John Hillen

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John Hillen
John Hillen.jpg
15th Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
In office
October 11, 2005 – January 11, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Lincoln P. Bloomfield
Succeeded by Mark Kimmitt
Personal details
Alma mater Duke University
King's College London
University of Oxford
Cornell University
Profession President and CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions

John Hillen (born 3 February 1966) is an American business executive and the former Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, nominated by President George W. Bush, who served from October 11, 2005 until January 11, 2007. He served as President & CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions formerly Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc. (GTEC) from 2008 - June 18, 2013. While at Sotera, he took the company public in November 2009.[1] John currently serves on a number of corporate boards and is the Executive in Residence and Professor of Practice at George Mason University's School of Business. He has been featured on numerous times for his business accomplishments and his talks on Defense policy, particularly as they relate to the private sector.[2]



Dr. Hillen received his BA from Duke University, his MA from King's College London, his doctorate from the St Antony's College, Oxford, and an MBA from Cornell University.[3] In April 2015 Dr. Hillen was made the inaugural inductee into the Duke University Army ROTC Hall of Fame.[4]

Military service[edit]

Hillen was an officer in the United States Army for twelve years. He has served as a civil affairs officer on jump status with the US special operations Command and as a cavalry officer in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He has been decorated for his actions in combat, one episode of which is recounted in Douglas Macgregor’s military memoir Warriors Rage: The Great Tank Battle of the 73 Easting.[5]


While serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Dr. Hillen was the senior State department official responsible for coordinating America’s diplomatic strategy with its military operations. He was also responsible for overseeing the department’s policies in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, weapons removal and abatement, and defense trade. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. His work standing up the US’s whole-of-government Counter insurgency capability and strategy is profiled in Wall Street Journal reporter Nathan Hodge’s recent book Armed Humanitarians.[6]

Prior to his appointment in the administration, Dr. Hillen served as the President of what is now CGI Federal Inc, the cleared American subsidiary of Canadian IT firm CGI, Inc. (NYSE: GIB). Previously he was the head of the defense and intelligence business at American Management Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: AMSY), which was sold to CACI International (NYSE: CACI) in 2004. Prior to that he was the Chief Operating Officer of Island ECN, Inc., a financial services firm in New York City.

He is a trustee or director of several non-profit institutions, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Foreign Policy Research Institute, Hampden-Sydney College, and the National Review Institute, among others. He was for many years a contributing editor to National Review magazine, an ABC News consultant, and is a life member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.[7] Dr. Hillen is the author or editor of several books on international security, including "Future Visions for U.S. Defense Policy: Four Alternatives Presented as Presidential Speeches- A Council Policy Initiative" and "Blue Helmets: The Strategy of UN Military Operations", and he has been published in dozens of leading journals and newspapers including Foreign Affairs, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Hillen is one of the 2016 Top 30 Execs to Watch as stated by WashingtonExec.

Dr. Hillen served from 2007 – 2016 on the CNO’s Executive Panel, the advisory panel for the head of the US Navy. In 2016 he was awarded the US Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Medal for service to that panel. In February 2017, Dr. Hillen was selected as part of the FCW Federal top 100 list. "A list of 100 women and men that should make even the most hardened skeptics optimistic about what's possible in federal IT."[8] Dr. Hillen also won the FCW Federal top 100 award in 2011. "The most important distinguishing mark of Federal 100 winners is simple: They step up. Often the work that results in a Federal 100 award is something that is difficult, time-consuming and, in many cases, beyond the winner’s job description. But they step up to it and get the job done. It’s that simple."[9]

Professional associations[edit]

  • IAP Global (Member of Board of Directors)
  • CygnaCom Solutions (Chairman of the Board)
  • 2nd Cavalry Association [Army] (Member of Board of Directors)
  • ACS [Applied Communication Sciences] (Chairman)
  • CFR [Council on Foreign Relations (Member)
  • CED [Committee for Economic Development] (Trustee)
  • CEP [CNO Executive Panel, Chief of Naval Operations] (Member)
  • FPRI [Foreign Policy Research Institute] (Trustee & Treasurer)
  • Hampden Sydney College (Trustee & Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee)
  • IISS [International Institute for Strategic Studies] (Member of the Council & Former Trustee)
  • National Review Magazine (Chairman)
  • PSC [Professional Services Council] (Chairman) [10]
  • YPO [Young Presidents Organization] (Member)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Global Defense Technology Holds IPO". Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "John Hillen". Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hillen, John". Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Hillen, John". Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  6. ^ Hodge, Nathan (2011). Armed Humanitarians. ISBN 1-60819-017-X. 
  7. ^ "Hillen, John". Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The 2011 Federal 100 award winners -- FCW". FCW. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  10. ^ "John Hillen Elected Chairman of Board of the PSC". 
Government offices
Preceded by
Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs
October 11, 2005 – January 11, 2007
Succeeded by
Mark Kimmitt