Technology Today

2012 Issue 1


Engineering Profiles

Leaders for Global Operations Program

The Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program is a two-year, full-time graduate program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focusing on operations, manufacturing and the supply chain. Started in 1988 to address the competitive challenges faced by American industry, the LGO program has since developed into a more global role, focusing on solving the challenges of operations and manufacturing companies worldwide. LGO is a joint partnership between academia and industry, partially supported and operated by industrial partners, including Raytheon. Raytheon has been involved with the program since 2001. LGO students earn two degrees: an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a master’s in engineering from MIT’s School of Engineering. The mix of business and engineering content allows engineers and others with technical backgrounds to build technical expertise while developing the management skills necessary to become business leaders. Sustained leadership courses and the experience obtained through this program further develop students’ management skills and prepare them for future roles in industry.

A crucial part of the LGO program is a seven-month internship conducted on site with a partner company, typically focusing on high-level projects such as inventory management, new product introductions, workforce modeling and factory layouts. Raytheon has sponsored over 20 of these internships in recent years. Past projects have focused on reducing manufacturing energy consumption, bringing "lean" to engineering processes and increasing shop floor throughput.

Raytheon employees who have graduated from the LGO program and now serve in roles ranging from operations and supply chain managers to integrated product team leads:

Graduate, Class & Business

  • Brad Koetje 1991 SAS
  • Elaine Cooper 1995 SAS
  • Kevin Stewart 1997 RTSC
  • Annabel Flores 2003 SAS
  • Lincoln Sise 2003 SAS
  • Brett Balazs 2004 SAS
  • Yuliya Rovner 2004 SAS
  • Padma Vanka 2004 IIS
  • Chris Caballero 2005 SAS
  • Amber (Dudley) Newell 2005 SAS
  • Josh Simmons 2007 IDS
  • Natalie Chouinard 2009 IDS
  • Akiva Holzer 2009 IDS
  • Brian Masse 2011 IDS
  • Kuldip Sandhu 2011 SAS
  • Steve Smith 2011 SAS
  • Trevor Schwartz 2012 IDS
  • Sarah Clarke 2013 IDS


Natalie Chouinard

Natalie Chouinard

LGO Graduate Profile

As an undergraduate at MIT, Natalie Chouinard was so impressed by the LGO fellows she collaborated with that she made it a goal to attend the program herself. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy, Chouinard joined Raytheon in 2005. She achieved her LGO goal in 2007, becoming a fellow through Raytheon’s Advanced Scholars program. She graduated from the program in 2009 with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA focusing on global strategy. Chouinard is the Raytheon representative on the LGO Operating Committee and supports Luis Izquierdo, vice president of Corporate Operations, in his role on the Raytheon LGO Governing Board. She notes that, “I am grateful for the opportunities Raytheon has given me and I’m please to be part of the strong LGO network at the company.”

Chouinard is currently the Whole Life Engineering lead for Taiwan Patriot, managing the total life cycle for the $3+ billion program. The “global” aspect of the LGO program was particularly helpful in preparing her for her current role, which involves a significant amount of time on site in Taiwan. “I apply lessons learned from LGO every day,” she says, “Application of operations principles, such as lean/Six Sigma, material management, and optimization transfer successfully from the classrooms at MIT to real-life global operations.” She also stresses the importance of the technology component of her dual degree. “I’m a hands-on manager,” she explains. “I lead my teams in problem solving, where the ability to properly understand technical documentation is critical. With my efforts focused on fielded equipment, I also understand the importance of a reliable, supportable and affordable design.” The global and diverse team also reinforced leadership lessons learned from case studies in organizational design. “Collective intelligence from diversity empirically creates better solutions. This has changed my view on how I interact with teams and share solutions.”

Lincoln Sise

Lincoln Sise

LGO Graduate Profile

Lincoln Sise first joined Raytheon in the summer of 2002 as a seven-month LGO intern, working process improvement in the space-cable assembly shop. For Sise, “this was a challenging area — having both high-mix product content and a highly variable workload,” but he was able to successfully apply certain lean principles, particularly around worker empowerment. He provided visual indicators throughout the shop, enabling operators to have a greater degree of freedom in communicating with other functions and determining how product moved through the shop. These experiences were similar to approaches he had seen during a ten-day LGO plant trek through various partner company sites the previous year.

Sise subsequently joined Raytheon as an industrial engineer supporting the Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infra-Red (ATFLIR) program, both in capacity planning and in designing a new “flexible” factory for McKinney, Texas. After that role, Sise worked as the program operations lead for a broad mix of global positioning system (GPS) programs. His role included providing up-front cost modeling and producibility for early-stage engineering and manufacturing design programs, as well as transforming the production strategy of mature programs into long-term supplier relationships that yield significant cost reductions. Currently, Sise leads a 250-person manufacturing organization in El Segundo, Calif., with a broad portfolio of products including optical, space, electronic and classified sensors.

Sise continues to apply the knowledge gained from his LGO experience at Raytheon — particularly in the area of employee empowerment. “We always have cost pressures. Programs rightfully expect us to improve and do more with less. The most efficient way to achieve this is by motivating our people to identify opportunities that they see every day, and then to implement them. We recently adopted Raytheon’s Total Employee Engagement (TEE) strategy to capture and implement employee ideas, and it has been terrific. It is a system where we encourage, enable and recognize all the $1 ideas people have, versus focusing on just the $1 million ideas. These ideas are easier and faster to implement, and we are already seeing improvements in efficiency. Roughly half of my department’s cost savings for programs in 2011 came from TEE.”

Chouinard and Sise agree that collective improvement is core to the LGO program — and it starts the very first day of school when students are grouped into teams where members are encouraged to leverage off of each other. Both Sise and Chouinard continue to maintain strong connections with their classmates, bouncing ideas off of them, informally and through regular knowledge reviews held on the MIT campus. It is this type of collaborative environment that continues to strengthen both LGO and partner companies. For more information about the program, visit

Akiva Holzer, Brian Masse

Top of Page