Lt. Gen. William J. Bender, USAF (Ret.)

Chairman of the Board, AFCEA International

Bill bender photo


Lt. Gen. William J. Bender, USAF (Ret.), currently serves as senior vice president - Strategic Accounts & Government Relations, within Business Development at Leidos. Gen. Bender is responsible for strengthening and advancing trusted customer relationships and advancing strategic initiatives to foster enterprise growth. 

Gen. Bender brings more than 34 years of military experience and executive-level leadership in multiple facets of information technology (IT) and government services. Gen. Bender most recently served as chief information officer for the U. S. Air Force (USAF), where he was responsible for 50,000 cyber operations and support personnel across the globe with oversight for the USAF’s IT investment strategy and a portfolio valued at $17 billion.

Prior to his most recent role, Gen. Bender was the second-highest-ranking military officer based at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, serving as the deputy chief, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, with oversight and management of foreign military sales and security cooperation initiatives supporting U.S. diplomatic relations with the government of Iraq. His leadership tenure in the USAF also includes serving as chief operations officer with overall operations, training and readiness responsibility for 20,000 personnel, as well as executive staff director and joint duty officer to European Command and U.S. Transportation Command commanders with responsibility for theater-wide and global logistics operations. 

Gen. Bender was commissioned in 1983 after earning a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering from Manhattan College. He also holds a Master of Arts in national strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, an MBA in business and aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and numerous certificates from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.