Tom McCabe, Orbital Sciences SVP & General Counsel, Voted to Wash100 as Diverse Business & Legal Leader
Executive Mosaic is honored to announce Tom McCabe, senior vice president and general counsel at Orbital Sciences Corp., as the newest inductee into the Wash 100, the premier group of leaders who create value for the American public and execute strategic vision at the intersection of the public and private sectors.
McCabe kicked off 2014 with a hot start, joining Orbital on Jan. 6 from his role as SVP and general counsel at Alion Sciences and Technology Corp.
With Alion, McCabe told GovCon Exec he held a mandate to “provide strategic, holistic legal and business advice to help Alion grow and succeed in a legal, ethical, low-risk manner,” in addition to formal department responsibilities.
McCabe bridges his lengthy legal background with business acumen attained from senior financial positions at GRC International, the role of president at several companies and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
His previous executive legal roles include vice president and deputy general counsel at XM Satellite Radio, senior legal positions at GRC International and a partnership in law firm McCarthy and Burke.
“I try to bring to the table the business experience as well, and can sometimes make very welcome suggestions just as far as how to structure the business relationships that may even be beyond pure legal advice,” McCabe told GovCon Exec.
“It’s important for the lawyers to put themselves in the shoes of the business people so that their advice is understandable,” McCabe added. “There’s one way I would speak to a lawyer and another way I’d speak to a business person — you have to put it in a language the person understands.”
Now based out of Orbital’s Dulles, Va. headquarters, McCabe is responsible for the company’s functions for regulatory affairs; and legal, ethics and compliance.
McCabe told GovCon Exec that important considerations in the current contracting environment include preparing for challenges to awards given the size of the role protests in the industry.
“Ever-increasing regulation has caused many cases where the law imposes multiple requirements that, in some cases, seem to even contradict each other,” McCabe added, also noting that protecting intellectual property is a growing priority.
“By getting involved in the early phases of a business transaction, the general counsel can help the line managers set things up quickly and creatively,” McCabe noted separately.
“If you don’t involve legal from the start, it’s like you’re taking a trip and you have a GPS in your car, but you don’t turn it on until you’ve been in the car for five hours.”
Executive Mosaic extends its congratulations to Tom and the rest of the Orbital Sciences organization.