From 2014 until her retirement in 2020, Hudson was chair and CEO of The Cardea Group, a management consulting firm she founded. Previously, she was CEO emeritus of BAE, a U.S.-based subsidiary of BAE Systems, where she served as president and CEO. Earlier, she served as VP of General Dynamics Corporation and president of its armament and technical products business. She currently serves on the boards of Bank of America Corporation and Trane Technologies plc.
BAE Systems, Inc. is a global, U.S.-based defense, aerospace, and security company with approximately 40,000 employees and $12.75 billion in annual revenue. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based BAE Systems plc.
Hudson is an executive director on the BAE Systems plc board of directors and a member of the company’s executive committee. She is also an executive director on the BAE Systems, Inc. board of directors.
Prior to becoming CEO, Hudson was president of BAE Systems' Land & Armaments operating group, the world's largest military vehicle and equipment business, with operations around the world. Before joining BAE Systems, she served for seven years as an officer and vice president of the General Dynamics Corporation and was president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products.
Hudson held a variety of senior management positions in engineering, production operations, program management, and business development during a period of significant consolidation in the defense industry. Beginning her career with the Harris Corporation and Ford Aerospace, she led organizations at Martin Marietta through the Lockheed Martin merger and a subsequent divestiture to General Dynamics.
Selected to receive the USO’s 2011 Woman of the Year Distinguished Service Award, Hudson has received numerous accolades and recognitions for her professional accomplishments and philanthropic activities. Recognized as an innovative leader and trailblazer, she has been featured in numerous periodicals such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Forbes. The London Sunday Times proclaimed her “the first lady of defense.”
Hudson is a member of the Bank of America board of directors. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Aerospace Industries Association and the University of Florida Foundation board. She is a member of the International Women's Forum and C200, the premier global organization of women business leaders. Hudson received C200’s 2011 Luminary Award for Corporate Innovation. For the past four years, she was named one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and has been named one of Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine. In late 2013 she will be inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Hudson received her bachelor's degree in systems engineering with honors. She remains active in the alumni and athletic associations and serves on advisory boards for the College of Engineering. Honored as a Distinguished Alumnus, she is a member of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame. She holds an honorary doctorate in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.