085: Wade Watts: Uniting the Defense, the academia, and entrepreneurial innovators in solving national security problems
Wade Watts serves as the inaugural National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) University Program Director (UPD) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). In this role, Wade is responsible for building collaboration between academia, the venture/business community, and the DoD by expanding defense innovation.
To this position, Wade brings significant entrepreneur and academic experiences as the former founder, CEO, and COO of two startup companies, and an award-winning executive with more than 15 years of experience in management consulting positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and other firms. He served as CEO of his management consulting firm by establishing marketing campaigns and Internet presence for businesses through process engineering and strategic planning to maximize profits and customer satisfaction. He also worked as Chief Operating Officer of an Internet-based international business magazine that set up business opportunities and ventures between U.S. firms and businesses in Taiwan and managed offices in both locations.
In his capacity with Booz Allen Hamilton, Wade was key to the international firm winning a $1 billion government contract, the largest in its history at that time. As the company’s transition planning expert, he developed and authored a firm-wide Transition Strategic Plan, which standardized new procedures and implementation plans to move and integrate new business from incumbent companies/contractors to the firm’s new contracts and business.
Wade has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master of Public Administration from Troy University, and a Master of Airpower Art and Science from the Air Force’s premiere strategy school, the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Additionally, he has Project Manager Professional (PMP) and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certifications.
In the academic world, Wade developed and taught graduate courses in Business Consulting and Project Management as Adjunct Faculty at Creighton University and served as a Capstone course mentor for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Midland University in Omaha, Nebraska.
His other leadership experience includes time in a senior Program Management capacity for Omaha-based Fiserv. He also worked as a Cybersecurity Initiative Program Manager for a financial services firm in Lincoln, NE, where he formed, led, and managed a Program Management Office.
Wade is a veteran of the Air Force, having served in various aviation and staff positions throughout the globe, including assignments to United States Strategic Command and the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.