Federal Contractors/Technology: C. JEFFREY ‘JEFF’ KNITTEL
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, AIRBUS AMERICAS INC., HERNDON
As commercial airline demand returns, Dutch aerospace manufacturer Airbus revealed plans to ramp up production of its A320 family of jetliners. In May, the company confirmed a third assembly line would be added at its manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, creating 1,000 jobs and new training programs, with the possibility of a fourth if Airbus wins a contract to sell tankers to the Air Force.
Knittel said at the Alabama announcement that his start at a community college was key to his career path. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and graduated from the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is responsible for Airbus’ business throughout the Americas, including 5,000 employees and its space and defense unit in North America. He also chairs A3 by Airbus, the company’s Silicon Valley-based innovation arm, and serves on the boards of Airbus Ventures, which looks for and invests in early-stage technologies, and Airbus Canada LP.
Knittel is a board member for the National Air and Space Museum and the National World War II Museum.