The Defense Leadership Forum is a public service organization bringing together Congressional leaders, Pentagon officials, military base commanders, and business representatives to identify the best solutions to defend the United States. We work closely with Congress; the Pentagon; local military bases throughout the U.S.; federal, state, and local government officials; industry; nonprofit organizations; and professional associations.



Defense Leadership Roundtable 

The Defense Leadership Roundtable is an invitation-only focus group discussion (no formal presentations, no audience) with Summit speakers and other special guests. Real issues and challenges will be discussed with military, government, congressional, and industry leaders while generating possible solutions in real-time. Summit attendees can submit questions on topics related to DoD Acquisition/Procurement/Contracting in advance. A brief summary of the discussion will be provided to all Summit attendees by the Summit Moderator at the beginning of the afternoon General Session. 

"Based on the Roundtable discussion, for the first time, real issues and challenges were brought to the table and discussed and actual solutions from Capt Owen was given. I attend many conferences and that was huge."  

2017 West Coast Small Business Defense Contracting Summit Attendee

Matchmaking Session

The Matchmaking Session is an opportunity to participate in one-on-one meetings with representatives from various government agencies, contracting services, and prime contractors, with the purpose to facilitate targeted information exchange and match needs with resources and solutions. A list of matchmaking table hosts will be provided prior to each event via email to only registered attendees. Session sign-up is available ON-SITE ONLY at each Summit near the registration area. Matchmaking session sign-up is first come, first serve. Meetings are not scheduled in advance due to no-shows, last minute changes, etc.  Inquire about hosting opportunities via email, marketing@defenseleadershipforum.org



"The event was truly great and a success."

André J. Gudger, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, 2018 Air Force Contracting Summit, Keynote Speaker


“The Summit offered a great opportunity for small businesses to learn more about contracting and sub-contracting with the Defense Department.”

Debbie Brown, Deputy District Director, North Florida District, U.S. Small Business Administration


“We were able to address fundamentally the need for both communities, that is the public sector community and the private sector community to come together, to partner, to collaborate. to operate based on trust.  It was a very worthwhile session."

General Norton Schwartz, 2015 Air Force Contracting Summit, Keynote Speaker


“Very good event. Well executed. I appreciate the work of your outstanding team.”

Craig Deatherage, Military/VA Liaison, Office of U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland


“I think this is the kind of meeting we ought to have more of because you bring small businesses together with large businesses.  You bring the business together with the national security and you have a great synergy that not only helps make America stronger, but also helps build economies both locally and nationally.  I applaud you for what you’re doing.  Continued to do it, interact, help make America even stronger, and help our economy grow as well.”

Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Member, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee - 2014 Navy Small Business Contracting Summit, Keynote Speaker


“I’m happy to be here at the Army Contracting Summit with the Defense Leadership Forum.  Anything we can do to get the great ideas that the American people have into the hand of our soldiers to keep them safe and to win our wars, we need people to gather together like this and give them the opportunity to present those ideas.  It’s a great idea.”

Congressman John Carter, Member, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman, House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, 2015 Army Contracting Summit, Keynote Speaker

“It was a great event.”

Florida State Representative Marti Coley, Speaker Pro Tempore, Florida House of Representatives

“Great caliber speakers. Great Host. Great Presentations. I made a lot of networking connections here. I got a lot of great information and I definitely recommend you attend the next one.”

Gerald Morris, J2 Engineering, 2015 Air Force Contracting Summit, Exhibitor

“Just wanted to say I had a wonderful time here.  It was a great opportunity to hear some government speakers talk about our industry.  The networking was especially beneficial.  I had several opportunities to talk to small businesses and large businesses as well.  Perhaps most importantly it gave us an opportunity to communicate to some of the small businesses of our concerns with dealing with the government, in particular in how we went about selecting small business partners.  Often times there is a misunderstanding of how that works and at least this conference gave us an opportunity to explain the industry perspective.  Interesting enough other industry partners were part of that same panel and had very similar remarks so it came at it from three different sources and there seemed to be somewhat of a consensus in how best to deal with larger businesses.”

Thomas Lampley, Senior Account Executive – KBR, 2015 & 2016 Air Force Contracting Summit, Attendee


“We have been involved in the Defense Leadership’s forums many times.  It’s three-fold for us.  One, we enjoy being an Exhibitor, where we can provide our solutions to all attendees; we also enjoy meeting other venders, small businesses, disabled businesses, and woman-owned business that we can partner with on future projects; and thirdly we really enjoy the forum itself and the speakers where we can raise our skillset and knowledge and utilize that in future projects.  It really benefits us and we enjoy it, and certainly learn a lot from it and look forward to it each year.”

Bobby Marcus, General Manager, Siemens Building Technologies, 2016 Air Force Contracting Summit, Top Sponsor

Past events have included: 2017 West Coast Small Business Defense Contracting Summit; 2017 Defense and National Security Innovation Summit; 2017 Army Contracting Summit; 2017 Navy Contracting Summit; 2017 Navy Small Business Contracting Summit; 2017 Air Force Contracting Summit; Capitol Hill 2017 Defense & National Security Outlook Briefing & Reception in December 2016; Marine Corps Small Business Contracting Summit in November 2016; Army Contracting Summit in August 2016; Navy Contracting Summit in May 2016; Air Force Contracting Summit in January 2016; Army Small Business Contracting Summit in December 2015; Marine Corps Small Business Contracting Summit in November 2015; Navy Small Business Contracting Summit in October 2015; Army Contracting Summit in June of 2015; Navy Contracting Summit in May of 2015; American Energy Summit in March of 2015; the Air Force Contracting Summit in January of 2015; the Army Small Business Contracting Summit in November of 2014; the Navy Small Business Contracting Summit in October of 2014; the National Small Business Defense Contracting Summit in August of 2014; the Navy Contracting Summit in May of 2014; the Air Force Contracting Summit in March of 2014; the American Energy Summit in January of 2014; the Army Contracting Summit in December of 2013; and the list continues. 

For more information, click below to view the "Defense Leadership Forum Executive Summary".