Kent Kresa, Northrop Grumman Corporation's chairman of the board and CEO, is the recipient of the 2002 Navy League of the United States' Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award
. This award was presented at the organization's Sea-Air-Space Exposition Banquet March 27 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Kresa, well known in the defense industry, received the Nimitz Award for his exceptional contribution to maintaining the United States' maritime strength. Kresa's career at Northrop Grumman began in 1975 as vice president and manager of the company's Research and Technology Center, developing new proprietary processes and products for the company. In 1976-82, he served as corporate vice president and general manager of the Ventura Division, a leader in the production of unmanned aeronautical vehicles. In 1982, he was appointed group vice president of the company's Aircraft Group and in 1986 was named senior vice president -- Technology Development and Planning. Kresa was elected president of Northrop Grumman in 1987, chief executive officer in January 1990 and chairman in September 1990.
In recognition of his leadership and contributions to the industry and government, Kresa has received many honors and awards including the Private Sector Council's 2001 Leadership Award for his commitment to improve government efficiency. The Aerospace Historical society presented him with the International von Karman Wings award in 2000 and he received the Bob Hope Distinguished Citizen Award from the National Security Industrial Association in 1996. In 1995, he received the Navy League of New York's Admiral John J. Bergen Leadership Award. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in 1974 and the Navy's Meritorious Public Service Citation in 1975. Kresa has been elected president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for a one-year term commencing May 2002. He is a graduate of M.I.T. and received a B.S., M.S. and an E.A.A. all in aeronautics and astronautics.
"In this, its centennial year, the Navy League is proud to give this award to an incredibly dedicated and visionary individual in the defense industry," said Navy League National
President Timothy O. Fanning, who presented the award to Kresa.
The Nimitz award is named after Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, whose qualities of leadership, statesmanship, and dedication exemplify his commitment to the need for a strong maritime defense supported by American industry.