Van Munching Hall’s Frank Auditorium was packed with students, faculty, staff, and dozens of alumni who are currently working at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to hear SAIC’s CEO Walter P. Havenstein on Nov. 3, 2010, for the CEO @ Smith Speaker Series, sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam thanked SAIC for its strong partnership with the Smith School, A. James Clark School of Engineering and the university. More than 100 SAIC associates have gone through the Smith Executive MBA program and SAIC works regularly with the school’s QUEST program consulting with undergraduate students. SAIC has 45,000 employees, with the largest concentration (17,000) in the D.C.-metro area. The university and SAIC announced a strategic partnership on cybersecurity last month to create the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.
Havenstein joined SAIC as chief executive officer in September 2009 and described the company’s relationship with the university as “fascinating and enduring.” He has a strong connection to the University of Maryland, though not an alumnus himself – five of his siblings and his wife are proud Terps. He grew up nearby in Bethesda, Md, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy.
In his address, he talked about the importance of principled leadership, life-long learning and continuous service. He said the best leaders are technically competent, resilient and have a passion for learning – always striving for continuous improvement. They focus on partnerships, trust and empower people, and provide a safe and healthy working environment.
Prior to joining SAIC, Havenstein served as chief operating officer and member of the board of directors for BAE Systems, a $34 billion global aerospace and defense company; and as president and chief executive officer of BAE Systems Inc., the company’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, which employs 53,000 people and generates annual sales in excess of $20 billion. Havenstein previously served as president of the Electronics & Integrated Solutions Operating Group within BAE Systems. Before that, he was president of BAE Systems’ Information and Electronic Warfare Systems business unit. He was president of the Sanders defense electronics business prior to it being acquired by BAE from Lockheed Martin in 2000. Until joining Sanders in 1999, he had been vice president and general manager of the Strategic Systems Division for Raytheon. He began his defense industry career at the ITT Aerospace and Communications Division in business development and program management roles.
Havenstein earned a BS in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1971 to 1983, specializing in tactical communications and systems acquisition management, and completed his career in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1999, retiring as a colonel. He serves as chairman of the board for FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a notable non-profit organization founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Additionally, he serves on the board of advisors for the Whitman School of Business at the University of New Hampshire.
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications