Sean O’Keefe assumed the responsibilities as EADS North America’s Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2009, and was elected to the company’s Board of Directors effective the same day. His duties include directing EADS activities in the United States, developing strategic partnerships with U.S. companies, and enhancing the participation of EADS in the U.S. marketplace – including the development, growth, and management of large-scale defense acquisition programs.
Globally, EADS is the parent company of some of the most recognized brands in the international aerospace and defense sector including Airbus, Eurocopter, Ariane Space, Astrium, Astrium, Eurofighter and MBDA. The company had annual revenues in 2008 of more than $63 billion and employs some 118,000 people worldwide.
Prior to joining EADS North America, O’Keefe served as a corporate officer of the General Electric Company in the Technology Infrastructure sector, leading the Washington operations of the GE Aviation business. From 2005 to 2008, he served as Chancellor of the Louisiana State University, the chief executive officer, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
On four separate occasions O’Keefe served as a presidential appointee. Prior to leading LSU, he served as the 10th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. O’Keefe joined President George W. Bush’s Administration on inauguration day as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget until December 2001 when he was appointed NASA Administrator.
Appointed Secretary of the Navy in July 1992 by President George Bush, O’Keefe previously served as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Defense since 1989. Before joining then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney’s Pentagon management team in these capacities, he served on the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations staff for eight years and was Staff Director of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His public service began in 1978 upon his selection as a Presidential Management intern.
O’Keefe earned his Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1977 and his Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 1978.