John Wood, PhD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Former US Marine John Wood has spent his career pursuing a penchant for perfection in areas where less-than-perfect performance can be deadly. During more than two decades in military service, civilian sector innovation and academia, he has used his systems engineering expertise to manage high-profile teams and programs in healthcare delivery, aviation asset logistics, military communications, nuclear weapon infrastructure and more. Now, as chief executive officer, he leads teams that use lessons learned in these and other mission-critical arenas to help Cardinal Point clients leverage well-communicated data to drive drastic and continual improvements in performance and quality.

John has led Marines during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; served as chief engineer on a $159M nuclear weapon program; designed a cloud-based analytics environment to predict aircraft component failures credited with averting deadly accidents; and developed a portfolio of sociotechnical innovations designed to lower the burden of US healthcare delivery by over $10B annually. Most recently, as operations director at GCorp Consulting (La Jolla, Calif.) he helped grow the information technology services company from 12 to nearly 100 employees, while also helping healthcare clients identify opportunities to improve patient outcomes, reduce waste and inefficiencies, and employ best practices gleaned from the aviation and defense industries.

At West Health Institute, John developed a portfolio of sociotechnical innovations valued in excess of $10B. During his time at the La Jolla-based nonprofit medical research institute, he led engineering efforts to analyze complex chronic disease progression, and develop innovative diagnosis and treatment solutions to seven musculoskeletal care problem areas.

Earlier, he held high-profile positions at SAIC—a Tysons Corner, VA based government services company—including: chief technology officer responsible for maturation of the prognostics and health management system for a fleet of more than 200 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft; program manager and chief engineer for the Joint Nuclear Command, Control and Communications systems supporting the US Nuclear Triad; and project manager and systems engineer for the Tactical Navy Regional Enterprise Messaging System responsible for official message traffic between ships at sea and shore installations. His many successes include:

  • saving dozens of lives and millions of dollars via the application of his cloud-based aviation data analytics environment;
  • identifying nuclear weapon infrastructure improvements deemed so critical to the nation’s security that the President of the United States was briefed;
  • creating management processes for high-availability, mission-essential systems later adopted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and
  • greatly increasing transfer of battlespace information between bandwidth-limited ships and shore installations without requiring new equipment.

Prior to SAIC, John served as a communications officer in the United States Marine Corps where his accomplishments included:

  • maintaining high availability for the largest communications network in Marine Corps’ history in the face of near-constant physical and cyber attacks during combat operations in Iraq;
  • successfully transitioning 45,000 Marines from an organically managed data network to the outsourced Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI); and
  • aiding in the design and production of the portable MSQ-126 command center and communications hub that has successfully supported combat operations and humanitarian relief efforts, including those following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

A certified Project Management Professional and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, John earned Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in systems engineering at The George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering at the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.). He also earned a graduate certificate in the fundamentals of value-based health care from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (Hanover, N.H.). He is an active member of the International Council on Systems Engineering, and has presented his research at INCOSE, National Defense Industry Association and other engineering conferences; authored original studies published in the premier systems engineering journal; and mentored engineering doctoral candidates.

When the opportunity arises, John likes to escape outdoors, whether it is trout fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, cruising the California coast on his Harley, or simply rooting for his son, wife and mother-in-law as they face opponents on the local soccer fields.