Dennis Bartow

President & Founder

Dennis has three decades of expertise in national security and the private sector. Before founding Polemarchoi, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for African Affairs Policy, the most senior official in the Pentagon on matters related to Africa. As DASD, he was responsible for providing policy advice and support to the Secretary of Defense and other senior Department of Defense (DoD) leaders. He helped lead the Pentagon’s global strategic competition effort with a policy focus on defense support for economics, and establish the highly successful Prosper Africa interagency framework, the whole-of-government trade and investment initiative with Africa, representing the DoD in the National Security Council-led effort.

In 2019, he was selected as Director of DoD’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). He led a network of more than 700 small business professionals and was the principal advisor to the secretary of Defense on small business. Small business procurements represent more than 20% of all procurements within the DoD. He was also responsible for integrating all DoD small business activities and overseeing the Department’s small business specialists and acquisitions workforce. Dennis worked to coordinate the diverse aspects of the small business programs into a balanced and coherent program that supports the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and the defense industrial base.

From October 2017 until his appointment as DoD’s OSBP Director, Dennis served as a Special Assistant to the DASD for African Affairs Policy. There he served as the Action Officer for Central Africa, and as the lead for security cooperation and resources. He provided critical leadership in support of U.S. AFRICOM’s entire security cooperation portfolio, and impacted the U.S. security cooperation and security assistance global budget as a member of the Security Cooperation Executive Policy Committee.

From 2014 to 2017, Dennis served in the Counterterrorism Division at Interpol Washington as a Military Operations Subject Matter Expert. While at Interpol, Dennis led the advancement of U.S. law enforcement interests in the areas of identity intelligence and anti-piracy. For three years, he led a Department of State International Narcotics and Law Enforcement-funded project with five African nations to combat marine piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Dennis was raised in Canton, Ohio, and is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He has five years of congressional staff experience covering issues such as military and veteran affairs, homeland security, foreign policy, education, and housing, as both a constituent case worker and Military Legislative Assistant. He has also served in senior staff management and advisor roles for the President of the United States and members of the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and Ohio Senate.

He is a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran with 29 years of honorable military service, 23 of which were in support of U.S. Army Special Forces and Special Operations units. Dennis comes from a family of entrepreneurs, has started several other successful businesses, and is a 70% service-disabled veteran. He lives with his wife and three children in Northern Virginia.