Building the Base Episode 40: Shelly O’Neill Stoneman

Building The Base Website Graphic Episode 40 V1

In this episode of Building the Base, Lauren Bedula and Hondo Geurts welcome Shelly O’Neill Stoneman, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Lockheed Martin. In the discussion, Shelly shares insights on her diverse career journey spanning government, non-profit, and private sectors. Shelly emphasizes Lockheed Martin’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration with startups, highlighting programs like LM Ventures. She discusses the importance of a diverse workforce and her role as the chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). Shelly also delves into the evolving defense industrial base, stressing the need for international partnerships, supply chain resilience, and the integration of technology. She underscores the significance of both established primes and emerging startups in addressing the dynamic challenges of the defense sector.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Shelly highlights the importance of creating a mission-driven environment to attract talent to the defense industrial base, emphasizing the broader scope beyond traditional perceptions.
  2. The episode emphasizes the need for strong partnerships with allies and international collaboration, as seen in initiatives like AUKUS, to address supply chain challenges and enhance interoperability.
  3. Shelly underscores the role of primes like Lockheed Martin in fostering innovation and solving complex problems, challenging the perception that only startups bring innovation to the defense sector.
  4. Mentorship is crucial for career development, and Shelly shares her gratitude for mentors who played significant roles in her career, including James Allen Walden and Debbie James.
  5. The conversation touches on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) and the Leadership Council on Women in National Security (LC WINS), highlighting the importance of diversity in the defense sector and the need for mentorship at various career stages.


Shelly O’Neill Stoneman is senior vice president of Government Affairs for Lockheed Martin. In this role, she directs the company’s activities with Congress and the Pentagon, and manages all federal, state and local government customer relationships.

Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Stoneman served as senior vice president for Government Relations at BAE Systems since 2021. She joined BAE in 2013 as the vice president for Executive Branch and International Government Relations and served as the company’s primary liaison to the Executive Branch, including the Pentagon, State Department, Intelligence Community, and the White House. She supported the company’s foreign military sales and direct commercial sales through engagement with the U.S. government and foreign embassies.

Previously, Stoneman had a distinguished nearly 15-year career in public and nonprofit service, including at the Pentagon, the White House and on Capitol Hill.

She served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and White House Liaison for three Secretaries of Defense.

From 2009 until 2011, Stoneman worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, where she served as Special Assistant to the President and was responsible for the defense and national security legislative portfolio. She worked closely with the White House, National Security Council, Department of Defense, and Congress on a variety of policy issues.

Earlier in her career, she served on Capitol Hill as the deputy chief of staff for a member of the House Appropriations Committee and also as a committee staff member for a Senate authorization committee.

Stoneman earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and has a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, as well as a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma’s program in Europe.

In the community, she is the chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), a historic panel that provides advice and policy recommendations to the Secretary of Defense regarding women’s service in the armed force. She is a board member of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS), as well as Food for Others, a Fairfax County, Virginia-based food bank and pantry. She was one of the inaugural JOURNEY to Lead Fellows and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Podcast Transcript

Lauren Bedula 00:29
Welcome back to building the base, Lauren Bedula and Hondo Geurts. Here with today’s guests, Shelly O’Neill Stoneman. We are so excited to have Shelly with us today. Shelly’s currently Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Lockheed Martin, and two months into the job. Prior to joining Lockheed, she was running government affairs some incredible experience in the defense industrial base. And prior to that spent 15 years in the public sector and nonprofit world, including the White House, Congress, and elsewhere. So, we are going to dig into that and a little bit. And something else I am going to ask about later is that Shelly chairs, the defense Advisory Committee on Women in the services dacoits. I am excited to hear more about that. Shelly, thank you for joining us today,

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 01:12
Lauren. And Hondo, thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here. Shelly, 

Hondo Geurts 01:16
It is great to have you here. You know, we’d like to start to show off a little bit of, you know, putting your amazing career in context of kind of how you started and it is how did you get onto this arc of a career in national security, both in the public sector and now in the private sector? 

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 01:34
Well, I tend to describe my life as a series of unexpected left turns. So, I am an only child of a single mom, and grew up in Orlando, Florida, had a real affinity for government at a young age and did a lot of like Youth and Government type work, but was not quite sure what I wanted to do with that seem to originally be going in a judicial legal direction. But one White House internship in the Clinton office of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs convinced me that I really needed to kind of pivot and do policy work and work on Capitol Hill that was kind of left hand turn number one after graduation moved to Washington, my first role in DC was working for a Senate Committee on International Security and proliferation, loved it couldn’t believe I got paid to do it went to work every day thinking about nuclear Non Proliferation and missile technology coolest job ever found turn number two was marrying an Army infantry officer and moving first to Fort Benning and then moving overseas to Germany for three years, unplanned but certainly an interesting adventure. And then finally, after working over there and working in the Balkans with some nonprofits, and then did research on small arms trafficking throughout the region, and Eastern Europe, moved back to DC, came back to the original three line, and worked on the House Appropriations Committee for a member who later got into the Defense Appropriations Committee. And though I have reset I am back on track. This is the direction of travel and going to the Obama Biden transition team to work on national security, which later led to a role in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Interestingly enough, the same office I worked in 12 years prior left enter number three was when I had my first child when I was at the White House doing the Natsec portfolio for the President and deciding moving over to the Pentagon in order to have a better work life balance and have more time with my then toddler and just regain some personal autonomy that is not involved in seven days a week, 14 hour days, I had my second child over at the Pentagon. And after working for a Secretary Leon Panetta decided to try something totally new and left government for the first time, made it to the industrial base and joined VA systems and you kind of covered the rest. But all those things, I think we are you know, there’s a through line, but a lot of unplanned twists and turns.

Lauren Bedula 03:55
What was that pivot to the private sector? Like for you any major surprises that standout?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 04:00
I think the thing that was most pleasantly surprising is how many one veteran serve in the private sector in the US defense companies. And I was worried but I still feel that mission driven sense of working in the public sector, and the answer is unequivocally yes. The folks who get up and either if they are bending metal or if they are doing the most high-tech work in the world, they are tied to the warfighter. And they really want to do their job to the highest degree of accuracy and impact as possible. That was so clear to me during COVID More than anything else when you saw folks coming to work, no matter what, regardless of safety protocols when they did not even exist. So that mission this sense of mission is keenly felt.

Hondo Geurts 04:48
So, Shelly we had the pleasure of working together many times back and forth in your various roles, and I do appreciate your comment about the industrial base. You sit near sets of servers during COVID. You and I had many long conversations about keeping shipyards open and all, all those kinds of things. As you’ve now, you know, as industrial bases kind of trying to deal with how to incorporate startups, your experience on, you know, working in, you know, a couple of these big prime contractors. How do you see that role shifting with startups? And how does that partnership look going to the future? Versus an either or maybe more like an either and kind of thing? How do you see that shaping up?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 05:38
I think the great news is at this moment in time that the potential for innovation, talent, and accelerated ideas is certainly there is a ton of energy behind it. The additional set of good news is that there is so many acquisition authorities that have been put in place over the last few years that truly do give the Department of Defense and, you know, the acquisition and procurement authorities, the authorities they need to make this work. I think some of that is still evolving. I think there’s room to grow. But I look at, you know, what Lockheed Martin is doing, and certainly others as well. But as being a bridge between these kinds of commercial startups and the Department of Defense. So often you see these commercial startups that do not have, you know, the compliance and the auditing mechanisms and the back office needed to bring their high-quality high-tech innovations to market. And so that is where, you know, Lockheed Martin, and others can high-quality be that bridge, we have this group called LM ventures, and it act is specifically about identifying, you know, these kind of these pools of startup and talent and not absorbing, not purchasing, but investing in and helping to enable their contributions to the broader defense industrial base. 

Hondo Geurts 06:55
Yeah, and I know your CEO is very excited about that. And it is not just pure national defense. I mean, I think it is solving hard problems. You know, whether it is purely national defense or no, and, and, you know, forest fires, and all these other kinds of things is, is that being embraced within the company? 

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 07:15
It really is that that is one of the things if you asked me kind of what is the most surprising thing since I came to Lockheed is how fully focused the entire leadership team is on driving this change. And that it does not, it is not just a defense company, it is a high tech, innovative problem-solving company. The firefighting technology that she just mentioned, is something that is completely out of the line of sight, you know, for most big defense companies. But we realize, you know, when you look at all this connectivity that is taking place with Jad C to going on in the department, and connecting sensors to shooters, there’s value in that connectivity and interoperability taking place in other areas, too. You see, climate change taking place you see kind of fire fires, really impacting kind of the world. And is there a better way that we can take some of our connectivity to help enable not that is do the firefighting, but enable the intelligence behind the firefighting? 

Lauren Bedula 08:13
It is interesting, we are recording today from the Silicon Valley Defense Group, and LM ventures was one of the earliest members of the organization. So, we see him showing up with those nontraditional roles, and playing in the investment community focused on national security, which is awesome. Something that you mentioned that I want to dig into a bit more is this idea of Lockheed Martin serving as a bridge to companies that are new entrants, or non-traditional. Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like, in terms of partnerships?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 08:43
Sure. I think, you know, with whether it is Lockheed ventures, or we also have a program called Lockheed evolve LM evolve, which is kind of we have got like the smaller startup’s kind of the mid-level. And then of course, you know, broader partnerships, and jayvees, etc. You know, it is working with them identifying kind of talent and programs and innovation and technology. Perhaps they have identified perhaps we have identified the problem we are trying to solve, you know, and I think within our company, we are very focused, as you mentioned, our CEO, Jim, take lead very focused on it is mapping missions, what are the missions that the department is doing? And where are there gaps? And luckily, I think the Department is moving to that direction as well, where its mission focused rather than platform focused. So, I think as we do that, we are doing 15 different road mission roadmaps. We have, I think about four done, where we can help as we are identifying those gaps, and we are thinking where is their lucky technology to do this and where is there outside technology needed? And here then we have this pool of we are tech startups that were already invested in their wellbeing and their growth etc. And we figure out how do we fill in those gaps, so kind of filling in the fabric of it. 

Lauren Bedula 09:55
It is great to hear and I think an important model, especially if we they have, they have talked about on So quite often these smaller programs that end up being fits and starts not often going beyond prototypes or trial periods. And so, this idea of partnering with a such a seasoned player in the space, I think is something that is important here. And curious for your take to just in terms of some of the hurdles that those companies are facing? Is it security clearances, or any of the challenges that you hear that Lockheed can really help with all the above security clearances? 

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 10:30
Not so much, that is the department lead, you know, kind of bottleneck that I know, they have been battling back for a few years. So, it is certainly better than it was security clearances again, well, it is a lot of back-office stuff, it is its compliance, its audit, you know, anyone who is have, never encountered the DOD far, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, you know, they often their have, innovative ideas do not survive first contact with the bureaucracy of it. So, I think it is just knowledge of, and navigation through that bureaucracy is probably the best asset that we can provide them so that they do not have to do that. And again, that does not mean absorbing them. That means partnering with them to help their success, as well as kind of complementing our own. So

Hondo Geurts 11:13
Shelly having whether it is in the White House, or our multiple decades, with the in the industrial base, on the other side, what is your, what is your sense of where we need to go? I think, you know, maybe five or eight years ago, everybody kind of knew things were not great, but we did not, there was not the same call to action, I think that is occurred over the last couple of years are a lot more energy, a lot more attention. Where does it need to go in the next couple of years? If that is we are really going to move from kind of this World War two industrial base, which they are still very, you know, areas where it is needed to kind of something that can be a little more dynamic? is a world gets more dynamic?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 11:54
I think it is such a great question. I mean, certainly, well, right now, at this this kind of moment in history, where we have, you know, two different crises that are requiring a traditional Natsec set of solutions to meet the moment, you know, certainly both in the war in Ukraine, as well as the conflict that is taking place in the Middle East. And so those have, those are traditional defense solutions. But I also think there is this whole world out there of how to reach you know, to your point, bringing folks back to this service, whether it is serving in the industrial base, and that is contributing to a broader mission, or if it is in the military, or if it is a public service, which I am very partial to as well, bringing people to it to solve hard problems. And I do think some of that is, you know, technology and innovation space, it is, you know, being able to think about what quantum is going to how it is going to impact all our lives in the next decade. And so, I think, to inspire that mission to serve, you must have a love of kind of whether it is science and technology, or just being able to contribute to something bigger. I know, certainly at the Lockheed side, we talk a lot about OSIRIS ReX and it has been fascinating to see how many just even members across government are privately kind of like space, you know, astronaut geeks, like you know, in the closet who are coming out and just saying, how they looked at every picture, and they cannot believe to get more. And I think we must draw upon that and start pulling kids back into the like, how do we solve hard problems

Lauren Bedula 13:21
So, on the topic of talent and workforce, one to ask, I mentioned in the at the top of the show that you are the chair of the defense Advisory Committee on Women in the services, can you tell us a little bit about what that looks like and your mission on that front? 

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 13:36
Sure, So I am going to back up a little bit and just talk about when I, when I went over to the Department of Defense, kind of skipped the part, the left hand turn aspect of it for me was having to leave doing policy and having to in working on political personnel. Initially, that I was not quite sure what that would look like, I do not fancy myself an HR professional, I did not really understand about solving people problems. And in retrospect, it is one of the best things that ever happened to me, it truly is one of the best jobs I have ever had. Because people problems are sometimes the most tangible things and as leaders, and as managers, if you can solve that for them eloquently, and in a way that ideally satisfies all parties, you really make an impact on organizations and legacy of that organization. But the other piece of that was the criticality of diversity of all types, background, ethnicity, social, you know, social strata experience and economic class. And bringing that diversity of thought to solve hard problems at the Department of Defense was just it was such a great mission to work on. So often, people tend to turn and grab the person that they have worked with for 20 years that looks exactly like them, and says, oh, this thing is too important. We do not have time we cannot go find a diverse candidate. And I think we proved out that you can. So that passion for that can Two news today, I still tend to focus the bulk of my time on when I mentor someone or when I am investing in a career, it is women and people of color, full stop, that that is where I spend my time. So, then you bring DACAWITS into it, I was asked by the current secretary, Defense Secretary Austin, to chair this committee. 72-year-old historic committee, one of the oldest in DOD. And this committee is essentially providing all the advice to the Secretary of Defense on the recruitment, retention, integration, and education, wellbeing, and treatment for all women in all the services, including the Coast Guard, Coast Guard, obviously goes through a little bit of a different route. But nonetheless, we take in all of the lessons learned, identify impediments, seen and unseen, make recommendations about how we can continue to advance their experience, their recruitment, you know, you know, everything from how like a pregnancy could impede progressive progression of women after a certain point to, you know, why aren’t we having success, getting people in these combat roles that had the rule, the exclusion rule lifted 10 years ago, and wrestling with those and then making recommendations and we do this based on, you know, really like pure researched level, like graduate study level of work on each one of these topics, bringing in representatives from all the services, doing installation visits, doing focus group interviews, so very scientifically based in order to make those recommendations. But all in all, the intent is to make sure that we have the most successful fighting force in the world. And to me, and I think to the secretary, certainly that means having a diverse, included fighting force, who can fully show up in these roles.

Lauren Bedula 16:47
And your work at LC wins as well, I think, does this from a different angle and something that I have benefited from the Leadership Council on Women and national security, too. So, could you maybe talk a little bit about how you see nonprofits as key to this ecosystem that we are trying to strengthen around a defense industrial base? 

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 17:05
Thank you for raising, LC Wins, also very passionate about that the two intersect very, very neatly. One certainly DACAWITS is certainly military focused and then LC Wins, was founded by six women who were all senior women State Department, Defense Department development community. And they had recognized that at a certain point, they were tired of either back benching, or seeing only women back bench at these big tables where decisions are made for national security, you know, complex issues. Women could be briefers women could be in the room, but they were not the ones making the decisions. And so, they founded this nonprofit to essentially remove the question from the from the equation of, well, we just simply cannot find women to do these roles. So, LC wins in its first year, pulled together 800 names of women from mid to senior levels, so different deputy assistant secretary and above two-star equivalent, to identify talent for as many if not all, national security role across the administration. And so, in this case, this is a nonprofit that had a very real, very direct impact, not by just waving a wand and saying, you know, you should do this, it was we can help you were identifying talent. And then on the back end, once folks have been identified, helping them navigate through the vetting process, providing guidance on to do’s not do’s lessons learned from others who have lived through this before providing bespoke murder Board hearings in preparation for testimony. So, they get supported every step of the way. And what we what our feedback has been, I have been the chair of it for the last three years has been that this is something that does not exist elsewhere. It is not the bottom level mentoring gap. And it is not the top level, kind of polished executive presence. It is a mid-level gap that just was not being filled. Sorry,

Lauren Bedula 19:01
I know I am gonna keep going here. Because surely one thing I noticed, too, just on this topic, in your intro, you talked about when you had your children, how it kind of fit has fit into your career path so far, which is so timely for me. My second week back for maternity leave, I have got a three-month-old. So, I love hearing these stories. And I know a lot of our listeners too, but just quickly, any advice on balancing busy executive personal professional goals, how do you manage stress or any advice on that front?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 19:29
Every day is a renegotiation that is what I say to myself every single day. Some days, I am nailing it as a parent some days I am not, I could just only try to do it as best as I can on any given day, but I think balance is something you only achieve for tiny little moments in time and then the balance tips in one way, one direction or another. And I think some of the best advice I ever got was someone it is almost like giving me permission was like a senior woman in the White House who gave me permission that that is okay, you no one has it figured out Awesome.

Hondo Geurts 20:00
And I would tell you, that is not a gender specific problem, although you although you have certainly gender specific issues, its balance is, I think, as tough for anybody in a lot of these leadership roles. And, and yeah, you have got to give your yourself permission, that it is not going to be perfect every day. Just trying to make it better every day. Let us talk diversity a little bit more. But now from a supply chain perspective, and in both be you know, particularly be being British owned or originally and then Lockheed or, or global corporations that do work around the world, what is your sense on the potential to do better working with and leveraging international partner? Whether it is an industrial base or in the supply chain? In the supply side of things? Is your opportunity to do more? And maybe what are some of the obstacles we had to look at? Going after that would allow that to be a more productive network?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 20:57
I think the answer is yes, we do need to do more of that. I think having kind of a Buy America approach to supply chain is aspirational at best, but really complicated. At worst, I think, you know, where we see allies and partnerships that we had were aligned on the same objectives in terms of the pacing threat, whether it is China or just instability elsewhere, that would make driving supply chains or suppliers. In certain areas of the world, we need to be thoughtful about where we are placing them. You know, by the same token de risking is really the intent here. It is not D globalization. It’s, it’s, you know, whether you want to call it friend shoring, or being really note thinking clearly about which allies and partners to use, and perhaps even pardon the pun, but we’re gaming scenarios where that those assumptions could fail, I think is important, but where we have now single points of failure in our supply chain, and I think the want to lessons learned from the war in Ukraine has certainly pointed to quite a few of those where it’s a single point of failure, you don’t have a second source. Allies and partners in some cases are really the absolute best place to be thinking about that, so that we do not have single points of failure throughout.

Lauren Bedula 22:13
And so, you mentioned it is not Deglobalization, but obviously an evolving international landscape to navigate for companies, especially those that are not as established as Lockheed Martin. But it sounds like still moving forward with growth, strong partnerships with allies, any anything else on the international front from a partnership perspective,

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 22:34
I think things like AUKUS are an excellent opportunity for us to sort this out this that was a public set of commitments and recognition of the fact that we must do better at this not just on supply chain, but even on interoperability and on these like large-scale platforms, especially Honda’s, you know, former place in the submarine world, figuring out all the big problems for the Navy. But also, I think there is a keen opportunity in pillar two of AUKUS. I have kind of a broken record on this, because I think pillar one is so important. And they have got it right, it is on a good glide path, we have got to focus on pillar two. And the reason why I am bringing attention to that, you know, regarding kind of supply chain, but allies and partnerships, as well as this is technology that we can share across the board. These are five eyes’ members, certainly the US, Australia, and the UK. But it does not just go one way, it is not just exporting it, we are pulling it in. So, you know, just as we talked earlier about how to bring in smaller startups, we should be doing that across our allies and partnerships and thinking about, you know, what are they doing well, that we have not figured out yet or vice versa, and pull that across? I think the stronger have not partnerships we can establish there across kind of National Technical industrial base and tip countries, we will be us will benefit just as much as we are giving them.

Hondo Geurts 24:00
So, I know show you we talked earlier your passion for to build or building diverse teams. Are you seeing in your time over the last couple of years? More people want to get into the defense industrial base, more interested in playing a role in national security? And I am sure there is more work to do. But what is your sense? Is it a problem getting worse problem getting better? And again, do you have a you know, if we could do two or three different things that would allow more people to, you know, push for this is their first choice out of school? What might those be?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 24:36
I think, you know, it is two things. Again, it is creating this mission environment where people are clear, but what that means if you just say do you want to go work at a defense company? You know, maybe the previous vision in your mind would just be you know, someone working in a factory, you know, printing weapons and selling them. And you know, now it is so much more it is working for technology. companies that are solving problems I mean so much about what I talk about on my daily basis is more about the big picture things and this kind of connectivity and the mission and whether it is at Z2 to it is not like a weapon, it is not a thing. It is an it is a solution that we are providing. So, I think trying to identify talent earlier in the in the pipeline of people who like to solve problems, and what does that look like for them, as well as pulling in kind of the technology, folks? In some ways, everyone right now, there is a jump ball. You know, we are all trying to figure out how do we get to them? I have seen sponsorships, you know, that he originally went from kind of college level trying to bring people in as apprentices than was high school level with like rocket competitions. I have seen that some of the middle school level like, wow, we are really trying to lock them down early. But I think that is one way of approaching it. And then as I mentioned, I just been so pleasantly surprised, not being a space person from kind of my background, but seeing how many people are so excited by the recent discoveries and exploration of space. I think that is another way I think we’ve probably not, I am not saying we Lockheed Martin, we the kind of the broader we have failed to connect that that is just a part as much a part of kind of the national security fabric now as it ever was, and you can, both things can be true, you can work on space and commercial technology while also contributing to this broader sense of mission.

Lauren Bedula 26:23
It is a great point. And something that comes up often is just I think that these are very different communities when we talk about startups, maybe the traditional defense industrial base government, but the folks who are rallying around this issue, like to solve hard problems and want to build trust and partnerships. So, thanks, great point. And you talked about it at a high-level group that you would like to mentor. But I am curious if you have had such an interesting career path. Do you have any mentors that you recall, who really shaped where you where you are today?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 26:53
Oh, for sure. I mean, the first person who jumps to mind was the person who mentored me when I worked at White House legislative affairs, and then IDs, as James Allen Walden, he was the deputy assistant, Deputy Assistant to the President. And he had the national security portfolio. And I am just, you know, some lowly intern. But I happened to be an intern writing my thesis on a nuclear treaty. And I asked if I could work with whoever was in the office that was working these issues, and he took me under his wing. And I mean, that mentorship was helpful in the White House. But then he went above and beyond, he helped me get my first job on the hill. He stayed in touch, we have had, you know, advice, sessions, sounding sessions for years. And the best part is, it becomes a two-way street. It is not just what can you do for me, but how can I help him. And you know, African American man in a very senior role in the White House, also, to me had an important impact military background, all of that was just incredibly impactful for me. You have had another one of my mentors on the show, Debbie James, who I think also kind of a two-way street. She has done a lot of great mentoring for me. And I got to bring her in when I was the White House liaison, and help to be part of that kind of process, bringing her in a Secretary of the Air Force. And then the final one, I would say on LC wins, Jean Abercrombie, when Stanley who was one of the founders, another African American woman who ended up going over to state as the DEI Advisor to the Secretary over there. In my first kind of coming in to LC wins, and a couple other opportunities provide some great advice and mentoring.

Lauren Bedula 28:31
I am going to try to tie everything up with the theme of our show, just in terms of the evolving defense industrial base, you have made it clear Lockheed Martin is putting a lot of thought and to how to keep up with the pacing threat and be a good partner. And as we all focus on the evolution that is necessary; the traditional defense industrial base gets beat up quite a bit. And you have led to significant companies on that front. Any thoughts on just how important the existing primes are? And the ecosystem or any kind of final closing thoughts there to give you a chance on that front?

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 29:08
I love that question. Because I while I think we all embrace and encourage this focus on commercial startup innovative technology, I think, you know, the primes are doing that as well. We consider ourselves if we are just standing till still and continuing to print whatever it is we were making. That is a not very interesting and be not very profitable. So, we like to solve problems. And so we are, you know, equally innovative. And I think there is room for both. I do think sometimes the pendulum swings hard in one direction, and it is important to remember all the goodness that is taking place out there and the broader primes. And again, I point back to COVID. I was just blown away by the workforce during COVID. I mean, I will I will never forget that just the people who showed up to work every day, not to miss a deadline. had to let the warfighter down to keep giving it their all when they were not even sure they can be safe. That was taking place at the prime level. Because we had we had the manufacturing facilities to, you know, continue to produce these things.

Lauren Bedula 30:13
And I think it is an important story and perspective to shares. Again, we think through just the changing nature of the threat and the industrial base. Shelly, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story in terms of your own career and the work you have been doing both in government and outside and I think a lot of great advice on today’s show. So, thanks for joining us.

Shelly O’Neal Stoneman 30:31
Thank you so much.

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Building the Base Episode 39: Joe Anderson

In this episode of Building the Base, hosts Lauren Bedula and Hondo Geurts welcome General Joe Anderson, former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-3/5/7, and current President and…