Mr. M. L. "Buzz" Hefti
Committee: Development Committee & Audit Committee
If Buzz Hefti were a sports star, he could be called a “triple threat.” With a background that encompasses Congress, the Executive Branch, and private industry, Mr. Hefti provides his clients with comprehensive representation in the Federal marketplace. “I do this because I find it intellectually stimulating,” Mr. Hefti says. “I like learning about new companies and their products. I like helping them understand how Washington works, bringing something new to them that they perhaps have only seen from the outside, and then watching them succeed and grow. It’s very gratifying.” After working more than 35 years in the legislative and public affairs areas of defense, aerospace, energy, space, and aviation, Mr. Hefti is widely admired for his ability to affect policy, secure funding, develop new Federal business, and build industry partnerships. He has an impressive roster of clients from small businesses through Fortune 50 companies.
Before becoming a Vice President at Van Scoyoc Associates in 2002, Mr. Hefti was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. As such, he provided legislative advice to both the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. “Coming back to the Pentagon at a higher level, after having served there earlier in my career, opened my eyes to a broader understanding of Defense policy and practices,” he said. “Most people don’t understand how to interact with an agency, how it’s more than just submitting a request.”
During his career as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, Mr. Hefti served as Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives while on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy from 1977 through 1980. Before that, he spent three years as Director of National News Media for the Marine Corps. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1981.
Between tours of duty at the Pentagon, Mr. Hefti worked in private industry and on Capitol Hill, where he was National Security Advisor to U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va. For 14 years, Mr. Hefti was Vice President for Government Relations at Honeywell International (and AlliedSignal/Bendix). He was responsible for handling the legislative strategies of three businesses worth more than $10 billion. This work entailed making the companies more competitive, while coordinating operating units and managing the aerospace lobbying staff. He also managed legislative support for major programs in the Department of Defense, NASA, Department of Energy, and Federal Aviation Administration for five years as a defense lobbyist for The Boeing Company “I’ve worked in major corporations and I understand how they function, but I’ve had some of my most rewarding times with smaller businesses, where you see results faster,” he said.
As a Vietnam veteran, former Marine casualty officer, and occupant of the Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Hefti knows the sacrifices of American military families, and he is active in several organizations that seek to lighten their burdens. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for Security Policy and on the Advisory Board of Our Military Kids, an organization that provides grants to children of deployed or severely injured Guard and Reserve service members. He is active with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Numerous members of the military making the transition to a civilian career seek out Mr. Hefti as a mentor.
Maybe because he grew up in a small Iowa town Mr. Hefti puts a high value on personal contacts and integrity. “My reputation is the most valuable thing I have and I will not sacrifice that for any program or organization,” he said.
Mr. Hefti holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa, and he completed the Leadership Strategies for Senior Executives program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.