Brian Schafer

Managing Director
Brian Schafer
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 our public and private clients’ long-term goals. Mr. Schafer provides 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 Air Force. Mr. Schafer is a command fighter pilot with over 3,300 flying hours. He was an instructor/evaluator in the F-15C with additional flight time in the F-15E, MC-12, T-6B, T-37, T-38, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, TH-57, and HH-60 aircraft. He led combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan and commanded at multiple levels within the Unites States Air Force, in addition to the United States Navy. Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his performance and thought leadership but more importantly he led his organizations to numerous operational effectiveness awards. He has a history of creating organizational and cultural changes at all levels to positively influence both government and business ecosystems that tackle our nation’s hardest problems.

Mr. Schafer has extensive experience bringing new concepts and technologies to “market” working with both the industrial base and U.S. policy makers. He led decisions on future investments and steered modernization policies and priorities across the USAF’s frontline warfighter fleets in support of the National Defense Strategy. His expertise often bridged the Air Force Science & Technology portfolio with operational insights. Mr. Schafer’s deep working knowledge across the United States Department of Defense and international defense environment enabled a record of success directing complex multibillion-dollar organizations and programs while defining requirements that link into the DoD’s multi-year budgeting process. While on the Joint Staff, Mr. Schafer focused on the geopolitical landscape surrounding 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, to create options linking strategic goals to tactical objectives with concrete action plans in support of National Command Authority decisions. Mr. Schafer is an innovative entrepreneur that specializes in strategic planning to achieve positive future outcomes. His skills include operationalizing family of system concepts 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.