Jacques “Jack” Gansler had two driving passions while at the University of Maryland. He loved to teach and he loved to interact with students at the School of Public Policy. While at UMD, Jack served in many roles, including founding director of the School’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise. Jack was the first Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise. Jack also served as interim dean of the School of Public Policy and as the University’s vice president for research.
Jack wasn’t just a professor. He made time for students, in the classroom and out. As an author and researcher, Jack focused heavily on national security. He strived to ensure the nation had a world-class, affordable defense industrial base. He also previously held the position of undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.
While working at the Pentagon as the third-ranking civilian from 1997 to 2001, Jack was responsible for all research and development, acquisition reform, logistics, advanced technology, environmental security, defense industry and numerous other security programs. Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, he held other positions in government and private sector, including deputy assistant secretary of defense (material acquisition); assistant director of defense research and engineering (electronics); vice president of ITT; and engineering and management positions with Singer and Raytheon Corporations.
Jack was also an accomplished author. He wrote “Defense Conversion: Transforming the Arsenal of Democracy,” MIT Press, 1995; “Affording Defense,” MIT Press, 1989; “The Defense Industry,” MIT Press, 1980; and “Ballistic Missile Defense: Past and Future,” National Defense University Press, 2010. Throughout his career, he had articles in several publications, including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, International Security, Public Affairs and other journals and newspapers.
The Gansler family has been overwhelmed with the love and support that has been pouring in from the SPP community. As arrangements for a service honoring Jack’s life are finalized, we will share additional information.
We encourage you to share your thoughts and memories of Jack below. Please note: entries are published daily rather than instantaneously.