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Pentagon Former Top Negotiator Removed From Job

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By Debbie Gregory.

Shay Assad, the Director of Defense Pricing and Contracting Initiatives (DPC), in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been removed from his position.

Trump administration officials have reassigned the Pentagon’s former top weapons-buying negotiator after he racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel costs and pushed a controversial plan to slow payments to defense contractors.

Assad has been reassigned to a post unconnected to the contract negotiating team he has led for the last seven years. The move comes after he pushed to have contractor payments tied to their performance instead of to production milestones. Additionally, Assad had a special arrangement that allowed him to live in the Boston area and commute regularly to Washington, which cost over half a million dollars since 2012.

Officials also say Assad’s reassignment is, in part, due to a sweeping reorganization of the Defense Department’s acquisition directorate in which leaders determined they wanted the head of pricing to be located inside the Pentagon.

Pentagon officials describe Assad as a shrewd negotiator who has saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by getting better deals with major defense contractors. But some current and former officials also describe him as a bully who needed to be monitored by his superiors out of fear he would overstep his authorities.

Prior to his government service, Mr. Assad had a 22-year private sector career in the defense industry. From 1978 to 2000, Mr. Assad worked for the Raytheon Company, holding positions including Vice President – Director of Contracts; Senior Vice President, Contracts; Executive Vice President; and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon’s Engineering and Construction (RE&C) business with eleven offices world-wide, revenue of $2.7 Billion, and 15,000 employees. In his contracting positions at Raytheon, he was responsible for over $20 Billion in contract negotiation and administration activities in all of Raytheon’s businesses – both government and commercial.

ESGR Accepting Nominations for Top Boss Award

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, has opened nominations for the 2019 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the “Freedom Award.”

The Freedom Award is the highest Department of Defense award given to a civilian employer for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve service members. The award was instituted in 1996 by then Secretary of Defense William Perry, and has since presented the honor to hundreds of recipients.

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. ESGR accepts nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Fifteen awards are presented in three categories – large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

National Guardsmen and Reservists nominated 2,350 employers for the Freedom Award in 2018. The winners were: Amazon, Seattle, Washington; AME Swiss Machining LLC, Ligonier, Indiana; ArgenTech Solutions, Inc., Newmarket, New Hampshire; Big Sky Advisors, St. Louis, Missouri; Crystal Group Inc., Hiawatha, Iowa; Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina; Dunlap Police Department, Dunlap, Tennessee; FMI Corporation, Raleigh, North Carolina; Greencastle Associates Consulting, LLC, Malvern, Pennsylvania; Minnesota Department of Transportation, St. Paul, Minnesota; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania; South Charleston Police Department, South Charleston, West Virginia; Texas Department of Insurance, Austin, Texas; Werner Enterprises, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska; and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Salisbury, Maryland.

A national selection board comprised of senior Defense officials and business leaders select the award recipients.

If you have a “top boss” and would like to nominate him or her, you can do so by clicking here from now through December 31st.