President Barack Obama has announced his intention to appoint Linda Gooden, the most senior black executive at Lockheed Martin — the nation's top defense contractor and one of the Fortune 500's 50 largest companies — to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Made up of 30 business chieftains in telecommunications, network services, information technology, finance and aerospace, the NSTAC advises the president on matters related to communications and national security.
Her selection comes as no surprise within the aerospace and defense communities. As executive vice president of Lockheed's Information Systems & Global Solutions, one of the giant's four main divisions, she leads more than 40,000 employees in a group that had more than $12.1 billion in sales in 2009. The division shares its IT expertise with civil, defense, intelligence and other government clients worldwide.
Gooden, 57, has long been recognized as a leader in her field. She was named one of Fortune magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in 2010, and in 2009 she was chosen as one of Black Enterprise magazine's 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America. Three years earlier she received the Black Engineer of the Year Award from the Career Communications Group. Gooden, who has a computer technology degree from Youngstown State University in Ohio, also earned a B.S. in business administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland University College.