenges facing the global defense industry. Ms. Lord also served as a Trustee on the Board of the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation. Ms. Lord has a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Connecticut College.