Robert O. Work

Robert O. Work

MITRE Senior Visiting Fellow; President, Owner, TeamWork, LLC; Former Deputy Secretary of Defense

Robert O. Work, president and owner of TeamWork, LLC, is a consultant specializing in national security affairs, defense strategy and programs, military and dual-use technologies, and the future of warfare. He is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at The MITRE Corporation. MITRE Fellows are experts in their respective fields who work with MITRE thought leaders to advise on topics of critical national importance.

Work, who retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 27 years, went on to serve as a civilian at the highest levels of the Department of Defense (DoD). He was Deputy Secretary of Defense under three different Secretaries. As the DoD’s chief operating/management officer, Work was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business of the Pentagon and developing the department's $600 billion defense program. He is widely credited for his work with leaders in the department and in the intelligence community on the "Third Offset Strategy," which aims to restore the country’s overmatch over strategic rivals and adversaries.

His achievements on behalf of DoD earned Work the department's Distinguished Public Civilian Service Award, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the Distinguished Public Service Awards from the departments of the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Prior to serving as Deputy Secretary, Work spent a year as CEO of the Center for a New American Security, after serving as Under Secretary of the Navy during the Obama administration. As the principal civilian deputy to the Secretary of the Navy, Work ensured the smooth running of the U.S. naval global business enterprise, with more than 500,000 active duty personnel, 200,000 government civilians, and a $160 billion budget. He was twice awarded the Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Service Award.

Work is senior counselor and a distinguished senior fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit organization that develops national security and defense policies. He also is a senior counselor at the Telemus Group, a strategic advisory firm specializing in defense forecasting, wargaming, and qualitative analytics. He is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, an organization renowned for systems engineering and integration, technology research and development, and analysis; and a principal for WestExec Advisors. He sits on five boards, including the Raytheon Corporation, and is a strategic adviser for several investment and small high-tech firms. Work is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the U.S. Naval Institute, and the Marine Corps Association.

Immediately after his retirement from the Marines, Work was a senior fellow and later vice president for Strategic Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He wrote or co-authored eight major monographs on maritime affairs, defense strategy and technologies, and military operations. He was an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He holds master's degrees in: Systems Management from the University of Southern California; Systems Technology, with a focus on Space Systems Operations, from the Naval Postgraduate School; and in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.