Member, Board of Directors, Member, Audit Committee
Edward M. Straw is the founder and managing partner of Osprey Venture Partners—a firm that finds investment capital and assists with business development for startup entrepreneurs. He is the retired President, Global Operations of The Estee Lauder Companies, and currently sits on the boards of the following companies: Academy Securities, Boston Consulting Group Federal, Odyssey Logistics, Helius Medical Technologies, and Lenitiv Scientific. He is the Chairman of Odyssey Logistics.
During his ten-year tenure as Chairman of Odyssey, he has overseen the valuation of the company grow from $40M to $1.5B.
As President, Global Operations for Estee Lauder, Mr. Straw led Lauder’s R&D, package engineering, acquisition, manufacturing, distribution, inventory management, and information systems organizations which supported 20 Estee Lauder Companies around the world. In his five years at Estee Lauder, he is credited with directing significant improvements in their global supply chain and driving major stock price impacting savings to the bottom line.
Prior to joining the Estee Lauder Companies, he was Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management at the $40 billion Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston. Before joining Compaq in late 1998, Mr. Straw was President of Miami-based Ryder Integrated Logistics—then the leading provider of third-party supply chain services in North America.
Prior to joining the private sector, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a three-star Admiral in 1996. Vice Admiral Straw culminated his military service from 1992-1996 as the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency, the nation’s combat logistics support agency and primary provider of global supply chain material and services support for America’s armed forces. He reported directly to the Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L), Dr. Paul Kaminski, and General Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was awarded two Defense Distinguished Service Medals for radical improvement to Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force warfighting readiness. His implementation of just-in-time inventory management practices led to an estimated $10B cost savings to the services between 1992 and 2002.
He also held numerous operational and policy leadership positions at the Navy’s major logistics commands—and was Navy’s lead for logistics planning and execution of material and ordnance support to Navy and Marine Corps forces during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm—while serving as the senior supply officer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. During this period, he also managed the Department of Defense Management Review which achieved $28B in savings between 1990 and 1997.
Admiral Straw received multiple awards throughout his career, including Defense, Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, Harvard University’s School of Public Administration and the Ford Foundation’s Innovations in American Government Award and the Society of Logistics Engineers’ Founders Medal. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Naval Academy and recipient of the Navy Supply Corps’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
Admiral Straw holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University, a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and is a graduate of the National War College.
In addition to the boards listed above, he is a Trustee of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, a ten-year member of the Department of Defense Science Board, a venture affiliate with Boston Millennia Partners, a former pro bono advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and has served on the Board of Directors of Eddie Bauer, MeadWestvaco, Panther Expedited Services, the Navy Federal Credit Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Boy Scouts of America. He has also served in an advisory role to the IBM Federal Group,
Admiral Straw has worked with a group of patriots, since 2010, to regain disability/medical benefits for “Blue Water” Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange related diseases, and in 2017 was selected by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to the Commission for Veterans Benefits. The House and Senate passed HR299 in May 2019, which restored disability and medical benefits to these “Blue Water” Veterans on January 1, 2020. He also takes great pride in assisting young men and women gain admission to the US Naval Academy. Over the past 30 years, he has assisted approximately 75 young men and women graduate from Annapolis.
Admiral Straw has three daughters—Meg, Katie and Silvana. Meg is a Lieutenant in the US Navy Supply Corps. Daughter Katie is a recent Yale graduate and a Nurse Practitioner at the VA Medical Center in West Haven Ct. Silvana is an executive with the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region and leads the Foundation’s highly recognized homeless housing initiatives. He resides in Georgetown with his wife, Christine, an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Middlebury College.