Todd Harrison

Todd Harrison

Senior Fellow, Defense Budget Studies

Areas of Expertise

Defense Budgets, Military Compensation, Portfolio Management, Systems Engineering, Military Space Systems, Defense Acquisitions and Defense Industrial Base



Todd Harrison is the Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Mr. Harrison joined CSBA in 2009 from Booz Allen Hamilton, where he supported clients across the Department of Defense, assessing challenges to modernization initiatives and evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. He previously worked in the aerospace industry developing advanced space systems and technologies and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

Since joining CSBA, Mr. Harrison has authored a number of publications on trends in the overall defense budget, modernization initiatives, the defense industrial base, military personnel costs, and the cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. He frequently contributes to print and broadcast media and has appeared on CNBC, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera English, and Fox News. He has been a guest lecturer for a number of organizations, including Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and the National Defense University. Mr. Harrison is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and for the past two years has been named one of the Defense News 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense.

He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Mr. Harrison combines his budgetary, technical, and engineering experience with a strong background in systems analysis to lead the Budget Studies program for CSBA.

Author Bibliography for Todd Harrison

If the U.S. Military Were Starting Fresh…

July 14, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

If the U.S. military were starting fresh, I would begin by designing a new personnel system. I would put more money into the forms of compensation service members value most,…

How Congress Is Hollowing Out the Military

May 21, 2014 • By Todd Harrison and Bryan ClarkAnalysis

Congress is trying to have it both ways by cutting defense spending and expecting the Defense Department to continue with business as usual. But the savings will have to come from somewhere.

A Tale of Two Budgets

March 10, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

It was the best of budgets, it was the worst of budgets, it was the age of the pivot, it was the age of sequester, it was a time for…

Surprises in the FY 2015 Defense Budget

March 5, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

Much of what was briefed in yesterday’s budget rollout was discussed by Secretary Hagel and Pentagon leaders in advance of the release. There were, however, a few surprises in the…

The FY2015 Defense Budget: Balancing Strategy and Resources

March 3, 2014 • By Todd Harrison

This backgrounder discusses the balance the FY15 defense budget attempts to find among compensation, force structure, modernization, and readiness, and compare the choices made in this budget to the Joint Think…