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Former Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Joins Covington

October 5, 2016

WASHINGTONZachary Mears has joined Covington as a Senior Advisor in the Aerospace, Defense, and National Security industry group and the Public Policy and Government Affairs practice. 

Dr. Mears previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. He advised the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on national priorities and managed their implementation. He also served as the director of the Advanced Capability and Deterrence Panel and led the development of the Third Offset Strategy, which aims to identify new organizational and operational concepts and new capabilities to improve the United States’ military advantage. He also advised the Defense Innovation Unit–Experimental, which is building bridges between the Pentagon and the high technology centers in Silicon Valley, Boston, and Austin. Prior to these appointments, he served as the director for strategic planning for the National Security Council, where he co-authored the 2015 National Security Strategy. He also worked as a senior defense analyst for Scitor Corporation and as senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

“Covington regularly advises on our aerospace and defense clients’ most important and sensitive projects,” said Peter Lichtenbaum, co-chair of the firm’s Aerospace, Defense & National Security industry group. “Zach’s understanding of the key national security policy issues affecting the industry will provide significant resource for our clients. Zach adds further depth and expertise to our practice at a time when national security issues are receiving significant attention from all levels of government.”

Dr. Mears received a B.A. in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University.

“Covington’s reputation in the aerospace and defense industry and its strong culture of collaboration across disciplines and practice groups make this a great fit for me,” said Dr. Mears. “I am very pleased to be joining such a well-regarded team that places policy expertise at the heart of its advisory, legal, and regulatory practice.”

With an experienced team of former government regulators, enforcers, elected officials, and agency heads, Covington offers aerospace, defense, and national security clients insight and practical advice to avoid pitfalls, solve problems, and seize opportunities. The firm’s work encompasses government contracts, trade controls, CFIUS clearances for foreign investments, FOCI and industrial security issues, cybersecurity, public policy and government affairs, congressional investigations, and mergers and acquisitions.


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