John Nichols is a Partner and Owner of PRASAM, LLC (doing business as The Potomac Advocates), a premier Defense, Intelligence, Space, Science and Technology and Homeland Security consulting firm. He started in this position on February 1st, 2003.
Prior to joining The Potomac Advocates, he was Vice President, Government Relations, at United Technologies Corporation, a $28 billion international corporation with major defense and commercial businesses. In this capacity, he led a team of seasoned professionals in addressing the corporation’s issues on appropriations and in the legislative and regulatory arenas, both on Capitol Hill and within the Administration and Executive Branch Departments.
Prior to joining UTC, he was Vice President, Congressional Relations, Defense Programs, for the Raytheon Company. He was promoted to this position in June 1998. Previously he was Director, Special Programs in Raytheon’s Congressional Relations office, a position he served in since joining the company in April 1996. As Vice President, Congressional Relations, Defense Programs, he was responsible for ensuring that issues and programs of interest to Raytheon were communicated to Members and staff of Congress who supported the company’s interests.
Prior to joining Raytheon, John was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, where he was Special Assistant for Space, Special Operations, and Intelligence Programs, to Secretary of Defense William Perry. Here he provided representation for the Secretary of Defense on all Space, Special Operations, Intelligence, and Command and Control issues with the United States Congress, managing over $55 billion in Budget Authority. He was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for outstanding achievements while working for the Secretary of Defense.
John served a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. A career Intelligence Officer, he served in a variety of operational positions to include Operations Officer of the RC-135 Rivet Joint squadron in Mildenhall, England, and Detachment Commander of the Air Force Intelligence activities in Key West, Florida. In each of these positions he led over two hundred people performing critical intelligence collection operations, vital to national security. His other assignments have included key leadership and management positions at various locations around the world, including two assignments in Texas, and assignments in Greece, Korea, and the Philippines. In 1992 he was assigned to the Pentagon, where he served first in Air Force Legislative Liaison before moving to the Office of Secretary of Defense in 1994.
John holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Cornell University. He also holds a master’s degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Airpower Art and Science from Air University. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. INSA is the premier not-for-profit, nonpartisan, private sector professional organization providing an interactive forum for thought leadership, the sharing of ideas, and networking within the intelligence and national security communities. Additionally, John is a Member of the Board of Directors of Cockroaches – an informal dinner group that meets approximately six times a year to discuss topics of National Security.