Thomas M. O'Leary 

January 14, 1952 - June 5, 2018


It is with extreme sadness that we share that our esteemed colleague and friend, Colonel Thomas M. O’Leary, USMC (Ret.) passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.  Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow upon losing such an important part of the Potomac Institute family.

Tom O'Leary served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and board member of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2001. In July of 2001, he joined the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as a Senior Research Fellow and was subsequently detailed as an IPA from Potomac Institute to the Department of Navy. While an IPA, he served as the first Program Manager for the Littoral Combat Future Naval Capabilities program, then as the Director, Expeditionary Warfare Operations Technology Division, Office of Naval Research, and finally as Technical Director, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. As a Marine, he served in a variety of service and joint command and staff assignments. He participated in several operations to include the Multi-National Peace-Keeping Force, Beirut; Operation Snowcap; Operation Desert Shield; Operation Desert Storm; Operation Sea Angel; and Operation Restore Hope. He also participated in the Marine Corps' Advanced Warfighting Experiments (AWE) Hunter Warrior and Urban Warrior. Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, he joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as a Research Staff Member where he was the Task Leader for the Joint Study on Effects Based Operations. 

Tom O'Leary is survived by his wife Karen (Hughes) O’Leary; daughter, Amy and son, TC; his brother, Neal O’Leary and sister-in-law Nancy O’Leary.


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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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