President’s Message

The first “wisps” of cool fall Canadian air have floated into Virginia as I write this note.  It has been a good summer all the way around for the Alumni Association.  We started the planning for the April 2, 2019 Symposium at an Alumni Association-DAU Leadership dinner/discussion on 18 July and had a first class hot topic training forum presented by Mr. Robert Work, former Deputy Defense Secretary, on the same day, 18 July.

At the Alumni Association dinner/discussion, we did a lot of brainstorming about the themes and topics for the next symposium.  The major take from the discussion was to frame and flow the theme and topics from the recently published National Defense Strategy.  The discussion stressed the need for innovation and agility in the acquisition process. We will also be using survey results from the last symposium in determining themes and topics for the next symposium.  Working up the agenda for the 2019 symposium is currently on-going.  About December this year we will start to lock down topics and speakers.

As for Mr. Work’s hot topic forum presentation, it turned out to be one of the highlights of the calendar year.  His unclassified presentation included “Big Issues” the United States must face going forward, and his thoughts on the concept of “capability” rather than “capacity.” His views directly impact DoD requirements and acquisitions that will support the warfighter over the next 10 years. Mr. Work currently serves as the CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

As I write this message we are preparing for another hot topic forum on Wednesday, 19 September in Howell Auditorium on the DAU Fort Belvoir Campus.  Mr. Tom Davis, the DAU Industry Chair has again organized this hot topic forum.  Mr. Dan Keefe, currently a member of the AFCEA Exec Advisory Board, has accepted Tom’s invitation to be the guest speaker for DAU’s September 19, 2018 Hot Topic Forum, which will be held in Howell Auditorium on DAU’s Fort Belvoir Campus from 10:00 to 11:30 AM.  Mr. Keefe was recently the President and COO of ManTech International Corporation, and has many years of experience in the C-Suite of major public-traded defense companies. He intends to cover best practices by the government /commercial team in the acquisition of services by the government – commercial vs defense market, intellectual property ownership, investment expectations, contracting methods, risk tolerance, profitability motivations and the regulatory environment and its inherent burden. He has offered to present his C-Suite perspectives, and his experiences in Silicon Valley and how the latter is relevant in regard to the DIUx and other current innovation initiatives.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear live from a current defense industry leader; either attend in person at Fort Belvoir, or attend via a VTC at a regional campus site.  Go to for more info on this outstanding learning event.

Before I close, I want to again repeat that the strength and vitality of the DAU Alumni Association depends on the influx of “new blood.”  I ask that all DAUAA members act as recruiters in expanding Alumni Association membership.  Without a vibrant and growing membership, we simply cannot continue the level of symposia and hot topic fora that we currently co-sponsor with DAU.

  • Bill Bahnmaier,  President, DAUAA

About Bill Bahnmaier, DAUAA President: Bill Bahnmaier is a retired Marine and a former (retired) instructor at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). In his last tour of duty as a Marine he was a major system PM of the Marine Corps Assault Amphibian. Since retirement, Bahnmaier works as an official volunteer at DAU and also is a part time consultant and instructor on defense acquisition matters. He and his wife Peggy reside in Alexandria, VA. They have 9 nephews and nieces and 18 great nephews and nieces.