Keynote Speaker
Francis A. Finelli

Leadership in high-performing companies

A private equity perspective on the competitive advantage in a growth economy

Frank Finelli is a managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm. Since joining the firm in December 1998, he focuses on investments in the defense and aerospace sector. He also built and oversees Carlyle’s value creation platform, a cross-portfolio integrated set of purchasing and functional initiatives for spend and operational improvement. He has been repeatedly selected for the Defense News 100 Most Influential and Executive Mosaic WASH100 distinctions.

Previously, Finelli served as legislative assistant for then-Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), member of the Armed Services Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence. Before retiring as an Army lieutenant colonel, Finelli served as a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in 1997. He also worked for the vice chairman in restructuring the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), when he also coordinated reviews of communications and intelligence programs. From 1986 to 1989, he was an associate professor of economics at the U.S. Military Academy, where he taught econometrics and conducted manpower and defense procurement analyses. A field artillery master gunner, Finelli served in the 82d Airborne, 1st Armored, and 3d Infantry Divisions.

Finelli is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where he was also a varsity letterman in swimming and water polo. He holds a Master of Sciences in finance and operations research from Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Military Arts in strategy from U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Finelli is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Business Executives for National Security, and The Atlantic Council. He is chairman of the Virginia’s Veteran Services Foundation Board and serves as a board director for Army Emergency Relief (AER).

Finelli and his wife Katherine reside in McLean, Va., and have three adult children: former Army Captain Paul Finelli and his wife Lisa, Drew and his wife Jenna, and Laura. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Award, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf cluster, the Honor Cross of the German Armed Forces in Silver, the Ranger Tab and Master Parachutist badge.


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