Last Updated: 02/20/2014*
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has inducted Raytheon executive Rebecca Rhoads into its Engineering Hall of Fame, honoring her rise from a young missile engineer to head of the one of the defense firm's core businesses.
Rhoads leads Raytheon’s Global Business Services and Information Technology, which comprises more than 3500 employees worldwide who deliver the corporation’s core services and support its technology infrastructure.
Rhoads is part of the inaugural class of the Engineering Hall of Fame, created to inspire future students as part of the University’s 75th anniversary and the College of Engineering’s 55th anniversary. The theme of the Feb. 19 induction ceremony’s was “Dream Big: Engineering Success Stories.”
Rhoads was born in Indiana. Following in her father’s footsteps, she chose to study electrical engineering at Cal Poly Pomona because she believed electronics would play a significant role in the future, particularly in computing and automation.
As a young engineer, Rhoads worked on the Rolling Airframe Missile, Standard Missile and Stinger missile programs. In 2001 she became Raytheon’s chief information officer and built a “one company” technology platform that dramatically improved the company’s efficiency.
"For me, making a difference in support of a mission that I believe in – helping our military and its allies – has been undeniably rewarding," Rhoads said.
In January 2013 the company created Global Business Services to provide core services to employees and suppliers, and in December Rebecca was named president of Global Business Services.
Rebecca has benefitted from her own interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and taught engineering courses at Cal Poly during the early years of her career. She has also been a sponsor of Raytheon’s Womens Network, a supporter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a frequent speaker on cyber, technology and diversity and inclusion.
In February the company named Rebecca its Executive Diversity Champion, a role through which she will continue to elevate the company’s discussion around the importance of diversity and inclusion.
“The journey that Raytheon has been on -- through the work of our diversity teams, leaders, champions, employees and employee resource groups -- is a journey that I am proud to have been a part of and to have learned from,” she said.