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Negotiating and structuring deals that change the trajectory of commercial organizations and government agencies is the driving force behind my day to day. As a leader at Booz Allen, I help to transform the firm through contract wins and capability growth.
I apply that same expertise to help our U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and intelligence community (IC) clients accomplish more with less. I strongly believe that contracts should provide both parties with long-term benefits. With this approach top of mind, I help organizations across the DoD and IC rethink acquisition strategies in terms of best value, shared resources, and lasting relationships. As a result, our clients are better prepared for a future in which budgets are uncertain but advancements in intelligence and defense are non-negotiable.
Bill Hilsman is a leader in the firm’s business development capability. With more than 25 years of experience in large strategic captures, Bill oversees firmwide business development activities across the DoD and IC markets.
Bill worked with the firm’s senior leadership to establish a firmwide organization that includes business development processes and a newly established operating model, aimed at enhancing our key capture strategy efforts. He provides thought leadership for major opportunities supporting growth in the federal markets.
Bill previously led our Army information technology (IT) logistics work, with a specific focus on system-related opportunities across the DoD. In this capacity, he developed and fostered client relationships by assisting staff and clients in identifying the appropriate means of engaging our services.
Additionally, Bill serves as a leader in the firm’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM) business. Previously, he served as program manager for Millennia, Alliant, and OASIS. Before that, Bill was regional manager for all government-wide acquisition contracts and federal supply schedules in the national capital region.
Prior to joining the firm, Bill served in the Army and led various international market development activities for U.S.-based communications companies. Bill was also vice president of international sales at InterDigital Corp., where he developed markets for digital communications systems throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Bill sits on the board of advisors for the Coalition for Government Procurement, where he contributes to strategic procurement processes. He has served as a keynote speaker at both the first and second annual Procurement Conference of the Americas, addressing pertinent procurement-related issues.
Bill holds a B.S. in business management from North Georgia College and multiple certificates in business strategy.
What makes you excited to come to work in the morning? I have good people. They have as much passion as I do. It’s also the thrill of the hunt, the win, the capture.
What is your strongest character trait? My drive, my passion, and my leadership. My people understand that I’ll take care of them.
What is the most influential book you’ve read? On the Wings of Eagles by Ross Perot. He said “I’m not that smart of a man, but I’m successful on the wings of eagles. Everybody you surround yourself with—good, strong, and loyal people—you’ll thrive and do well.” I met him at a dinner once, and it was very interesting.
What is something not many people know about you? I don’t think many people know that I lived in Asia, moving from hotel to hotel, for about 8 years with my last job. It gave me a lot of insight into what I do now. Most people probably don’t know that I had an exciting international career. One day, I started in Indonesia, jumped on a plane and was in Singapore, left there and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then to Bangkok, Thailand. I was in four countries in 1 day for four different meetings. I always enjoyed my experiences traveling. It was very different dealing with countries versus dealing with government agencies.
How did that experience inform your work today? When I first took the job there, I traveled around Asia as a little busy bee. I went everywhere. Then when I was sitting in a hotel in Sri Lanka, I suddenly realized that I was just chasing my tail. I wasn’t dedicating enough time to close the deal. I decided I wasn’t leaving Sri Lanka until I closed my first deal. And I did. It taught me a life lesson: to focus on enough things you can succeed at. I carried that with me to other countries and to my work here at Booz Allen. You’ve got to know what deals you’re going to pursue, and you’ve got to spend enough time on them that you’re going to get the reward of following through on it.