Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association announced today that David F. Melcher will become its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 8, 2015.
“Dave is an exceptional leader who, with his balance of corporate and military experience, brings an outstanding record of executive achievement to AIA,” said AIA Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David L. Joyce. “With Dave’s guidance, AIA will continue to champion the aerospace and defense industry and its ability to advance innovation in civil aviation, space and defense.”
Melcher is well known in Washington and to AIA member companies. Most recently Melcher was Chief Executive Officer and President of Exelis Inc., a leading global aerospace, defense and information solutions company. In this role, he served four years as a member of AIA’s Executive and Finance Committees.
Following a 32-year career in the U.S. Army, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Melcher joined ITT Corporation first as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development and then as President, ITT Defense and Information Solutions, before becoming the inaugural chief executive at Exelis following its spinoff from ITT in Oct. 2011. Melcher also led Exelis through its recent successful merger with Harris Corporation in May 2015.
Melcher has extensive program management, strategy development and finance experience, and worked closely with key leadership within the Army, Department of Defense, White House, and Congress. His Army career highlights include battalion and brigade command in Infantry and Armored divisions, and high-level military leadership and staff positions. As a general officer, he served in the Pentagon as the Army’s Military Deputy for Budget, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs (G8). He also served as Commanding General of the Corps of Engineers – Southwest Division in Dallas.
“Our nation currently faces a number of critical global challenges and we must have a strong, vibrant aerospace and defense industry to keep our men and women in uniform safe and successful on the battlefield, ensure that more than two million airline passengers travel safely and efficiently every day, and enable humankind to explore the frontiers of space,” Melcher said.
“Our industry represents more than one million skilled workers in all 50 states, is the nation’s largest net exporter and is one of the biggest contributors to the annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To maintain this leadership, we must invest in the research and development necessary to discover innovative, lifesaving and cutting-edge technologies that equip our military and benefit all of society. This is an exciting time and I am proud to lead AIA in its advocacy efforts.”