Neil Kacena

Vice President Technology Innovation and Strategic Pursuits Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems

Neil Kacena is vice president of Technology Innovation and Strategic Pursuits for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems is a leading provider of integrated sensor, communication andelectronic warfare systems giving military forces accurate and timely actionable information for the network-centric battlefield. With a workforce of more than 13,500 and 2018 sales of $6.7 billion, SAS is headquartered in McKinney, Texas, with operations across the U.S. and internationally.

As a member of the SAS leadership team, Kacena leads advanced technology and strategic innovation efforts for SAS and is responsible for driving technology to market, creating competitive discriminators and integrated solutions, and guiding critical SAS campaigns.

Previously, Kacena was deputy to the vice president of Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works) at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. There, he guided development and execution of ADP strategies; led the creation of advanced system concepts, product improvements and derivatives; and supported operational analysis, advanced prototyping, technology development and integration across company and corporate organizations.

Before that Kacena served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring with the rank of colonel. During his 25-year career, he was a fighter pilot in F-4 Phantom and F-15 Eagle aircraft, and served as a Fighter Weapons School instructor, commander of the 9th Fighter Squadron, and as chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Qatar. His last position was director of Special Programs for the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

Kacena holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University (ISU) and a master’s degree in management from Troy State University (now Troy University, Alabama).

He is affiliated with several organizations including the Order of Daedalians, National Management Association, National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and currently serves on ISU’s Engineering College Industrial Advisory Council. Kacena is a recipient of NDIA’s Combat Survivability Award for lifetime achievement and the Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer Award.

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