Jim O'Leary, Senior Associate
Jim is a 30-year Navy Veteran with aviation and defense planning experience, and currently supports the Chief of Naval Operations Staff (OPNAV) at the Pentagon.
Jim began his Navy career flying the venerable UH-1N “Huey” as a Search and Rescue pilot. Over the years he transitioned to two other aircraft, the H46D and the MH-60S, flying with squadrons in Guam, San Diego, and Norfolk. In June 2005, Jim commissioned, as the plank-owner Commanding Officer, the first Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School, for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, in Norfolk, Virginia, supporting the Fleet’s training requirements and transition to the new MH-60S aircraft. Following a successful command tour, Jim reported to USS ESSEX (LHD2) in Sasebo, Japan as the Air Officer, completing three deployments in the Pacific Area of Operations.
During his shore tours Jim served as Program Manager for NDPP Step 2+, responsible for all aspects of Defense Planning, capturing capability requirements, and the development of resource and armaments planning for NATO. He was dual-hatted as Mid-Term Requirements Branch Head at NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation. He led a 33-person team to deliver NATO’s Minimum Capability Requirements, on schedule, across a 4.3 million euro program. He provided critical linkage and coordination between NATO Headquarters staff and external agencies and was NATO’s representative during staff level EU discussions on Defense Planning. He also was the Project Lead for the NATO Capability Stratification effort, and directed the efforts of 19 personnel from multiple agencies to identify NATO’s key military requirements while reducing costs across the Alliance. He first assignment for NATO was the Allied Ground Surveillance Mission sponsor for the Alliance’s 2 Billion euro Global Hawk acquisition program supporting NATO’s Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance requirements.
As the Senior Defense Official, Defense and Naval Attaché to Japan Jim served in a Joint duty assignment at the DoD level with strategic ramifications providing information, products, and services to U.S war-fighters, senior military, and civilian leaders in support of military operations. He was the primary military advisor to the U.S. Ambassador and provided executive supervision of the Mutual Defense Assistance Office overseeing more than 650 Foreign Military Sales cases valued over $6B including a Japanese request for acquisition of RQ-4 Global Hawk. Jim provided regular presentations on the U.S.-Japan Alliance that included discussion on American capabilities and strategic posture, and he served as the Co-chair, with his Japanese counter-part, of the Bilateral Information Security Consultations working group, which reviewed requirements for industrial security to enable Japan to increase its posture of military capacity, capability, and readiness.
Jim served on the OPNAV Staff as the Force Generation Deputy Branch Head, Assessments Division (N81). Leading 13 program analysts developing analytical support for the U.S. Navy budget submission by assessing risk to readiness measured against Operational Availability examined through focused studies and analysis. He was the Branch lead for the POM19 Force Generation and Training in-depth reviews and also collected and submitted the Branch input to the Integrated Analytical Agenda, coordinating with resource sponsors, which captured submissions for the next fiscal year input of 18 analytical studies. To increase visibility, he created a studies and models tracking tool for leadership that crossed fiscal years to visually display the status of completion.
Jim holds a BA in Chemistry from Assumption College, a dual MA in Management and Human Resources from Webster University of St. Louis, and a MS in Information Systems from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.