Rob Zitz, a 33-year intelligence community veteran, joined Leidos in August 2011 — when it was known as Science Applications International Corp. — and serves as senior vice president and chief systems architect for the company’s national security sector.
Zitz has held key leadership positions within Army Intelligence, CIA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Department of Homelan Security, Secret Service and the National Reconnaissance Office.
ExecuitveBiz recently caught up with Zitz to discuss Leidos company and some observations of the industry.
ExecutiveBiz: Describe the sectors your company serves and the products and services offered.
Robert Zitz: Leidos brings a mix of innovative technology and sector expertise to customers in national security, engineering, and health markets. Our approach is holistic, looking at all the interconnected complexities of a problem and sharing knowledge across disciplines. We provide a full suite of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and cybersecurity solutions across a broad spectrum of national security programs.
Our capabilities support the entire intelligence lifecycle, from the collection of vital information across all domains, to the processing of data into intelligence products, and to the employment of people supporting national and military intelligence agencies as well as other federal and civilian customers within the national security arena. Our health and engineering businesses capitalize on our knowledge and experience in technology and innovation.
Major customers of Health and Engineering primarily include the U.S. federal government, state and local governmental agencies, foreign governments, hospitals, and commercial enterprises in various industries. Our health business provides services and solutions to commercial hospitals and the DoD as well as conducting research and development for U.S. government and commercial enterprises in the life sciences field.
Our healthcare business is focused on improving the overall availability and quality of data and services that ultimately improves the quality of care while lowering cost for our customers. Our engineering business leverages technology and skills in process engineering, engineering design and systems integration to create innovative and cost effective solutions for our customers.
ExecutiveBiz: What areas of the company have you focused on in your role?
Robert Zitz: I am a senior vice president and the chief systems architect for our national security sector. I split my time between meeting with intelligence community and homeland security customers to understand their technology needs, and working with technologists in Leidos to imagine new and novel ways to help our customers achieve mission success.
I am a bridge between what is needed and the art of the possible; and I strive to provide thought leadership within the company and the national security community. My areas of expertise include GEOINT, multi-INT, integration, big data and emerging trends in open source analytics and the use of small satellites for ISR.
ExecutiveBiz: What opportunities exist within the industry for your portfolio?
Robert Zitz: We believe the national security sector will see growth in the areas of cybersecurity, airborne sensors and integration, and big data analytics. Regarding Health, we expect to see growth in IT modernization. In Engineering we see increases associated with work on rebuilding our nation’s aging infrastructure; we are also positioned to support the move to smart power grids across the country. These areas are all core strengths for Leidos.
ExecutiveBiz: What recent wins for your portfolio would you like to highlight?
Robert Zitz: In the past few months Leidos has been awarded several high-profile contracts in various markets, demonstrating the breadth and depth of our capabilities. In recent months Leidos was awarded a contract to develop, integrate and maintain training and analysis systems for U.S. Navy sensor operators. Leidos will perform work for the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
We have been selected to continue working on the next phase of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Adaptive Radar Countermeasures program. We have also been selected for the Ballastic Missile Defense System Engineering, Integration and Test contract, which is a follow-on to the Active Layer Theater Ballistic Missile Defense contract. We will perform the work in The Hague, Netherlands.
We are particularly proud of two major recent wins, both in terms of value and the importance of the work. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence selected us to perform the Logistics Commodities Services Transformation contract, a 13 year deal which covers the buying of non-military items such as food and medical supplies as well as providing storage and distribution services for the U.K. armed forces.
Also, the Department of Defense selected Leidos to provide an off-the-shelf electronic health record solution, integration activities and deployment across the Military Health System.
The contract, known as the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization program, is an initiative designed to modernize the military’s healthcare system in a meaningful way, enabling patients and clinicians to capture and share health data that can improve the continuity and quality of care for 9.6 million active military, their families, and their beneficiaries.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you see the need for further collaboration between the private sector and government with your industry?
Robert Zitz: Responding to the growing cybersecurity threat dictates a robust public-private partnership; we are pleased to be providing both thought leadership and technology solutions in this area. Another example relates to our intelligence community customers moving to a government-private sector model for ingest, correlation and analysis of open sources data. NGA’s Pathfinder pilot project exemplifies this approach.
I also believe fostering more development and use of emerging small satellite capabilities can come from innovative government-private sector partnerships.
ExecutiveBiz: Any additional thoughts or comments you would care to share?
Robert Zitz: I am very excited to be part of the Leidos leadership team. In my role supporting national security customers, it is quite rewarding to help them achieve their goals by delivering innovative solutions. We know how to deliver low-risk, high impact technology coupled with deep analytical expertise, and we look forward to continued strong partnerships with our national security customers.