Mears to lead national security, defense strategy

Zachary Mears has joined Ohio State as assistant vice president for national security and research programs, effective August 1, 2016. Zach brings expertise in U.S. national security and defense strategy, planning and resourcing to this new position.

This is a shared leadership position with Battelle and Ohio State’s Office of Research and College of Engineering. Zach will help the university and Battelle develop and implement a strategic relationship management plan related to national security research conducted at Ohio State and Battelle.

Zach will lead the expansion of collaborative research projects, scientific and educational programs and business development opportunities at Ohio State to further the collaborative relationship between the university and Ohio-based federal national security programs. His primary focus will be on the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Zach also will work to develop teams of internal and external partners to identify major state and federal funding opportunities.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Zach served as the deputy chief of staff to the secretary of defense and chief of staff to the deputy secretary of defense in Washington, DC. He advised the secretary and deputy secretary of defense on national priorities and managed their implementation. He also served as the director of the Advanced Capability and Deterrence Panel and led the development of the Third Offset Strategy, which aims to identify new organizational and operational concepts and new capabilities to improve the United States’ military advantage. He also advised the Defense Innovation Unit–Experimental, which is building bridges between the Pentagon and the United States’ technology communities in Silicon Valley and Boston. Prior to these appointments, he served as the director for strategic planning for the National Security Council, where he co-authored the 2015 National Security Strategy. He also worked as a senior defense analyst for Scitor Corporation and as senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Zach received his BA in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and his MA and PhD in political science from Ohio State.