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Donald Winter is an independent consultant, and former Professor of Engineering Practice in the departments of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he taught graduate level courses on systems engineering, satellite design, and maritime policy. He served as the 74th Secretary of the Navy from January 2006 to March 2009. As Secretary of the Navy, he led America's Navy and Marine Corps Team and was responsible for an annual budget in excess of $125 billion and almost 900,000 people. Dr. Winter currently serves as the chair of Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, providing advice to Ministers and the National Security Committee of Cabinet regarding their plans to reconstruct the Royal Australian Navy's fleet and establish a sustainable shipbuilding capability. He also is a Special Government Employee in the US Department of Defense where he serves as the Senior Defense Industry Advisor for Ukraine.
Dr. Winter’s business career in the aerospace and defense industry spanned over 30 years as a systems engineer, program manager and corporate executive. From 2000 to 2005, he was President and CEO of TRW Systems (later Northrop Grumman Mission Systems), which he joined in 1972. In that position he oversaw operation of the business and its 18,000 employees, providing information technology systems and services; systems engineering and analysis; systems development and integration; scientific, engineering, and technical services; and enterprise management services. He also served on the company's corporate policy council. Previously, he served as vice president and deputy general manager for group development of TRW’s Space and Electronics business; and vice president and general manager of the defense systems division of TRW. From 1980 to 1982, he was with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as program manager for space acquisition, tracking, and pointing programs.
Dr. Winter was elected to the NAE in 2002 for pioneering contributions to high-powered laser technology and defense applications. He is a member of National Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine and Public Policy, and the Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group (ISTEG). He has served as a member of the NAE Committee on Membership, member and vice chair of the Special Fields and Interdisciplinary Engineering Peer Committee, and as peer committee vice chair of the Section 12 Executive Committee. Dr. Winter chaired the National Academies’ Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the Future (B0119); and the Committee on Options for Implementing the Requirement of Best Available and Safest Technologies for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations.
He received his BS in physics from the University of Rochester in 1969, and his MS in 1970 and PhD in 1972, both in physics from University of Michigan. Dr. Winter is also a graduate of the University of Southern California Management Policy Institute, the UCLA Executive Program, and the Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.