Rick Saunders has an extensive background in homeland and national security affairs plus successful experience building business and delivering services to government clients.
Rick joined Booz Allen Hamilton in early 2001 as a strategic hire to seek business opportunities and create capabilities in the then-new field of homeland security. Rick spent more than a decade as a senior executive helping create and then run Booz Allen’s highly respected homeland security practice. He formulated strategy; provided insight into client missions and requirements; and applied hands-on business development, proposal, and client delivery skills to help Booz Allen become one of the premier contractors in the field. Along the way, he led numerous client engagements aimed at improving key mission support functions at DHS Headquarters and in many of the operating agencies. Rick remains engaged in the field as an independent consultant working with companies engaged in the homeland security sector.
Prior to joining the private sector, Rick held a series of national security affairs positions. He spent six years on the Vice President’s national security staff, ending up as the Vice President’s Deputy National Security Advisor. During that time he helped create and run several bi-national commissions. Operating under the Vice President’s leadership, these commissions focused White House and Cabinet-level attention on critical bilateral relationships in the new post-Cold War environment. He also helped lead interagency coordination of economic sanctions during the conflicts in the Balkans, plus provided security and political-military advice on all aspects of foreign policy. Earlier, Rick spent three years on the National Security Council Staff, where he was responsible for U.S. foreign assistance and arms transfer policy and program coordination. Rick was a political-military advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army and a special assistant to an Ambassador-at-Large in the State Department.
Rick served on active duty in the U.S. Army for 28 years. In addition to the positions described above, he taught at both the National War College and the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. He held operational assignments in cavalry, armor, and airborne units. Rick was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. He also holds both the Presidential and the Vice Presidential Service Badges.
Rick was a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy and received a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. He also graduated from the Army War College.