Horacio D. Rozanski’s journey from Argentina to the top of Booz Allen Hamilton

I was born and raised in Argentina. We grew up under a military dictatorship. It was somewhat turbulent.

In 1983, the military relinquished power to the democratic government. That created a huge backlash against authority. We went from one extreme of authoritarianism to an anything-goes type of society.

Our education in some ways was shaped by that.

During the dictatorship, the way you dressed was very regimented. But when things changed, we as a society stopped studying, and we showed up when we felt like it . . .

It was not conducive for learning. It wasn’t a society that my wife and I felt particularly at ease in. That was the impetus for applying to colleges in the United States.

So we wrote to a lot of schools and eventually landed at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Everything was different.

I left Buenos Aires in January and it was 120 degrees, in the middle of a heat wave. I landed in Minneapolis and it was minus-40.

I eventually went to business school at the University of Chicago. I became a summer intern at Booz Allen, which led to a job in the Cleveland office.

My wife and I moved there with an idea that I would be at Booz Allen for three years and move on to the next thing. Twenty-one years later, the rest is history.

Back when I started, if you would have told me I would have this role at the company, I would’ve told you there was something wrong with your crystal ball.

I was a commercial consultant and loved client service. I was excited about working for a client in a way that makes a real difference. I thought that was going to be my career path. My left turn came when I was asked to help rethink the people strategy for the commercial business.

I was not a human relations specialist. If anything, I was a strategist and marketing specialist. But they chose me because I had a reputation for having a passion for people.

It fit my passions.

As an immigrant, I wake up every morning realizing how blessed I am to be here, make a life and work on a mission that enhances the country.

Now, as president, I want to continue to build on the strengths of the firm.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

Horacio D. Rozanski


Position:
 President and chief operating officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, a McLean company that provides management consulting, technology, and engineering services to the U.S. government.

Career highlights: Executive vice president and chief operating officer, Booz Allen; vice president, chief personnel officer, chief strategy and talent officer, Booz Allen.

Age: 45

Education: BBA, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire; MBA, University of Chicago.

business

economy

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Business

business

economy

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.