Ellen Lord was the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, leaving in January 2021. In this role, Lord was in charge of “supervising all elements of acquisition, sustainment, the defense industrial base, and the modernization of nuclear forces.” After leaving the Pentagon, Lord joined numerous companies which touted her experience leading the defense department’s acquisition office.
In February 2021, Lord joined The Chertoff Group as a senior advisor. The Chertoff Group is a consulting and lobbying firm founded by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. In this role, Lord “provides counsel regarding defense programs, homeland security and the protection of critical infrastructure.” Chertoff touted Lord’s career stating that, “Ellen’s deep background in aerospace and defense, both in government and private sectors, coupled with her business acumen will add immense value to our clients.”
In April 2021, she joined the AAR Corp. board of directors. AAR Corp. is an aviation company that provides airframe maintenance and logistics sustainment. According to a 2020 Proxy Statement from the firm, the average compensation for board members is $219,011. In fiscal year 2020, AAR Corp. received nearly $300 million from the Department of Defense.
In June 2021, Lord joined the Delaware-based artificial intelligence firm Clarifai as a senior advisor and member of its Public Sector Advisory Council. In a press release, Clarifai’s CEO Matt Zeiler stated “Ellen Lord brings a wealth of experience to Clarifai gained over 30 years serving the defense industry, including her most recent tenure leading all matters relating to acquisition for the Department of Defense.”
In July 2021, Lord also joined the newly formed strategic advisory board at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) , a federal contractor for the defense department and a top 100 recipient in fiscal year 2020, receiving nearly $2.4 billion from the Pentagon. As a board member, Lord will primarily “advise company leaders on customer priorities, acquisition policy, potential disruptions in the environment as well as possible new growth areas.” In a company press statement, SAIC’s CEO, Nazzic Keene, touted Lord’s “experience in both industry and the federal government.”
In a request for comment, press relations director for SAIC, Brad Bass, stated that: “[Lord’s] consulting work for SAIC complies with all applicable post-employment restrictions,” and that “she does not represent the company to the Defense Department or other parties in any way."
In February 2022, Lord 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.
Ellen’s deep background in aerospace and defense, both in government and private sectors, coupled with her business acumen will add immense value to our clients.”
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment,
Department of Defense
The Chertoff Group
Senior Advisor and Public Sector Advisory Council Member,
Strategic Advisory Board,