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I pride myself on being a lifelong learner, whether those lessons are learned on a Booz Allen project, or during my 33-year tenure in the Navy, or from earning a zoology degree in college. Each experience contributes to the expertise I bring to international security assistance programs in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.
I’ve helped invent and field a next-generation enterprise network IT system, saving a billion dollars in procurement costs in the process. I’ve helped the Saudi minister of defense frame a complete transformation of his military structure. And I’ve brought staff to 15 time zones across the world in support of international defense requirements.
Since joining the firm in 2007, I’ve loved having the opportunity to help clients use their energy and resources to get the best out of their defense procurements. Not all the places where we work are equally far along the democracy spectrum, but it’s really interesting to plant seeds and watch those seeds grow with your clients, and let them resonate and react to that.
Charlie Hamilton provides a broad range of strategic, acquisition, management, technical, logistics, and training support to international security assistance, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Department of Homeland Security programs. Service offerings include strategic planning, management, and technical support for program acquisition, life cycle management, foreign military sales case development and management, and technology management and policy. He leads our engineering services advanced weapons modernization and sustainment division with international F-16 and Randolph Air Force Base training division clients.
Charlie retired from the Navy in 2007 after 33 years of service to become a principal at Booz Allen. Prior to joining the firm, he acquired more than 13 years of program manager and program executive officer experience in Navy shipbuilding. He was a proven financial manager and strategic planner, executing a $67B budget. He also demonstrated performance in design, development, source selection, contracting, production, fleet introduction, and life cycle management of 14 new construction ship classes and 180 in-service ships.
He earned a B.S. in zoology from Duke University. His graduate education includes the Naval Postgraduate School, where he graduated with distinction receiving a M.A. in national security affairs, and the National War College where he graduated with distinction and was awarded an M.S. national security strategy.
He serves as a director on the board of the National Capitol Council, U.S. Navy League, and Surface Navy Association.
What excites you about working in your field? I’m a 33-year U.S. Department of Defense alumni—my branch was the Navy—and within the U.S. governmental and military structure, the resource allocation process and how you field weapons systems was a lifelong assignment of mine, either manning those platforms or delivering those platforms. Booz Allen takes those lessons learned within the U.S. military and helps other countries focus their energy and resources to get the best out of the defense procurements they were making in support of their allied contribution to the national defense of the U.S. and their country. It seemed very exciting to me then and still is very exciting to me.
What is a “command climate,” and why was that important to you in coming to Booz Allen? Command climate, to me, means how you treat people, how you share information, how you hold people accountable, and how you reward them for doing good. It’s how you establish a climate of mentoring, both up the food chain and down the food chain—how you bring the best of the firm on any topic in support of a client, no matter whether you’re working on that job on a regular basis or whether you’re just brought in for one question. And within the Booz Allen culture, we collectively work hard every day to bring the very best of Booz Allen across all 23,000 of us in support of client needs. I don’t know any other company, and I’ve worked with most of them, that has the same fungibility and flexibility of intellectual capital that can be brought to bear on any topic on a daily basis.
What are some of the greatest untapped opportunities in your field? I think there’s a real thirst around the world to take advantage of what the U.S. has learned, from both a military perspective as well as a national perspective, in terms of resource allocation. This will allow us to get the best balance of military hardware and national defense infrastructure to be a good citizen in the world and to be a participant in the pursuit of democracy around the world. Not all places that we work are equally far along the democracy spectrum, but it’s really interesting to plant seeds and watch those seeds grow with your clients, and let them resonate and react to that. And when it happens and you see the tree start to bloom, you say, “Wow, I remember when we planted that acorn.” That’s very exciting to me.
What do you see Booz Allen doing and accomplishing 50 years from now? I think we will be bringing the whole panoply of human capital, cyber intelligence, military readiness, doctrine, and interagency process to countries around the Middle East, North Africa, the Pacific Rim, and a large chunk of our NATO ally structure. We will help the U.S. Government, in concert with these countries, bring a greater amount of regional stability and peace into the world.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received? A mentor once said to me you make $2 for somebody else for every buck that you make for yourself. And that stuck with me, and gets to this whole collaboration piece. You’re not really competing against other people; you’re trying to help everybody else raise the bar.
You earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology. What did you learn in zoology that helped you in other areas? In the zoological study of animals, you get to see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for animals. That same hierarchy of needs applies to people, and that structure plays out organizationally over and over and over again. As you look at organizations and how they develop leadership change and how they organize for tasks—if you look at, for example, a beehive and how every bee organizes around the queen bee—you can learn some very specific things about org structure and discipline.
Is there a fictional character that you identify with? I identify with Oliver Twist some days. He gets plopped in really unusual circumstances a lot and seems to work his way out of it through the goodness of his character and dumb luck. And because his heart is relatively pure, people around him recognize that’s true and so they help him. I also identify with Frodo Baggins a fair amount.