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Paul Courtney wins the 2024 Wash100 Award

Paul Courtney: The Procurement and Leadership Legacy of the 2024 Wash100 Winner

Paul Courtney is the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is equipped with a deeply rooted experience in contracting, giving him unique perspectives on the policies, regulations, and standards in procurement and contracting. 

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Along with his acceleration in the federal contracting space, the DHS’ CPO has risen in the procurement leadership ranks of different federal agencies. His demonstrated capabilities in these roles earned him prestigious awards, such as the 2024 Wash100 Award. It’s his first time joining this reputable list for leading the procurement efforts of the DHS.


Explore Paul Courtney’s lasting legacy in contracting leadership, earning him one of the biggest awards in the government contracting (GovCon) industry.


Paul Courtney: The Rise of the DHS’ Chief Procurement Officer


Paul Courtney spoke at the 2023 Homeland Security Summit
Photo/ Executive Mosaic


Paul Courtney traces his contracting journey at the Department of Justice (DOJ). He has built a portfolio of handling multi-billion dollar contracts, initially as a contracting trainee at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and eventually as the Head of Contracting Activity and Procurement Executive at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


Between 2007 and 2013, Paul Courtney also served as the Senior Expert for Contracting and the Deputy Head of the Contracting Activity at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). This background strengthened his leadership capabilities and expanded his contracting proficiency in federal defense markets.


In August 2021, Paul became the Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He assumed the highest contracting position at the DHS after two years of demonstrated experience as the agency’s Deputy CPO.


Related article: Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Government Contractor


Paul Courtney: Procurement Achievements Throughout the Years


Paul Courtney’s notable contracting and procurement feats have made an indelible mark on the federal agencies he served.


Even as a contracting trainee at the BOP, Mr. Courtney was able to finalize programs for the construction of prisons and the establishment of a private prison. Meanwhile, at the DIA, he managed its procurement program based on its mission to provide timely intelligence to the warfighter. 


Some of Courtney’s most accomplished endeavors were at the FBI. He led a team of contracting officers in the acquisition of $4 billion worth of goods and services, ensuring the effective execution of law enforcement and national security missions.


Moreover, Paul Courtney headed the business transformation efforts for the foundation of category management structure and numerous enterprise contracts. It standardized business processes by eliminating the lowest price technically accepted contracting methods. Mr. Courtney’s innovation has reshaped the way the FBI does its procurement business.


2024 Homeland Security Summit


Paul Courtney’s First Wash100 Recognition in 2024


Paul Courtney received his Wash100 award in 2024. His dedication to accelerating the acquisition processes of the DHS has fostered collaboration with the private sector, which has been deemed worthy of this prestigious award by Executive Mosaic. 


Annually, Executive Mosaic (EM) handpicks 100 leaders who have made significant contributions to the government contracting sector. Paul is one of the first-time recipients of the award, further solidifying his credibility in procurement and in the federal sector as a whole.


“As chief procurement officer, Paul leads the agency’s efforts to acquire the best-in-class technologies, solutions, and services that can carry out our most important homeland security missions in today’s complex global environment,” EM’s Chief Executive Officer and Wash100 founder Jim Garrettson noted.


Paul Courtney: Handling $25 Billion Worth of Government Contracts for the DHS


Paul Courtney (second from the left) in Katie Powers' (third from the left) recognition as the Contracting Officer of the Year
Photo/ U.S. Coast Guard


As the Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of Homeland Security, Paul Courtney directs nine Heads of Contracting Activity, handling $25 billion worth of government contracts. Altogether, they provide operational procurement services to various agency components, directorates, and offices.


Mr. Courtney’s purview includes managing the agency’s acquisition systems and implementing acquisition policies, regulations, and standards. Along with his appointment as the CPO, his role encompasses Senior Procurement Executive.


Championing change in the DHS


The DHS has undergone significant changes under Paul Courtney’s watch. He has highlighted the tenets to “empower, collaborate, innovate, and procure” a new acquisition strategic plan for the agency. Anchored by these tenets is the fulfillment of the DHS’ goal to propel its present and future strategies for homeland security operations.


To champion holistic change, Paul shares the DHS’ collaborative developments and objectives in industry-related summits. In November 2023, he served as the opening keynote at the 2023 Homeland Security by the Potomac Officers Club.


“I am a huge advocate for partnership and collaboration. It really is the core of what we do and how we do it,” Courtney stated during the summit. We believe that we have learned best together and that consistent industry engagement is a process,” he added.


 In November 2024, the Potomac Officers Club is hosting the 2024 Homeland Security. It sets out to discuss the ever-evolving global geopolitical landscape and how it shapes the strategies and priorities of the United States homeland security industry.


Become an official member of the Potomac Officers Club and register for the 2024 Homeland Security Summit now.

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