Doug Magee is a U.S. Army veteran and seasoned business development executive currently leading Day & Zimmermann’s Government Services practice as president. He cut his teeth at companies like KBR, DynCorp International, Michael Baker International and, most recently prior to D&Z, as an operating company president at Akima.
Magee commands extensive experience liaising and partnering with a range of government agencies, such as the Departments of State, Agriculture and Homeland Security, as well as NASA and the National Institutes of Health, among many others. Some of his specialties include logistics, security and facilities maintenance.
The government contracting mainstay — who came aboard D&Z at the beginning of the year — recently sat down with GovCon Wire to chat about the values he admires and wants to uphold at the long-running company, how the organization is responding and customizing its services to match the current threat environment and why the national security mission is paramount.
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Tell me about your company’s culture. What aspects of the company do you think are contributing most to its success while helping to attract and retain top-level talent?
We ensure the safety of people, infrastructure, supply chains, assets, and data that is vital to our everyday missions and our clients. By the nature of our work, and those drawn to these important protections, our people are patriotic and mission-driven. It drives the success of our business, and it creates a culture within the organization with a strong sense of purpose—truly, everything we do is in support of the U.S. national security mission. These key drivers come down to two simple but critical pieces: our mission and our people. This is our shared motivation and purpose, driving each of us every day. Our leadership, sense of duty and honor are felt at all levels and at all global government sites we support.
A significant facet of our work involves cultivating a culture deeply rooted in mission-driven principles and unwavering dedication to the support we offer. Our leaders exemplify this mindset, living and breathing it around the clock. As our employees step into their roles, they do so with the understanding that they are contributing to something profoundly important in their careers. This unwavering commitment not only guarantees the success of our mission but also propels our clients to success.
Our collective purpose within Day & Zimmermann is simple: We put people to work, we protect our freedoms and we help our customers power and improve the world. Our integrated security, architectural and engineering and operations and maintenance businesses propel this vision around the world. The ongoing success of this purpose and mission begins with our most valuable resource — our people.
I just came back from one of our several Department of Energy sites, and it was great to interact with the teams, to see their dedication and their passion around what they do, directed by the leadership on the ground there. Our company is proud of our 75-year history of supporting the DOE. Some of our employees have been working on that site for more than 30 years, and it shows in the way that they support the mission in everything they do, every day. With that said, I want to provide a huge thank you to our people serving the national security mission around the world.
What are your company’s core values? How do you think these values translate into continued success and growth in the GovCon market?
As global innovations evolve, we know we will always rely on the human capabilities of our teams to uphold our underlying core values of safety, diversity, integrity and success in everything we do, which enables our mission success.
Our company values are longstanding, truly as long as Day & Zimmermann has been operating — for more than 120 years. For generations, our teams have been building upon these founding values as we remain the critical element in supporting designs, operations, systems, ordnance, and security for the prevention and deterrence of potential threats. Collectively, we understand the complex infrastructure needs when working in remote, austere and at times high threat areas.
Embedded deep within our ethos is the unwavering commitment to the Day & Zimmermann promise “we do what we say.” This pledge isn’t just a mantra; it’s who we are. This oath isn’t taken lightly; it’s our covenant with ourselves, our valued customers and our dedicated teams. It serves as the compass guiding us to execute our missions and operations securely—always prioritizing the right path. Our devotion to safety and security is unyielding and a promise we fiercely uphold for customers worldwide.
One of the great things about Day & Zimmermann is our core value of diversity. It was really something I was driven to as I joined. And as I close in on my year anniversary, one of the things that I’m witnessing here within the Government Services portfolio of business is that diversity means a lot of different things. Diversity here is not just men, women and race, but it’s also the diversity of the backgrounds of the people that we hire. The fact that we’re able to attract talent from the military, from the Department of State, from the Department of Energy, from the intelligence community — all of that brings a level of diversity that we can apply to the security mission that we support across the government.
To support our ongoing diversification, we recently established an advisory board made up of former senior intelligence community officials. That is helping us to navigate and understand the global threats as they change and shift and the new emerging threats that are coming about. Our regular meetings and collaboration with the members of the board has helped us understand where we need to go as a company to support the U.S. national security mission.
The national security threats that we’re facing today are evolving; they’re ever-changing as we witness the most recent conflict erupting in Israel. We must do all we can to remain vigilant. In the past, we were very concerned about global terrorism in tandem with the perpetual conflicts known as ‘forever wars.’ Obviously that’s still a concern, but we are now paying attention to the emergence of formidable near-peer adversaries, spanning the multifaceted spectrum of threats, including cyber and space.
The war in Ukraine obviously is a big issue of national security focus. From a mission-support standpoint, Day & Zimmerman has a big role in supporting those types of efforts, both from the terrorism channel, as well from what we do to help our nation in support of the defense of Ukraine and our allies against near-peer threats, such as Russia. As the situation evolves, we remain supportive to Ukraine and our allies in helping provide our core capabilities such as logistics, security, critical infrastructure, power and more. We have strong working knowledge in Eastern Europe, having supported and designed a number of U.S. government facilities in numerous countries across Europe, 19 countries in Eastern Europe, including multiple designs for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. In addition, our trusted reputation in the Middle East has been built over the 20 years we have been operating as a partner there, and we continue to support the complex missions of the U.S. government in those high-threat locations. We look forward to being a trusted partner to Ukraine and our allies in support of securing national defense, critical infrastructure, power and more. We have strong working knowledge in Eastern Europe, having supported and designed a number of U.S. Government Facilities in numerous countries across Europe, 19 countries in Eastern Europe, including multiple designs for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
As focus remains strong in the Indo-Pacific region, from Australia to Taiwan to Japan, we proudly continue to support the mission in these critical locations. In fact, our architecture and engineering practice has completed more than 600 task orders in 27 countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Among our task orders worldwide, we are known for designing award-winning, energy-secure, self-sustaining resilient buildings that minimize the strain on local infrastructure and can essentially run off-grid for a period of time minimizing disruption to mission-critical activities.
One of the most interesting things about the ground war in Ukraine is that they’re using a lot of artillery, and it’s not a form of fighting that we would have expected to see in modern warfare. As a result, artillery, munitions development and munitions facility modernization are becoming much more important as the demand increases. Therefore, supplying and increasing production and ensuring that we’re able to keep up with the requirements to support our allies is a major focus at Day & Zimmermann. Day & Zimmermann is one of the country’s leading munitions contractors with a wide range of expertise in the manufacturing, storage and demilitarization of ammunition products for the Department of Defense and U.S.-approved foreign governments.
We have been collectively supporting the U.S. national security mission on thousands of projects, in 171 countries, and that continues here. The list of what we can offer is endless with the larger Day & Zimmermann team. This has been fortified over time, with more than 120 years of business solutions to support the unique needs of our U.S. government and allies. Some of the better-known things that we do as a company include protecting personnel, property, assets and infrastructure for many federal agencies. We are an integrated provider of global security, critical infrastructure solutions and architecture and engineering, or A/E, services to government and commercial clients. As an extension of our A/E work, we support designs for government installations and properties worldwide, including some of the nation’s most important facilities. It is a multi-tier approach, all focused on national security and we’re proud to be part of this mission.