J. Ronald Fox

Emeritus Professor

Dr. Fox is a member of the Harvard Business School faculty where his research deals with the management of large engineering and construction projects. He has taught courses in project management, competition and strategy, defense and aerospace marketing, and business-government relations. He holds a B.S. degree, cum laude, in physics, from LeMoyne College, and M.A., M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.

Dr. Fox has served as Assistant Secretary of the Army, where he was the senior government official responsible for Army procurement, contracting, and logistics. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. His work in these governmental positions earned him the Exceptional Civilian Service Award from the Air Force and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest decoration for public service awarded by the Department of the Army. In 2004 he was named senior advisor on acquisition to the Department of Defense Acquisition History Project.

Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Fox served four years as a Naval Officer and later as co-founder and executive vice president of Management Systems Corporation--a consulting firm specializing in project planning and control, subsequently acquired by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company. While with Management Systems Corporation, Dr. Fox also served as project manager for the design and pilot test of the Navy's Polaris Program cost planning and control system, introducing the work package costing concept to large engineering development programs. That concept has been adopted as a standard planning and control tool by the Department of Defense, NASA, and by large commercial development and construction projects.

He is author of several articles and books, including: Managing Business-Government Relations, Richard D. Irwin, Inc; The Defense Management Challenge: Weapons Acquisition, Harvard Business School Press; Arming America: How the U.S. Buys Weapons, Harvard University Press; Critical Issues in the Defense Acquisition Culture, Defense Systems Management College; and Challenges in Managing Large Projects, Defense Acquisition University Press. Dr. Fox received the Award For Excellence from the American Society of Military Comptrollers for his article on "Reforming the Defense Acquisition Process" appearing in the U. S. GAO Journal.

In 1983, Dr. Fox was appointed faculty chairman of the Harvard General Management Area and in 1985 to the Tiampo Chair of Business Administration. In June 2001 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Fox has served on the U.S. Comptroller General's Research and Education Advisory Panel, been a member of the Executive Board of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), served as chair of the DAU Board of Visitors, as trustee of the Logistics Management Institute and the Aerospace Corporation, and as director of the American Society for Macro Engineering. He has also been President of the Armed Forces Management Association and has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice and to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 2006 he was named to the Defense Acquisition University Hall of Fame.


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Working Papers

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Work of a Regulatory Agency: The EPA and Toxic Substances

    J. Ronald Fox and Lynne O. Cabot

    Keywords: Government Administration; Environmental Sustainability; Policy; Public Administration Industry; United States;


    Fox, J. Ronald, and Lynne O. Cabot. "Work of a Regulatory Agency: The EPA and Toxic Substances." Harvard Business School Case 380-081, February 1980. (Revised November 1981.) View Details


Other Publications and Materials

  1. Congressional Testimony on Defense Acquisition Policy - U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Acquisition Policy

    J. Ronald Fox

    Keywords: National Security; Contracts; Policy; Business and Government Relations; United States;


    Fox, J. Ronald. "Congressional Testimony on Defense Acquisition Policy - U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Acquisition Policy." U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., September 1988. View Details