David Norquist worked for the Department of Defense as deputy secretary of defense, leaving in February 2021. In that position, he was the department’s chief operating officer, managing over two million personnel and “three trillion dollars in assets and liabilities,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Before becoming deputy secretary, he served as under secretary of defense (comptroller) from 2017 to 2019, advising the secretary of defense on financial and budgetary matters, managing the annual budget, and launching the department’s first independent financial audit.
Months after leaving the Department of Defense, he joined Covington & Burling’s aerospace and defense industry practices as a senior advisor. Based in Washington, Covington lobbies on behalf of major defense contractors, including BAE Systems, Bombardier, and Northrop Grumman as of 2021. The Chair of Covington’s Management Committee, Doug Gibson, touted Norquist’s seniority at the defense department stating, “Serving as the Pentagon’s number two civilian leader, David is uniquely positioned to understand the challenges and priorities facing clients in the Defense industry. His addition is a significant resource for our clients and adds further depth to our practice at a time when national security issues continue to receive significant attention from all levels of government.”
Additionally, in July 2021, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) announced the launch of its Strategic Advisory Board, with Norquist as one of its first members. SAIC works extensively with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as intelligence agencies. In fiscal year 2020, SAIC was one of the top 20 recipients of Department of Defense contract dollars.
In the press release, Norquist said: “Having served in the Pentagon, I know the value that a company like SAIC can bring to solving national security challenges. I am enthusiastic to see how SAIC can leverage technologies like digital engineering and artificial intelligence in addressing those challenges.”
In February 2022, Norquist was appointed to serve on the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution Reform, an advisory commission established by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and tasked with assessing the effectiveness of the Defense Department’s acquisition system and providing recommendations for improvement.
The Chair of Covington’s Management Committee, Doug Gibson, touted Norquist’s seniority at the defense department stating, “Serving as the Pentagon’s number two civilian leader, David is uniquely positioned to understand the challenges and priorities facing clients in the Defense industry.