Norton A. Schwartz

From leading the US Air Force to redefining the private sector's role in national security

General Norton A. Schwartz is the President & CEO of BENS. He led the United States Air Force as its 19th Chief of Staff from 2008 to 2012.


In his tenure on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served as the senior uniformed Air Force officer, and was responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 680,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas.

Serving as BENS’ President & CEO since joining the organization in 2013, General Schwartz continues a long and prestigious career of service and senior leadership that spans over four decades. In addition to overseeing a driven, multidisciplinary staff spread out among seven offices across the nation, General Schwartz also in his current role advises and executes the organizational strategy set out by BENS’ distinguished Board of Directors and the over 400 dedicated BENS members that volunteer their time and treasure to improve our national security. Under his results-focused leadership, BENS has experienced demonstrable improvement in the quality of products the organization provides its government partners as well as increased the impact BENS members are making to provide business-driven solutions to our most pressing security challenges.

General Schwartz took the helm at BENS following nearly 40 years in uniform, last serving as the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs functioned as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.

He also served as Commander of the Special Operations Command-Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and the 11th Air Force. Prior to assuming his position as Chief, General Schwartz commanded U.S. Transportation Command where he was the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense.

General Schwartz is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours in a variety of aircraft. He participated as a crewmember in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon, and in 1991 served as Chief of Staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1997, he led the Joint Task Force that prepared for the noncombatant evacuation of U.S. citizens in Cambodia.

General Schwartz is a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. He is an alumnus of the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a 1994 Fellow of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI.

He and his wife Suzie reside in McLean, VA.

Norton A. Schwartz




Government & Politics



United States Air Force