Lt Gen William J. Bender, USAF (Ret)
Senior Vice President, Customer Excellence & Government Relations, Leidos
BioLt. General (Ret) William J. Bender currently serves as Senior Vice President – Customer Excellence within the Business Development Group at Leidos. General Bender is responsible for strengthening and advancing trusted relationships with customers and advancing strategic initiatives to foster enterprise growth.
General Bender brings more than 34 years of military experience and executive-level leadership in multiple facets of information technology (IT) and government services. On active duty, General Bender most recently served as Chief Information Officer for the United States Air Force (USAF), where he was responsible for 50,000 cyber operations and support personnel across the globe, with oversight for the USAF’s IT investment strategy and a portfolio valued at $17 billion. Prior to that, General Bender was the second highest ranking military officer, based at the United States Embassy in Iraq, serving as the Deputy Chief, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq with oversight and management of foreign military sales and security cooperation initiatives supporting U.S. diplomatic relations with the government of Iraq. His senior leadership roles in the USAF included commanding a Numbered Air Force and two Air Force Wings and also includes serving as Chief Operations Officer with overall operations, training and readiness responsibility for 20,000 personnel, as well as Executive Staff Director and Joint Duty Officer to European Command and U.S. Transportation Command Commanders, with responsibility for theater-wide and global logistics operations.
General Bender currently serves as Chairman of the AFCEA International Board of Directors, and as a Board Member for the National Defense Industry Association and the National Defense University Foundation, in addition to serving on various Federal Advisory Boards.
General Bender was commissioned in 1983 after earning a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College. He also holds a Master of Arts National Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Business Administration in Business and Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and numerous certificates from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.