George Mason University Center for Government Contracting and Defense Acquisition University are co-hosting a first-time conference geared toward the government contracting community.
“The $500 billion-plus government contracting community provides 40% of the GDP to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, but there is no major conference that addresses the business, policy and regulatory issues facing that community,” said Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting in the School of Business. “The goal of this conference and our center at George Mason is to fill that void.”
“Each part of the program is designed to enhance the conversation about and identify practical solutions on pertinent issues ranging from supply chain security and new approaches to contracting to workforce challenges and small business transition for all industry participants, whether for a small, mid-tier or large company, and across all federal agencies,” McGinn said. “Attendees will hear the current issues and concerns facing the government contracting community.”
Speakers will take questions from attendees, and attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from a number of panels. Each panel will include representatives from senior positions in government, industry and academia.
Panel themes will include new approaches to federal contracting, intellectual property and supply chain security, small business policy trends, and workforce challenges for government and industry.
Senior business executives who will be at the conference include Ben Edson, founder and CEO of VariQ; John Hillen, CEO of EverWatch Solutions; Josh Jackson, executive vice president and general manager of the solutions and technology group at Science Applications International Corp; Craig Reed, chief growth officer of Serco North America; and Sumeet Shrivastava, president and CEO of Array Information Technology. Leaders from Defense Acquisition University and GMU School of Business will also be in attendance.
The conference will feature fireside chats with Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and Roger Krone, CEO of Leidos. There will also be congressional members and a selection of speakers including at least one senior representative from the government, industry and academia on each panel. The topics and speakers are tailored to enable and provide practical solutions to critical issues facing government and industry today, organizers said.
“The discussions will not be canned, organizational briefs,” McGinn said. “Rather, the discussions will be open and frank, with ample time for questions from the attendees. The intent is for conference attendees to glean insights from the keynotes and the panels and to take away practical ideas, references and tools that they can use in their work each day.”
Organizers are seeking to create an annual “go to” event for high-level discussions on the industry, McGinn said. He same the reception so far for the conference has been “tremendous,” from both speakers and attendees alike.
“Our major problem has been the fact that there are numerous topics that we wanted to cover but did not have the space in the program,” he said. “Fortunately, however, that means there are important issues for the Center to tackle in subsequent events and conferences. This conference will set the bar going forward.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available.