EIS Council • About Us - James Roche

About Us

James Roche

James Roche Former Secretary U.S. Air Force

Now volunteeting as an advisor to the EIS Council, James G. Roche served from 2001 to 2005 as the 20th Secretary of the United States Air Force.  His responsibilities as the civilian leader of the Air Force included organizing, training and equipping the Air Force to fight the nation's wars as part of a Joint and/or Coalition Team.  He was responsible for over 700,000 Active, Reserve, Guard and civilian airmen, and a budget in excess of $100 billion.

Prior to his Air Force service, he was the Corporate Vice President and President of the Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ESSS) of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  He was the Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Electronics Sensors and Systems Division (the former Westinghouse Electronics Systems Group) from March 1996 to September 1998.  The Sector was established in 1998 and combined all the electronics businesses of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  He built the business from sales of $2 billion to $3 billion, and left a backlog of $5 billion.

Prior to this, he was the Corporate Vice President and Chief Advanced Development, Planning, and Public Affairs Officer responsible for the company's Advanced Technology and Development Center, Business Strategy Group, the Washington Analysis Center, State Relations and the Public Affairs Department.  He was the Chief Strategist of the firm, taking the early lead in all M&A activities.  He is credited with being one of the key leaders in the development of a new business strategy that led to the Northrop Grumman of today.

He led the Transition Team responsible for merging the Northrop, Grumman, and Vought corporations, as well as the integration of the Westinghouse defense businesses.  Formerly, he was the Assistant to the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  Before July 1989, he was the Vice President and Director of the Northrop Analysis Center in Washington, D.C. (since 1984); the Center conducts policy and strategy analyses for the Corporation.

Before joining Northrop, Dr. Roche was the Democratic Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, where he worked for Senators Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn.

He served as the Principal Deputy Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff from 1981-1982.  He was a senior professional staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1979-1981, and was an Assistant Director of the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1975-1979.

Dr. Roche is a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy, having commanded the USS Buchanan DDG-14.  He won the Pacific Theater Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy (1974), awarded to the commander of the most improved combat unit in the Pacific.

Dr. Roche holds a Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in the fields of Decision Analysis and Management Control (1972).  He received his Master's Degree in Operations Research, with distinction, in 1966 from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and his Bachelor of Science Degree in English Literature in 1960 from the Illinois Institute of Technology.  He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

He has served on the board of advisors of a number of public policy institutions.  He is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation. He served on the Board of CADRE, an innovation institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was a member of the Secretary of Defense's Policy Board from 1989 to 1994, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies until 2012. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and the Conquistadores Del Cielo along with many of the senior leaders of the airline and aerospace industry. He serves on the Board of the Friends of the Jewish Chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Board of Advisors of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the US Energy Security Council.  He was on the Board of Visitors of St. John's College, and the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland, as well as the Board of Visitors of the Business School at the University of Southern California.  He also served on the Board of Directors of McAndrews and Forbes Worldwide, the Board of TechTeam Global, and the Board of CompuDyne.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Orbital ATK. He was a member of the North American Advisory Board for Schott, US, a leader in glass products, and was on the Advisory Board of Israel Aircraft Industries North America (IAINA) until both were disestablished.  He is a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club, and the Annapolitan Club.  He continues to do strategic consulting for defense and technology based firms, specifically Northrop Grumman, as well as pro bono work for the Department of Defense.