NDIA names David Norquist president and CEO
David Norquist, a former deputy defense secretary with 30 years of experience in national security and federal financial management, will be the next president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association, effective May 1, the Arlington, VA-based defense association announced March 31.
“David’s exemplary experience and stellar reputation make him the ideal leader for NDIA, and the board and I could not be more pleased to have him join and lead the executive management team,” said NDIA Chairman, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro. “We’ve selected a strong leader at a time of great challenge in the defense marketplace.”
With his experience and accomplishments in the industry, the legislative branch and two of the largest, most complex federal government organizations, “David is capable from day one to continue enhancing the industry-government relationship that is essential to supporting the warfighter and the taxpayer,” Punaro said. “He will also continue NDIA’s strong tradition of nonpartisan leadership.”
As deputy defense secretary from 2019 to 2021, Norquist was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Defense Department, including managing the Pentagon’s budget and personnel. He also oversaw efforts to reform the military’s acquisition and accounting practices. Before this, he served as the undersecretary of defense (comptroller)/chief financial officer, making significant progress toward passing a defensewide clean audit.
During the early days of President Joe Biden’s administration, while the Senate considered the nomination of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Norquist served as acting defense secretary and remained as deputy defense secretary until Kathleen Hicks was confirmed in that role.
Norquist began his career as a Presidential Management Fellow and a program budget analyst for the Army before joining the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense as a professional staff member. From 2002 to 2006, he served as the deputy undersecretary of defense in the Office of the Comptroller. In 2006, President George W. Bush selected him to be the first Senate-confirmed chief financial officer for the Department of Homeland Security.
Between his stints in government service, Norquist was a partner with Kearney and Company, a certified public accounting firm focused exclusively on the federal government.
“It is an honor to be selected to serve as president and CEO of NDIA,” Norquist said. “As a nation, one of our core strategic advantages is the innovative character of our defense industrial base. Our long-term national security depends on government effectively capitalizing on that strength, and I look forward to assisting in that effort.”
Norquist’s selection came following a thorough search with the support of the executive search firm Russell Reynolds. “We sought a leader with extensive, tested and proven experience in industry, in the legislative branch and in the executive branch in positions of ever-increasing responsibility and accomplishment,” Punaro said of the search process. “Most importantly, potential CEO candidates had to be committed to NDIA’s high standards of performance and ethical behavior and have the strategic vision to help our members address current and future challenges in the defense marketplace.”
Executive Vice President James Boozer will serve as acting president and CEO until Norquist takes over in May.
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