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  3. Improving Business Acumen in the Acquisition Workforce

Improving Business Acumen in the Acquisition Workforce

@ 11:00 AM
  • What is Business Acumen (BA)? Also called business savviness, business sense or business understanding, it is the ability to quickly grasp and deal with a business situation and understand risks and opportunities. BA enables individuals to make decisions that yield positive outcomes; developing BA skills is crucial for the Defense Acquisition Workforce to maintain DoD's competitive advantage with peer and near-peer adversaries.  BA skills are critical for all members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce to interact with industry in the acquisition of key systems and services.  DAU thought leaders with DOD, industry, and academic experience will detail DAU's current initiatives to make business acumen learning content more available and more relevant. 

    11:00 AM Eastern - 8:00 AM Pacific

    Who Should Attend:

    Those in government from all Defense acquisition functional areas who want to improve their skills and help build enduring advantages across the U.S. defense ecosystem.

     Business Acumen Series:

    Attending these sessions will help you relate the work you do in defense acquisition to developing the necessary skills in Business Acumen.  Personal and organizational success will be enhanced by improving your BA skills.  Session format is curated presentation with DAU, DOD, industry and academic leaders, followed by live Q&A.


    Dr Chris DAscenzo Headshot

    Dr Chris D’Ascenzo, Professor of Program Management, DAU, DSMC

    Dr D’Ascenzo joined the Defense Systems Management College faculty in 2014 as a Professor of Program Management. This includes teaching, developing curriculum, performing mission assistance for senior DOD program managers, program executive officers and leadership staffs.
    Dr D’Ascenzo is an industry operations executive with over a 40-year career serving the defense and national security and intelligence communities. Since 2014 he provides independent program management and business expansion consulting to Fortune 50 enterprises in system engineering, cyber management, and business development and operations improvement. He has led sensitive communications and automated information and data systems development programs including successful business expansions and organizational change leadership. From 2007 to 2014, Chris was Vice President and General Manager of the $300M/year Defense Intelligence Solutions division at BAE Systems providing enterprise IT systems, cybersecurity products development, and engineering services to DIA, NSA, DLA, NGA, DTS, DISA, Air Force ISR, Army G2/G6, Army CECOM and COCOMS. He led BAE’s Army CECOM C4ISR full lifecycle software engineering business.


    Ross Thompson

    Ross Thompson, Senior Executive in-residence, DAU, DSMC

    Ross Thompson joined the faculty at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in November 2015 as the Senior Acquisition Executive in-residence.  He provides consulting, mission assistance, and executive coaching to Defense Program Executive Officers, Program Managers, and senior leaders in both the Defense Department and commercial industry.  
    A retired Army Lieutenant General, Mr. Thompson served from 2016-2019 as a commissioner on the 2016 NDAA Section 809 panel charged with making recommendations on actionable changes to regulatory and statutory language to improve the Department of Defense acquisition process.  He advises senior government and industry leaders on strategy, program management, technology, contracting, budgets, process improvement and workforce development.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for several technology companies. 


    Dr Stanley Rosen

    Dr. Stanley Rosen, Professor of Program Management, DAU, West

    Dr. Rosen has had extensive experience in commercial, military and civil government organizational and program management activities during a career spanning over 50 years. He retired from the faculty of the Department of Defense’s Defense Acquisition University (DAU) in September 2021, and is currently an Intermittent Professor on the DAU faculty. From December 2008 to September 2021, he was serving as a DAU Professor of Acquisition Management. In this role, in addition to training defense acquisition professionals, he led DAU’s consulting support for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center programs, and was a certified DAU Executive Coach. Prior to taking this position, Dr. Rosen was a management consultant, both independently and with Toffler Associates. Formerly, Rosen was Director of Strategic Development and Integration for Boeing Satellite Systems. In this capacity, he was responsible for development of Boeing's strategy for succeeding in the global satellite market, serving a wide variety of U.S. Government and global commercial customers. Prior to the acquisition of Hughes Space and Communications by Boeing, he led Hughes' ballistic missile defense architecture development and was Strategic Planning Director for the Hughes Defense Systems and Hughes Space and Communications organizations.


    David Riel, Professor of Acquisition Management, DAU, Midwest

    Since January 2010, Dave Riel has served as Professor of Acquisition Management with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) providing mission assistance to program offices and teaching the next generation of DoD acquisition professionals the ins and outs of the defense acquisition business.  Prior to working with DAU, Dave served 20 years with the USAF, primarily as an engineer and program manager. After retiring from active duty in 2006, Dave worked with L3 Communications/Waco, TX for 4 years as Senior Manager for Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement before joining DAU. 


    Charles Mahon, Learning Director for Business Acumen, DAU, Production Coordination & Optimization Directorate

    Mr. Mahon is the Defense Acquisition University’s Learning Director, Business Acumen and is DAWIA certified Program Manager, Advanced.  He oversees courses that aide the acquisition workforce to understand industry and he liaises with industry associations, corporations, and other associations to ensure DAU’s network with these entities remains viable. 

    Mr. Mahon background includes naval surface warfare, antisubmarine warfare, and naval nuclear propulsion.  He worked in commercial nuclear power performing engineering, nuclear refueling outage project management, plant modification project management, and construction project management.  In defense he worked as a biometric and information technology contractor program manager for the Army providing the whole program spectrum of procurement, development, services, and sustainment functions. He also was a liaison functions for a not-for-profit project management association and the U.S. Government.

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