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Loren Thompson

88 - Loren Thompson
2012 Rank: 80

COO, Lexington Institute; CEO, Source Associates
Over the past 20 years, no one else in American defense has built as specialized a franchise and gained as large a megaphone as Thompson. A must-read who still is one of Washington’s best-informed defense commentators, he’s more widely read than ever. Defense companies pay him for advice and to shape the public debate on systems, strategies and policies, but his independent streak has cost him lucrative contracts over the years. Still, he occupies a unique and highly coveted space where he’s in demand as an adviser, commentator, analyst and media source. And although he hasn’t taught at the security studies program he helped found at Georgetown University for some 15 years, those legions he mentored are now increasingly senior leaders at the Pentagon, in industry and on the Hill.

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