CEO@Smith Features SAIC’s Walter Havenstein
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
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
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
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