Wall Street Experience a Plus for Industrial Policy Chief

Article excerpt

The new deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs, Suzanne D. Patrick, will be expected to address a growing concern at the Pentagon: how to maintain competition in critical markets in an era of rapid industry consolidation.

Patrick reports to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge.

Jeffrey Bialos, who had Patrick's job during the Clinton administration, said that she comes to the Pentagon with "solid industry credentials," having worked as both a staffer for the secretary of the Navy and as an investment manager at Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., a Wall Street capital management firm. There, Patrick provided advice to clients concerning the defense and aerospace industries.

A commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, specializing in defense economics, Patrick was a George C. Marshall scholar as an undergraduate at Randolph-Macon Women's College. She received a master's degree in national security studies from Georgetown University and holds certificates in international relations from the Institute D'Etudes Politiques in Paris and in aerodynamic design from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

"I think she's exceptionally well qualified for the job, and her affiliation with the military and her Wall Street experience will be a benefit," said David R Oliver, former principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. "Her private sector background on Wall Street will give her the expertise and insight into why and how the Street reacts. She will be able to look at things from the best interest of defense.

"If you don't understand how Wall Street is going to react, then you are likely to react differently. She understands that it's all part of the same picture," Oliver said. "If you haven't been in that arena, then you're quite surprised when the Street responds to lots of different issues--you don't want to get buffaloed by that. She won't get overly excited, and will be able to function in the best interest of defense, which is her job."

"In my judgment, her experience in finance will help us develop cost-effective policies, not only for our armed services, but also for the military services of our allies, who depend on our services for their weapons acquisition needs," said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. James McInerney. "She has over 20 years of experience in aerospace industry finance and weapons system acquisition for U.S. and NATO forces," he added.

According to Bialos, Patrick's experience in international markets will be helpful in her new position. In the 1990s, she studied the defense industries of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and supervised research and development projects between Hungarian research institutes and the U. …