Jerry McGinn

Executive Director, Center for Government Contracting


School of Business at George Mason University

Dr. John "Jerry" McGinn has recently been appointed as the Executive Director of the Center for Government Contracting in the School of Business at George Mason University (GMU). He brings over 28 years of experience in national and international security affairs in defense industry, government, think tanks, and the military to this role. At GMU, he will be responsible for establishing the first of its kind center for research, teaching, and collaboration on the issues facing the Government Contracting (GovCon) community. He will work closely with GMU faculty and students, as well as industry and government stakeholders, on this important effort.

Prior to joining GMU, Jerry served as the senior career official in the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy in the Department of Defense. His principal responsibilities there included leading a staff of 70 personnel and managing an annual budget of approximately $200 million; conducting assessments of critical industry sectors that received White House-level attention and impact; reviewing high-visibility defense-related mergers and acquisitions as well as cases before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States impacting billions of dollars of transactions in the global economy; executing advanced manufacturing programs in areas such as 3D printing, flexible electronics, advanced fibers and textiles, and robotics; and overseeing high-profile education and collaboration activities leading to new entrants in and new business models for the defense market.

Previous to his position in DoD, Dr. McGinn spent a decade in senior defense industry roles. These positions included President of McGinn Defense Consulting LLC, where he addressed complex strategy and policy issues for aerospace and defense clients; Specialist Leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he focused on strategy projects for DoD and commercial clients, and was a lead author of Deloitte’s Global Defense Outlook 2013; Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at QinetiQ North America, where he was responsible for strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and technology partnerships for a $400M business unit; and Corporate Director for International Government Relations at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he led business development activities in support of key international priorities.

Before industry, Dr. McGinn served in DoD as Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy Undersecretary (Policy), focusing on post‐conflict stabilization, reconstruction, and defense transformation and serving as the first DoD detailee to State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Dr. McGinn also served as a political scientist at RAND, where he co‐led a ground‐breaking and widely praised study entitled, America’s Role in Nation‐Building: From Germany to Iraq.

Dr. McGinn is a widely acclaimed thought leader, author, and sought-after speaker. He has published numerous influential articles and monographs, testified before the U.S. Congress and the United Kingdom House of Commons, presented to senior government and industry audiences around the world, and is regularly interviewed on critical national security issues.

Dr. McGinn was commissioned into the U.S. Army and served with distinction as an infantry officer; he received several military awards and is a graduate of Ranger and Airborne Schools. He holds a Ph.D., M.S., and M.A. from Georgetown University and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy.