Chairman and chief advocate

Raytheon CEO set to lead top US defense industry trade group

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy, newly appointed 2018 chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association.

The Aerospace Industries Association, the leading U.S. aerospace and defense trade group, has appointed Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy as chairman of its Board of Governors for 2018. Kennedy was named during AIA’s December 1 Board of Governors & Membership Meeting. 

AIA advocates for the U.S. defense industry on Capitol Hill, within the administration and internationally. Its membership is comprised of more than 340 major aerospace and defense companies and their suppliers. Together, they embody every high-tech manufacturing segment of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry, including commercial aviation and avionics, manned and unmanned defense systems, and space technologies and satellite communications.

"AIA and our member companies are the heartbeat of the American economy,” said Kennedy. “We are engines of research and development, innovation and manufacturing. And we are one of our nation’s great sources of rewarding, good-paying, noble jobs that help millions live the American Dream."

Kennedy served as AIA vice chairman in 2017. As AIA chairman for 2018, he will succeed outgoing AIA chairman Dennis A. Muilenburg, chairman of the board, president and CEO of The Boeing Company.

Raytheon's Kennedy with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg
Raytheon's Kennedy with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the outgoing association chairman.

Other appointments made at the December 1 meeting include Eric K. Fanning, who will serve as AIA president and CEO. He succeeds David F. Melcher. 

"It is an honor to serve as AIA chairman and join with Eric Fanning in advancing our industry's cause and helping members be more competitive in the global marketplace," Kennedy said.

Melcher welcomed Kennedy's appointment as incoming AIA chairman, saying, "Tom has served in a variety of positions on our Executive Committee, including as vice chair in 2017. Under his leadership, Raytheon has championed broad efforts to recruit the next generation of America’s best and brightest into the aerospace and defense workforce. We welcome his perspective and look forward to working with him in 2018 to achieve our industry’s priorities."

Kennedy became CEO of Raytheon in April 2014 and added the responsibilities of chairman in October of that year. A veteran of the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of captain, Kennedy first came to Raytheon in 1983 while finishing his doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his Raytheon career working on radar systems and holds several patents. Over the years he has also served as chief operating officer and president of Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business.

Published On: 12/06/2017
Last Updated: 01/11/2018