Council of Directors

Philip A. Odeen is the chairman of HJF’s Council of Directors. He also serves on the board of directors and proxy board for other companies. Mr. Odeen served as non-executive Chairman of AES, Convergys, Avaya, and Reynolds & Reynolds. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of TRW, and earlier, President and CEO of BDM, which TRW acquired in 1997. Before joining BDM in 1992, he was Vice Chairman Management Consulting Services at Coopers & Lybrand, where he directed a practice of 2,500 consultants across the U.S.

He is active in various government advisory groups, primarily in defense and national security. Odeen is a member of the Defense Business Board and was a member and vice chairman of the Defense Science Board. He has chaired various task forces focused on defense industry, logistics and outsourcing for both boards. In addition, he was a long-time member of theChief of Naval Operations Executive Panel.

Odeen has served in senior positions within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council staff. He was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Systems Analysis) and later led the Defense and Arms Control staff for then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. He is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the University of Wisconsin, and was a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom.

The Honorable Beverly Byron served seven successive terms in Congress as a Democratic representative from Maryland. She was the first woman to head a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, chairing the Military Personnel and Compensation Subcommittee, where she oversaw more than 40 percent of the Department of Defense’s budget. She also chaired the House Special Panel on Arms Control and Disarmament. She was named to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 1993. Byron, a Baltimore native, attended Hood College in Frederick, Md.

John Dressendorfer is vice president of government affairs at L-3 Communications Corp. Previously, he was vice president of government relations for Titan Corp., which L-3 acquired in 2005. Prior to working with Titan Corp., he was vice president of government and external affairs for the American Forest & Paper Association. He was president and founder of the lobbying firm Dressendorfer Laird. He also served as a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs under President Reagan and was an assistant to Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird during the Nixon administration. Dressendorfer graduated from Carroll College and Northern Illinois University.

General (Ret.) Gordon Sullivan is former chief of staff of the U.S. Army and currently president and chief operating officer of the Association of the United States Army. His 36-year active-duty career included tours in Europe, Korea and Vietnam. He was commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, vice chief of staff of the Army, and the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations and plans. Sullivan attended Norwich University in Vermont and the University of New Hampshire. His military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is the author of “Hope Is Not a Method” (with Michael V. Harper).

Dr. Richard W. Thomas is the sixth President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is responsible for the academic, research and service mission of the university and advises the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the four Surgeons General on a wide array of issues related to graduate health professions education and healthcare research.

Dr. Thomas retired from the Army in May 2016 at the rank of Major General. He is a physician and dentist whose last assignment was as Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Defense Health Agency Healthcare Operations Directorate.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and serves on the Senate’s committees on Foreign Relations, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Indian Affairs. He entered the Naval Academy in June of 1954 and served in the U.S. Navy until 1981. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the Senate in 1986. His military honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. After graduating from West Point Military Academy in 1971 he received an active duty commission in the Army. Over the course of his military career he earned the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Expert Infantry Badge. He later earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1982. He served three terms in the Rhode Island State Senate and three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He obtained a bachelor of arts in history from Texas Tech University in 1980 and went on to the University of Texas Law School where he graduated in 1983. For the next several years, he worked in Washington, D.C., including serving as deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the State Department under President Reagan. In 1989, he joined his brothers in the cattle business and practiced law in Amarillo. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. He graduated from Fordham University in 1987 with a degree in political science then attended the University of Washington School of Law, earning his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993 to 1995.