NDIA remembers William Colwell, Cork winner and Procurement Division stalwart

William Colwell

The National Defense Industrial Association mourns the passing of William Colwell, an active member of its Procurement Division and revered expert in federal procurement, who died Sunday, July 15. He was 48. 

Colwell was a recognized authority in government contracts and had been counsel for Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Missile Defense and Protective Systems Division. He was involved with NDIA’s Procurement Division since 2012 and served with distinction as both the vice chair (2012-14) and chair (2014-16) of the legal committee.

Colwell brought a wealth of experience and judgment over the years to the various amicus brief efforts on which the legal committee had worked, said Lynne Hood, manager at Capital Edge Consulting and the Procurement Division chair. On July 11, the division recognized Colwell’s contributions, bestowing him with its Howard H. Cork Award for his exceptional service and knowledge of federal procurement and service to the government contracts community. 

In the larger procurement law community, Colwell served on the board of the Federal Circuit Bar Association. He also has worked with the American Bar Association’s section on public contract law and the Association of Corporate Counsel’s National Capital Region Chapter. 

Previously, Colwell was assistant general counsel for litigation at Northrop Grumman. Before joining Northrop Grumman, he had been an associate in the government contracts group at Wiley Rein LLP and served as in-house counsel at The Boeing Company in Seattle. He had served the Navy aboard the USS Hampton as a nuclear submarine officer before he became a lawyer.

Colwell had a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Duke University School of Law. He also had postgraduate study at the Naval Nuclear Power School. He's survived by his wife, Robin, and twin daughters, Anna and Lauren, among other family. 

NDIA joins Colwell’s family and colleagues in mourning his passing and offers its condolences at this difficult time. His obituary may be seen here.  

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org