SAIC CEO Appointed Chairman of FIRST Board of Directors
SAIC CEO Appointed Chairman of FIRST® Board of Directors
Walt Havenstein continues tradition of commitment to K-12 robotics programs
MANCHESTER, N.H., June 2, 2010 ― FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, has announced the appointment of Walt Havenstein, chief executive officer of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI) as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Havenstein brings with him 27 years of experience in the technology and defense sectors. This experience will give the FIRST Board valuable insight as they develop growth strategies and goals for the K-12 robotics programs.
Earlier in the year, SAIC announced an enterprise-wide program to help inspire, engage and educate students in K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Kicking off the long-term nationwide effort, the company has formed strategic relationships with leading non-profit organizations with demonstrated results in the STEM arena, including FIRST which received a $600,000 sponsorship from the company.
“Walt brings such a wealth of knowledge to our organization,” said Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and President of DEKA Research and Development. “I am looking forward to benefiting from the wisdom and experience that Walt adds to our team of directors and I am excited to see what great things will happen for FIRST and the community under Walt’s leadership.”
Mr. Havenstein has been involved with FIRST and its over 212,000 participants and 95,000 volunteers since 2006. He has been a member of the Board for four years.
“For America to remain economically competitive our next generation of leaders must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them productive. FIRST addresses this challenge, inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders,” said Havenstein, SAIC CEO and newly-elected FIRST chairman. “I look forward to furthering my support of FIRST, as they continue to inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership – skills at the heart of today’s hightech, high-skill global economy.”
As part of SAIC's initiative, the company is also launching a more robust employee volunteerism program that will help SAIC reinforce and enhance its existing STEM activities and participate in new STEM efforts across the United States.
"Walt’s extensive proven leadership, incredible wealth of technology, management and operations experience and many years dedicated to furthering the mission of FIRST have added significant depth to our growing organization and we are pleased that he will continue giving us his passion for engineering," said John Abele, immediate past Chair.
Havenstein joined SAIC as chief executive officer in 2009. He is also a member of SAIC's board of directors. Prior to joining SAIC, Havenstein served as chief operating officer and member of the board of directors for BAE Systems plc, a $34 billion global aerospace and defense company; and president and chief executive officer of BAE Systems Inc., the company's wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, which employs 53,000 employees 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. Havenstein was president of the Sanders defense electronics business prior to it being acquired by BAE from Lockheed Martin in 2000. Before joining Sanders in 1999, he had been vice president and general manager of the Strategic Systems Division for Raytheon.
Beginning his defense industry career at the ITT Aerospace and Communications Division in business development and program management roles, he also 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 received a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also serves on the board of directors of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation; and on the board of advisors for the University of New Hampshire, Whittemore School of Business.
SAIC is a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. The company's approximately 45,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. Headquartered in McLean, Va., SAIC had annual revenues of $10.8 billion for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2010. For more
information, visit www.saic.com. SAIC: From Science to Solutions®
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for highschool students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.