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Government Contracts 2019

Speaker(s): Alice M Eldridge, Brian Hudak, Christopher L. McMahon, Colette G. Matzzie, David F. Dowd, E. Sanderson Hoe, Ethan Saxon, Hon. Eric G. Bruggink, Hon. Kyle E. Chadwick, Hon. Lynda T O'Sullivan, Hon. Thomas C. Wheeler, Jonathan L. Etherton, Marcia G. Madsen, Matthew McNease, Michael D. Granston, Moshe Schwartz, Patricia M. McCarthy, Ralph O. White, Roger D. Waldron
Recorded on: Sep. 19, 2019
PLI Program #: 286784

Brian P. Hudak serves as a Deputy Chief in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  Brian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Virginia in 2000 and his Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2003.  Following law school, Brian worked as an associate in the litigation department of Mayer Brown LLP in New York before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2007.  Prior to becoming a Deputy Chief, Brian worked as an civil Assistant U.S. Attorney handling all types of defensive and affirmative civil litigation involving the Government at all stages of the litigation process, totaling more than 300 cases and investigative matters.  Brian’s affirmative practice has focused on the False Claims Act and, in particular, matters concerning procurement, mortgage, and health care fraud.  Through his efforts, Brian has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the Government and has received numerous recognitions from his Office and client agencies for his work on behalf of the United States. 

Chris McMahon is Senior Counsel, Government Business at GE Aviation.  As program counsel, he supports GE’s Military Systems Operation (MSO) primarily at the Lynn, Massachusetts facility.  The MSO team at Lynn leads GE’s Medium Combat and Trainer Engine and Rotorcraft and Turboprop Engine portfolios.  Previous to supporting the MSO team in Lynn, McMahon was program counsel to MSO’s Advanced Combat Engine and Marine businesses in Evendale, Ohio.  While in Ohio, he also supported government contracting related to GE’s Sourcing and Supply Chain activities.

Prior to joining GE Aviation, McMahon served on active duty for twenty years in the United States Air Force.  Commissioned in 1994, he first performed duties as a contracting officer and then as a judge advocate.  His assignments included leadership roles as well as litigation and program counsel responsibilities.

For the last twelve years, McMahon has served as an Associate Editor on the Public Contract Law Journal.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from The Citadel and Gonzaga University, respectively.  He holds a Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a Master of Laws with Highest Honors in Government Procurement from the George Washington University Law School.

Colette G. Matzzie, a partner at Phillips & Cohen LLP, represents whistleblowers in qui tam cases brought under the federal False Claims Act and similar state false claims laws. Her practice includes cases involving government procurement fraud, healthcare fraud and defense contractor fraud. Some of her more prominent cases are:

  • A ground-breaking qui tam case against eClinicalWorks, an electronic health records company, that alleged eCW falsely represented that its EHR system complied with federal “Meaningful Use” requirements and that it offered kickbacks to customers. ($155 million settlement.)
  • A qui tam case brought under the False Claims Act against Verizon Communications that alleged Verizon overcharged the government for voice and data communications services. ($95 million settlement.)
  • A whistleblower case against Sodexo involving illegal retention of “off-invoice rebates” paid by food vendors that contracted with public schools and universities, which were in effect kickbacks. ($20 million settlement.)
  • A qui tam whistleblower case against Chartwells, a school food services contractor, for allegedly serving poor quality or spoiled food to students and causing Washington, DC, public schools to pay millions more for the school meal program than it should have. ($19.4 million settlement.)
  • Two path-breaking cases alleging submission of false claims for Social Security disability benefits by two private disability insurers, the Unum Group and Cigna.

Ms. Matzzie has been named one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” for the past nine years by Lawdragon magazine based on her work representing whistleblowers. She also has been included in Washingtonian’s “Top Lawyers in DC” list.

An experienced appellate litigator, Ms. Matzzie has played a lead role in litigation of whistleblower cases, arguing cases in the US District Courts and the US Courts of Appeals. She also assists counsel for other whistleblowers with qui tam litigation in the federal courts, including the US Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Phillips & Cohen, Ms. Matzzie served on the civil appellate staff of the US Department of Justice for five years. In addition, she served as a trial attorney on the Justice Department’s Tobacco Litigation team. From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Matzzie was a staff attorney with Public Citizen Litigation Group where she litigated cases concerning public health and safety, access to information, consumer protection, separation of powers and access to the civil justice system.

Ms. Matzzie graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. She was Senior Articles Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is the 1995 recipient of the Frederick B. Abramson Public Service Award.

David Dowd is an experienced litigator whose practice has a strong emphasis in government contracting issues and controversies. He advises such clients as those involved in information technology, large military systems, engineering services, and other industries regarding federal procurements and related issues. His counsel in this area includes commercial items, conflicts of interest, cost allowability issues, defective pricing, contract and subcontract negotiations, contract financing, assignments and novations, leasing, prime/sub disputes, preparation of claims, and procurement fraud.

David also handles procurement controversies, as he litigates bid protests and disputes before the

Government Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims, represents contractors in litigation and arbitrations involving government contracts, and tries federal court litigation focused on contract disputes and alleged fraud.

David has roughly 25 years of practice experience, having joined Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office in 2001 after practicing with two other national law firms.


Georgetown University Law Center, JD, magna cum laude; Order of the Coif

Georgetown University, AB, summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa


District of Columbia



American Bar Association (Member, Section of Public Contract Law)

Former Co-Chair, ABA PCL Bid Protest Committee

Judge O’Sullivan was appointed to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) as an Administrative Judge on June 29, 2014.  In that capacity, she presides over hearings, writes decisions, and serves as a neutral in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings involving a wide range of Department of Defense weapon systems, construction, and services contract disputes.

Prior to her appointment to the ASBCA, Judge O’Sullivan served in various capacities within the Department of the Air Force:  Deputy General Counsel (Acquisition), December 2011 to June 2014; Deputy General Counsel (Dispute Resolution), April 2010 to December 2011; Assistant Deputy General Counsel (Contractor Responsibility), July 2009 to April 2010, Assistant Deputy General Counsel (Dispute Resolution), October 2004 to July 2009.

Previously, Judge O’Sullivan engaged in the private practice of law in Washington, D.C., focusing on government contract litigation and counseling, including as a partner with the firms of Miller & Chevalier, Fried Frank, and Perkins Coie.  She is an active member of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law, including service as Vice Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Co-chair of the Accounting, Cost & Pricing Committee, Budget and Finance Officer, and Council Member. She has authored articles and spoken on numerous government contract and alternative dispute resolution topics.

Judge O’Sullivan received her B.A. degree from The American University, Washington, D.C., and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. She is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.

Marcia Madsen is Chair of the Government Contracts practice and Co-Chair of the National Security practice. She represents contractors in regulatory, policy, transactional, litigation, and investigative matters involving virtually every federal department and agency. Her clients include defense contractors, information technology and systems integrators, telecommunications companies, engineering firms, insurers, and manufacturing companies. Marcia's practice includes defense of False Claims Act matters, internal investigations, audits, bid protests, claims and disputes before administrative forums, and in the federal courts (with emphasis on the US Court of Federal Claims and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), as well as ADR and mediation proceedings. Areas of concentration include: aerospace and defense, systems integration, information systems and telecommunications, healthcare and bio-technology, homeland security, environmental remediation, and research and development.

Moshe Schwartz is an associate at Etherton and Associates, serving as an expert in defense acquisition and industrial base policy. He served as Executive Director of the congressionally mandated Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations and spent 15 years providing analysis and legislative support to Congress on acquisition policy and industrial base issues, including as a specialist at the Congressional Research Service and senior analyst at GAO. He has testified before Congress and written extensively on a wide range of acquisition and industrial base issues, including defense acquisition reform, contract types, cost and pricing, Other Transaction Authorities, the use of Major Defense Acquisition Programs, socioeconomic policies, the Defense Production Act, GAO bid protests, and the DOD Audit, and wartime contracting.

Mr. Schwartz also served as senior advisor to the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an advisor at ISAF headquarters in Afghanistan.

Mr. Schwartz taught at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and spent five years teaching courses on congress and acquisition policy at National Defense University’s Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.

He received an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, a Masters of Science in Public Policy Management from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, and a J.D. from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law.

Patricia M. McCarthy is an Assistant Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the United States Department of Justice. Ms. McCarthy supervises commercial and international trade litigation. She also represents the United States in wide variety of matters before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Court of International Trade.  Ms. McCarthy has extensive expertise in complex government contract disputes, government procurement challenges, antidumping and countervailing duty litigation, Administrative Procedure Act causes of action, customs penalty actions, and state-to-state arbitrations.  She has received numerous awards, including two John Marshall Awards, the Department of Justice’s highest award offered to attorneys for contributions and excellence in specialized areas of legal performance.  Before joining the Department of Justice in 1994, Ms. McCarthy was an associate with the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould. Ms. McCarthy graduated from Colby College, cum laude, and she received her J.D. degree from Cornell Law School.

Sandy Hoe has practiced government contracts law for more than 45 years.

His expertise includes issues of contract formation, negotiation of subcontracts, the structuring of complex private financing of government contracts, public private partnerships, the preparation of complex claims, bid protests and the resolution of post-award contract disputes through litigation or alternative dispute resolution.  His clients include major companies in the defense, telecommunications, information technology, financial, construction and health care industries.  For many years he has been active in the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association, co-chairing the Section’s committee on Privatization, Outsourcing and Financing Transactions and serving on the Section Council.  Previously, he co-chaired the Section on Government Contracts and Litigation of the District of Columbia Bar.  He has worked extensively outside his formal practice to assist foreign governments develop both procurement and public private partnership capabilities.  These efforts have included serving as pro bono counsel to the Government of Liberia in the drafting of a new procurement code and implementing regulations, working with the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program to build public procurement and public private partnership capacity in the governments of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and joining Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, to lecture in China on public private partnerships.  Closer to home, he served as Outside General Counsel to the Section 809 Congressional Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying DoD Acquisition Regulations, taught procurement law as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University, and is Chairman of the Board of Public Contracting Institute.  Super Lawyers 2013 recognized him as one of the nation's leading government contracts lawyers, and in 2009, the Washington Business Journal name Mr. Hoe “Top Washington Lawyer” in Government Contracts. 

Alice Eldridge is senior vice president, General Counsel and Secretary of BAE Systems, Inc., responsible for all legal matters associated with BAE Systems, Inc. and its businesses, which collectively employ more than 33,000 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Israel, and generated sales of approximately $10.8 billion in 2018. She is also responsible for the organization's Contracts, Security, Ethics, Compliance and Export Control functions. Additionally, Eldridge is a member of the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors. With more than 25 years of legal experience, Eldridge was appointed to this position after as vice president and Chief Counsel for the BAE Systems, Inc. Platforms & Services sector, comprised of the Combat Vehicles, Weapons Systems, Ship Repair, Protection Systems, Ordnance Systems, and Hägglunds business units.

Prior to joining BAE Systems in 2012, Eldridge held a number of leadership positions in the legal function for Lockheed Martin Corporation. During her tenure, she also served as vice president of Ethics and Business Conduct.

Eldridge earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Vermont at Burlington, and she holds a Juris Doctor degree with honors from the George Washington University, National Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Ethan Saxon recently served as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ). For eight years, he advised Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) on all defense, foreign policy and national security issues. From 2017 to 2018 he was Deputy Chief and led the Senator's oversight and investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 federal election and ongoing conflicts of interest in the Trump Administration. From 2015 to 2016, he was the Democratic Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, after having served as Legislative Director and National Security Advisor for Senator Blumenthal since 2011.

Prior to working in the Senate, Ethan served as an Analyst on the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves and the 2005 Base Closure & Realignment Commission. From 2002 to 2005, Ethan was a Military Legislative Assistant to Congressman Jim Maloney (D-CT) and then Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), both members of the House Armed Services Committee. Originally from Australia, Ethan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Australian National University and graduate degrees from the United States Naval War College and Georgetown University.

Judge Bruggink was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on April 15, 1986 and entered on duty April 21, 1986. He is a cum laude graduate of Auburn University, receiving a B.A. degree in sociology in 1971 and an M.A. degree in speech in 1972. Judge Bruggink received his J.D. in 1975 from the University of Alabama School of Law, where he was a Hugo Black Scholar and Note and Comments Editor of the Alabama Law Review.

Judge Bruggink was appointed Director, Office of Appeals Counsel of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board in November 1982, and served in that position until his appointment as Judge of the Court of Federal Claims. He formerly served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Frank H. McFadden of the Northern District of Alabama, and as an associate with the law firms of Steiner, Crum & Baker in Montgomery, Alabama, 1979-1982, and Hardwick, Hause & Segrest in Dothan, Alabama, 1976-1977. He was Assistant Director of the Alabama Law Institute from 1977 to 1979, during which time he established the Office of Energy and Environmental Law and served as its first director.

Born in Kalidjati, Indonesia, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1960, and speaks Dutch. Judge Bruggink is married to the former Melinda Harris, and has two sons, John and David. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Federal Circuit Bar.

Judge Wheeler was appointed to the United States Court of Federal Claims on October 24, 2005. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1973, and his undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1970. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and of the American Bar Association's Public Contracts and Litigation Sections.

From 1973 to 2005, Judge Wheeler was in private practice in Washington, D.C. He was an associate and partner in the law firm of Pettit & Martin until 1995, and then moved as a partner to the law firm of Piper & Marbury. Through mergers with other firms, Piper & Marbury became known as Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe, and later as DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. During his years in private practice, Judge Wheeler specialized in Government Contract claims, litigation, and counseling, representing a wide variety of large and small business clients. He appeared before many agency boards of contract appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims and its predecessors, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a number of United States District Courts, and the Government Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office).

Judge Wheeler is married, and has two grown children. Judge Wheeler is active in his Church and community, and he previously served for many years as a youth soccer coach and referee. His outside interests include skiing, photography, writing, softball, and hiking.

Matthew McNease is an Acquisition Attorney in the Aviation and Missile Command Redstone Arsenal Legal Center Aviation Branch.  He serves as lead Acquisition Attorney for the Black Hawk program office and the Aviation Turbine Engines Project Office, which includes support of the T901 and T700 engines.  Additionally, he provides acquisition support to the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD).  As an Acquisition Attorney for the Army, Mr. McNease provides legal reviews and business judgement advice at all stages of an acquisition, from pre-solicitation to litigation after award.  To date, Mr. McNease has worked on protests with a combined acquisition value of approximately $3B.  Mr. McNease is also a member of the board of the Northern Alabama Federal Bar Association.  

Prior to joining the Army acquisition workforce in 2016, Mr. McNease served as a Federal criminal prosecutor in Yosemite National Park for almost five years.  Mr. McNease earned his Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 2011 and passed the California Bar in the same year.  Mr. McNease also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University in 2007. 

Roger serves as president of the Coalition for Government Procurement and brings more than 25 years of high-profile government contracting experience.  In his role as president, Roger promotes common sense in government procurement and works to ensure the procurement system provides sound business opportunities that deliver best value for customer agencies and the taxpayer.

Roger has extensive experience in GSA Multiple Award Schedule and IT GWAC Programs  including 20 years with the General Services Administration.  During his time at GSA Roger held several positions including Senior Assistant General Counsel, Director, Acquisition Management Center, and finally, as Acting Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer, where he was responsible for the development, issuance and monitoring of acquisition policies and procedures governing GSA’s $60 billion procurement operations.  While at GSA Roger was selected by the Executive Office of the President, to serve on the 14 member Services Acquisition Reform Act (SARA) Acquisition Advisory Panel, which provided extensive recommendations to Congress and OMB on effective and efficient procurement of commercial services.

Prior to joining the Coalition Roger was counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, where he advised clients on all aspects of government contracting including review of solicitations, contract compliance issues, subcontracts and teaming agreements, data rights, organizational and personal conflicts of interest, ethics, suspension and debarment, performance disputes and audits.  In addition, Roger participated as litigation counsel in several major GAO bid protests including the Army’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, NASA’s GOES-R and the FBI’s Next Generation Identification contract awards.

Roger is the host of the WFED radio show Off the Shelf, and the leading contributor to the FAR and Beyond blog. He has also appeared on Executive Leaders Radio, a program dedicated to honoring individuals who have risen to leadership roles through hard work and dedication.  Roger also serves as a Director on the Procurement Round Table. Roger is also a member of the George Washington University Law School Government Contracts Advisory Board.

Roger holds a AB from Bowdoin College and a JD from University of Richmond.  Roger is a member of the bar in Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

Jonathan Etherton, President of Etherton and Associates, Inc., has nearly 35 years of experience working in and with Congress and the Executive Branch on national security funding and acquisition policy issues.

Jon served 18 years as a staff member in the United States Senate, including 14 years on the professional staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. While serving on the committee staff, He was responsible for managing public policy and budget issues before the Subcommittee on Acquisition and Technology, including; acquisition policy, funding for technology base and research and development programs, industrial base policy and selected defense trade issues. Serving as the principal republican committee staff member for acquisition policy and reform from 1985 to 1999, he played a leading role in the development and enactment of such legislation as the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996 (also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act).

Since leaving Capitol Hill in February 1999, Jon Etherton served first as Assistant Vice President, then Vice President, for Legislative Affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association of America.

Jon served as a member of the Acquisition Advisory Panel from 2005-2007, a Federal advisory committee appointed pursuant to section 1423 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 to review and make recommendations on all Federal acquisition laws, policies and regulations. Jon Etherton is a member of the Procurement Roundtable, a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Contract Management Association, a member of the board of advisors to the Coalition on Government Procurement, and also serves as the Senior Fellow for Acquisition Reform at the National Defense Industrial Association. He is co-author of Pathway to Transformation: NDIA Acquisition Reform Recommendations submitted to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in November 2014. Jon also contributed to Defense Acquisition Reform: Where do we go from here?  Published in October 2014 by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Jon Etherton has received special recognition and several awards, including a Federal Computer Week Federal 100 Award in 1995, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) Procurement Innovation Award in 1999, the David D. Acker Skill in Communication Award from the Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association in 2004, and induction into the Defense Acquisition University Hall of Fame in 2008. Jonathan Etherton has been selected by the National Contract Management Association to receive the 2015 Herbert Roback Memorial Award for contributions to the betterment of public contracting. (NOVEMBER 2014) Jonathan Etherton has been appointed onto the Board of Trustees at The Subcontract Management Institute. 

Michael Granston is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  He is also serves as the Civil Division’s Deputy Designated Agency Ethics Official. 

Michael graduated from Yale Law School. After graduation he served as a law clerk to the Honorable David Ebel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Jan Dubois of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and worked at the law firm of Covington and Burling.

Michael joined the Department in 1997, and during his 24 years with the Department, has lectured extensively about the Department’s affirmative enforcement activities and responsibilities. 


Judge Chadwick earned a B.A. from Harvard College, and a J.D., Order of the Coif, from Stanford Law School, where he was managing editor of the Stanford Law Review. After law school he served as an Associate with Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP, as a Law Clerk to Hon. Pamela A. Rymer, Circuit Judge, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as an Associate with Morrison Foerster LLP. He later served as a Trial Attorney and Senior Trial Counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch, and as a Senior Litigator with the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition. Subsequently he became Senior Litigation Counsel with Sanford Heisler Kimpel LLP, and then a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, Contract and Fiscal Law Division.

Ralph White is a Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law, within the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Since joining GAO in 1989, Mr. White has handled bid protests as a writing attorney/hearing officer, as an Assistant General Counsel leading a team of GAO attorneys, and since early 2010, as the Managing Associate General Counsel leading GAO’s bid protest forum.

Prior to joining GAO, Mr. White was an associate attorney in the Washington, D.C. Office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson, where he practiced government contracts law from 1985 to 1989.  Prior to entering private practice, Mr. White worked for six years as a Senate staffer, including serving on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Oversight Subcommittee of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.  In the Senate, Mr. White specialized in federal procurement policy, including staff work on the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, and other procurement-related legislation.

Mr. White is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (B.S. 1978), and the Catholic University Law School (J.D. 1985).