Edward “Ed” Ward III brings a wealth of technical, research and development, and national security expertise and experience to the Sagamore Institute’s national security team. He is a partner at TitletownTech—a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based venture capital firm investing in early-stage startups—where he focuses on deep-technology investment and development across a broad set of industry verticals.
Before joining TitletownTech, Ed joined Kohler Co. in Kohler, Wisconsin, after retiring from the Navy in 2019. At Kohler, Ed served as the Senior Program Manager for all of Kohler’s Smart Home products, the Director of Aviation and Business travel, and the Director for New Product Development and Process Management. In March 2020, Kohler Co.’s CEO and executive leadership team nominated Ed to lead the global executive team charged with safely navigating the company through the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ed is a retired Navy Commander with 20 years of active-duty service. He received his commission and a Bachelor of Science in Control Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as Naval Flight Officer and flew EP-3Es with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two in Rota, Spain, before transitioning to be a Naval Aviator. As a Naval Aviator, Ed flew F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18E Super Hornets with VFA-83, VFA-105, VFA-106, and Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a Naval Flight Officer and Naval Aviator, Ed accumulated over 3,000 flight hours, over 400 aircraft-carrier arrested landings, and over 200 combat missions supporting operations in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Ed transitioned to U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and Special Operations in 2012. He was a 2007-2008 White House Fellowship National Finalist.
At U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, Ed served as Director of Research and Development and Fires Support Officer. He led and pioneered the development of many precision-guided weapons, sensors, tactics, and collateral damage mitigation measures for a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely piloted aircraft. Following the success of his efforts, the Commander U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and the Vice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff nominated Ed to lead and direct sensitive operations for an interagency task force charged with counter-terrorism missions vital to national security. Members of the National Security Council and Congress commended Ed for “bringing unprecedented cooperation and teamwork to the counter-terrorism community.” In addition, his interagency partners recognized him for his exceptional contributions to national security.
After leaving U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, Ed joined Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. He served as Senior Technical Program Manager and Special Operations Aircraft Portfolio Manager, Executive / Deputy Executive Officer for the Commanding General, and Donovan Group Innovation Lead and Principal AI/ML Engineer before retiring in 2019.
Ed earned his Master of Science in Finance from Indiana University-Bloomington Kelley School of Business and is a Global Association of Risk Professionals certified Energy Risk Professional. He, his wife, and their three children live in Denmark, Wisconsin.