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  • Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Following that, he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis in public policy, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis. McNamara consolidated intelligence and logistics functions of the Pentagon into two centralized agencies: the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Supply Agency. Prior to public service, McNamara was one of the "Whiz Kids" who helped rebuild Ford Motor Company after World War II, and briefly served as Ford's President before becoming Secretary of Defense. A group of advisors he brought to the Pentagon inherited the "Whiz Kids" moniker. McNamara remains the longest serving Secretary of Defense at over seven years .

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