Business Executives For National Security

Debbie McCarthy

Senior Vice President for Strategy & Engagement

Debbie McCarthy is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Engagement for Business Executives for National Security.

In this role, she leads the team charged with: management of BENS’ relationships with leaders across the national security enterprise; deep understanding of BENS’ 400+ members’ business expertise, networks, and engagement preferences; and leveraging member resources to assist military/government partners, support BENS project work, and execute the organization’s domestic and international travel programs.

She brings to this position a unique blend of nonprofit, government, and business experience, with strong skills in fundraising, communications, program development, and government affairs.

Debbie originally came to BENS in 1995, following nearly a decade on Capitol Hill, where she was Legislative Director to Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and then Political Director for the winning campaign of his successor, Representative Sue Kelly. Prior to this she undertook an evaluation of the Assets Forfeiture Fund for the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Justice Programs, co-authoring the“Report on the Equitable Sharing Program, published by the Justice Department in October 1987; and revised for the American Consulting Engineers Council (in conjunction with the US Department of Commerce and Central Intelligence Agency) the1973 Engineers Overseas Handbook, providing updated foreign guidelines to practice for U.S. engineering firms.

Over a total of 22 years at BENS, Debbie has served in a number of roles including, New York Regional Director; Director of National Accounts; VP, Development and Membership Engagement; and SVP, Strategy and Engagement. From 2002 to 2008, she worked in the private sector, first building a defense-focused strategic consulting firm, and then working to help establish and operate the first socially-responsible business enterprise of the prominent philanthropist and Founder of Connie’s Bakery in Mt. Kisco, New York, and Dog Tag Bakery in Washington, DC.

Debbie earned a B.A. in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.