Skunk Works

Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, best known for his time with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, is now a counterterrorism consultant.

The guitarist-turned-defense-consultant does regular work for the Department of Defense and the nation's intelligence community, chairs a congressional advisory board on missile defense, and has lucrative consulting contracts with companies like Science Applications International Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. He says he is in increasing demand for his unconventional views of counterterrorism.

"We thought turntables were for playing records until rappers began to use them as instruments, and we thought airplanes were for carrying passengers until terrorists realized they could be used as missiles," says Mr. Baxter, who sports a ponytail and handlebar mustache. "My big thing is to look at existing technologies and try to see other ways they can be used, which happens in music all the time and happens to be what terrorists are incredibly good at."

He's also on the list of Boston University dropouts to go on to fame and fortune -- though I doubt the conservative Baxter would care to talk politics with many of the others (Rosie O'Donnel, Jason Alexander, Peewee Herman).

[This list of "notable" BU people is interesting, if incomplete. Lots of hockey players on there, of course.]