Mr. Schafer has served as Managing Director at McKenna & Associates since September 2020. In this role he is responsible for the strategies and execution that solve complex problems and drive client growth. Additionally, he provides strategic advisory and operational insights to support both public and private clients’ long-term goals. Mr. Schafer helps provide operational expertise across our investment portfolio and supports all facets of due-diligence and investment decision making.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Schafer served for more than 25 years in the United States military. He commanded at multiple levels within the Unites States Air Force, in addition to the United States Navy, and has served across the Pacific, European, Middle East and South East Asian theaters while leading combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Schafer is a command pilot with over 3300 flying hours primarily in the F-15C with additional flight time in all F-15 models, MC-12, T-6B, T-37, T-38, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, TH-57 and HH-60 aircraft. He has been recognized on the individual level for his performance and thought leadership at every level throughout his career, but more importantly he led his organizations to numerous operational effectiveness awards during his command.
In his final military roles, Mr. Schafer lead decisions on future investments and steered modernization policies and priorities across its frontline warfighter fleets in support of the National Defense Strategy. Mr. Schafer’s deep working knowledge across the United States Department of Defense and international defense environment enabled a record of success directing complex multi-billion dollar organizations and programs while defining requirements that link into the DoD’s multi-year budgeting process. While serving on the Joint Staff, Mr. Schafer focused on the threats emanating from China, North Korea, and Russia, translating needs into capabilities and holistic national security solutions. He regularly worked with interagency partners, including the National Security Council in the creation of strategic options linking strategic goals to tactical objectives with concrete action plans to support National Command Authority decisions.
Mr. Schafer has extensive experience bringing new concepts and technologies to “market” working with both the industrial base and policy makers navigating complex funding streams in order to combat external threats. In 2017, he led a 700 personnel, $52B+ in assets and $17M annual operating budget, 13 business unit organization across 7 states that bridged the Air Force Science & Technology portfolio with operational insights. Mr. Schafer has a leadership history of creating organizational and culture changes to positively influence both government and business ecosystems that tackle our nation’s hardest problems. Mr. Schafer is an innovative entrepreneur that specializes in strategic planning driving positive future outcomes, family of systems experience across air and space domains, as well as policy and market analysis.
Mr. Schafer graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management from the United States Air Force Academy where he took the rugby team to multiple National Collegiate Final Four Tournaments and served as a soaring instructor pilot. Additionally, Mr. Schafer earned an M.S in Operations Management from University of Arkansas and an M.S. in National Defense Security Strategy from the National Defense University. As a former fighter pilot, he is still an avid flyer and currently serves on the board of the Air Force Academy Rugby Foundation. Previously, Mr. Schafer served as a board member for the National Association of Flight Instructors advocating for the general aviation population. He shares his time between offices in Arlington, Virginia and his home in Las Vegas, Nevada where he lives with his wife and two boys.