Bill Duncan worked in Iraq in 2006 – 2007, and in Afghanistan in 2010 – 2011. His job title was Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Business & Stability Operations. At the completion of his work in Iraq, Duncan was honored by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England at a ceremony in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. At the conclusion of his work in Afghanistan, Duncan was awarded three medals from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Details may be reviewed at: www.billduncanscareer.com
Before and after his work in the Middle East, Duncan has been a member of the executive management team at major manufacturing companies such as John Deere, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, JDS Uniphase, and Emerson. He is the author of several business books and dozens of business related articles. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master’s of Business Administration / Technology Management, as well as multiple professional certifications. Duncan currently lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.
Quotes from War Front to Store Front: Americans Rebuilding Trust and Hope in Nations Under Fire
By Paul Brinkley, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense
“To speed up the process, we ended up hiring factory experts as contractors. We assembled an impressive team of highly experienced factory executives and shop floor engineers, all ready and willing to deploy with the troops to areas of violence. It was inspiring to see this group answer the call to serve. To lead them, I reached into my own Rolodex and recruited William Duncan, an executive I had met at JDS Uniphase who ran a $1 billion operation in Ottawa, Canada, and whose experience included stints in factory and supply chain management at McDonnell Douglas and other industrial companies.”
“The team of industrial experts and consultants, led by stellar private-sector executives who had joined the government for reduced pay, including….Bill Duncan worked at great personal risk almost around the clock to find creative ways to generate demand for factories throughout Iraq.”
“By the end of September , we had successfully restored production at sixteen industrial operations throughout Iraq. More than 5,000 employees were back on the job in those operations.”
“Those 5,000 employees were in sustained factory jobs in factories that made goods of value. They were not temporary construction jobs.” “They were real jobs in a real economy. It was a beginning. Still, my industry team, led by Bill Duncan, had literally worked around the clock during August and September to get as many results as it could, and team members were getting tired.”
“Of all of the work we undertook in Afghanistan, none had received greater allocation of resources than our support of the large marine effort in Helmand Province. Bill Duncan, who had successfully led many of our factory revitalization efforts in Iraq back in 2006, rejoined TFBSO in 2010, immediately deploying to the marine base in Helmand. But his efforts were often frustrated. Agriculture development programs were stymied again by recalcitrant USAID regulations against commodity support for globally competitive crops such as cotton and wheat. The local cotton gin had been closed for years because of its ownership by the government of Afghanistan. Duncan worked to reopen the cotton gin in Lashkar Gah and to establish small enterprises focused on produce marketing as well as logistical operations.”
Below you will find a gallery of images featuring Duncan working in the Middle East.