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Houley Named to Head Defense Reform Initiative

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 27, 1998 – William P. (Bill) Houley, 59, is the new director of the Defense Reform Initiative.

Houley, 59, is the principal adviser to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen on all matters relating to the initiative. He is responsible for ensuring DoD applies the business principles U.S. industry has used successfully to become leaner and more flexible and to remain competitive in world markets.

The Defense Reform Initiative evolved from findings in the Quadrennial Defense Review. It is also aimed at ensuring DoD support elements are agile and responsive to support warfighters. The U.S. armed forces are rapidly applying new technologies to change the way they fight, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre told the House National Security Committee in early March.

Hamre told the congressional committee the initiative has four pillars:

  • Re-engineering by adopting the best private-sector business practices in defense support activities;
  • Consolidating and streamlining organizations to remove redundancy and moving program management out of headquarters and back to the field;
  • Competing many functions now being performed in-house to improve quality, cut costs and make the department more responsive; and
  • Eliminating excess infrastructure.

In addition to overseeing the Defense Reform Initiative, Houley will serve on the Defense Management Council. According to Hamre, the council oversees Defense Reform Initiative efforts and ensures they stay on-track, and proposes additional initiatives to further streamline DoD's business operations.

Houley spent nearly 35 years in the Navy and retired in November 1994 as a rear admiral. Among his assignments, he was commander of the Naval Submarine School, director of Navy training and education, director of Navy personnel policy, and director of strategic and theater nuclear warfare on the staff of the chief of naval operations.

Houley also served as commander, Submarine Group 2, and director of Navy science and technology requirements and test and evaluation. He completed the Harvard University Senior Management Course and was designated an acquisition professional.

Houley joined Lockheed Martin Corp. (then Martin Marietta) in February 1995 as head of international anti-submarine warfare programs in Syracuse, N.Y. In 1997, he transferred to Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Manassas, Va., with responsibility for international submarine programs.

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