|21st Director of the Office of Management and Budget|
February 2, 1973 – February 3, 1975
|Preceded by||Caspar Weinberger|
|Succeeded by||James T. Lynn|
October 20, 1918|
Los Angeles, California
|Died||December 14, 2011(aged 93)|
|Alma mater||Harvard School of Business|
|Service/branch||United States Army Air Corps|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Roy Lawrence Ash (October 20, 1918 – December 14, 2011) was the co-founder and president of the American company Litton Industries and director of the Office of Management and Budget (February 2, 1973 – February 3, 1975) during the administrations of U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Early Life and Education
Ash graduated from high school when he was 16, and was employed by the Bank of America as a city cash-collection messenger. Shortly after World War II began, Ash enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a private and, after a succession of promotions, became a captain in the Army Air Corps, serving in the Office of Management Control. After the war, he attended Harvard Business School, graduating with an MBA and as a Baker Scholar in 1947. After briefly working again with the Bank of America, he joined Hughes Aircraft and soon led its finance department.
In 1953 Ash and his partner, Tex Thornton, bought Litton Industries, a small West Coast producer of microwave tubes. By the time Ash became president of the company in 1961, Litton had completed 25 mergers and operated 48 plants in nine countries in an aggressive acquisition plan, with sales of $245 million. By 1965, the company had over $900 million in sales and produced 5,000 different items.
After his election as president in 1968, Richard Nixon asked Ash to create and lead the President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, which later came to be known as the Ash Commission. In a memo that Ash sent to Nixon in 1969, he reported finding "virtual unanimity that organizational improvement of the Executive Office of the President is needed." Among the Commission's recommendations was that the Bureau of the Budget should be expanded and elevated in authority to become the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), established to encourage and help develop results-oriented leadership throughout the federal government. Ash connected this proposal to "a concept that no matter how awesome its size, government can be made more effective by using management techniques." 
In November 1969, the President's Domestic Council instructed Ash to study whether all federal environmental activities should be unified in one agency. During meetings in spring 1970, Ash at first expressed a preference for a single department to oversee both environmental and natural resource management; by April he had changed his mind; in a memorandum to the President he advocated a separate regulatory agency devoted solely to anti-pollution programs. The report of the Commission lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Following Nixon's re-election in 1972, Ash was named the director of the OMB. After leaving OMB he joined Addressograph-Multigraph (later AM International) in an attempt to rescue the foundering duplicator company at a time when the duplication industry was shifting to photocopiers from Xerox; he resigned in 1981.
In 2003 he and his wife donated $15,000,000 to Harvard to endow the Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government.
He served as a member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
In January 2007, he sold one of his two massive Virginia "hunt country" properties for $22 million. It was the highest price ever recorded for a property in Loudoun County. Known as "Llangollen," the Middleburg, Virginia 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) equestrian manor was acquired by Ash in 1989 from the estate of Liz Whitney Tippett, first wife of John Hay Whitney. Ash still retained ownership of another Middleburg-area hunt country estate, "Huntlands" at the time of his death, which he tried unsuccessfully to sell in 2005 for $18.8 million. That 550 acres (2.23 km2) property main house was built in 1837 with major additions added in 1911, and has been the weekend retreat for senators, congressmen, diplomats and Presidents; Presidents Lyndon Baines Johnson and John F. Kennedy visited Huntland on numerous occasions.
- Goldsmith, Stephen (January 18, 2012), The Man Who Put the 'M' in OMB, Governing.com
- "Roy Ash". Nixon.archives.gov. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- Mclellan, Dennis (2012-01-11). "Roy L. Ash, former Litton president, OMB director, dies at 93 - Obituaries". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
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