William D. O'Neil

William D. “Will” O’Neil studied mathematics, engineering, economics, and operations analysis at UCLA, where he earned his A.B. (1960) and M.S. (1968) degrees. He served as a Navy surface warfare officer on active duty in the early 1960s and remained very active in the reserves for many years, retiring from the Navy as a Captain in 1991. From 1964 to 1969 O’Neil worked in Southern California’s defense industry before leaving to join the Secretary of the Navy’s Office of Program Appraisal as an advisor. In the early 1970s, he moved to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving in high level acquisition management and policy positions dealing with a variety of naval and aviation issues. Joining Lockheed Corporation (as it then was) in 1984, he became the chief of systems engineering for the early phases of their work on the F-22 advanced-technology fighter for the Air Force. He was Lockheed’s corporate director of strategic planning and director of an office for coordination of corporate activities in antisubmarine and undersea warfare. In 1991 he accepted a position as a vice president of the Center for Naval Analyses, directing a major division and working very closely with senior military and civil officials in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 2000, he was named CNA’s chief scientist, with responsibilities for work aimed at serving the needs of top-level defense policymakers. He left full-time work with CNA in 2005 and since then has combined consulting (with the Institute for Defense Analyses) with writing.



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