Preparing yourself to be a leader in the world – Kelly Ortberg


Date(s) - 23 Mar 2016
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium, Howe Hall

As Chairman, President and CEO of Rockwell Collins, Kelly Ortberg has reached the pinnacle of leadership. What’s the key to his success? He pursued his passion. He began his career as a mechanical engineer and soon discovered that many of the same traits that made him a good engineer also made him successful in business. Ortberg will talk about the value of pursuing your passions and how sometimes the path to achieving your career goals may not be a straight line.

About the speaker

Kelly Ortberg is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Rockwell Collins. He was appointed president in September 2012, CEO in July 2013 and was named chairman of the Board for Rockwell Collins in November 2015.

Ortberg joined the company in 1987 as a program manager and held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility over the course of his career. Among other achievements, he played a pivotal role in milestone contracts for Rockwell Collins in both Commercial and Government Systems, launched innovative product lines that continue to transform commercial and military operations, and helped set the strategy for the future direction of the company.

Before becoming president, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Government Systems from February 2010 to September 2012. Government Systems provides airborne and surface solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense, ministries of defense throughout the world and manufacturers of military platforms. In that role, he led major contract wins, including avionics business on the KC46A, KC10 and the Embraer KC390.

Previously, Ortberg served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Commercial Systems for Rockwell Collins, which produces aviation electronics and communications for the air transport, business aviation and regional airline market segments. He was appointed to this position in October 2006 and oversaw pursuit and development programs for the Airbus A350 XWB, Boeing 787 and Bombardier CSeries. He also oversaw the launch of Rockwell Collins’ highly successful Pro Line Fusion ® integrated avionics system, which has been selected for more than 15 platforms ranging from turbo props and light jets to air transport and tanker aircraft for manufacturers across the globe.

A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Ortberg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Iowa.

Ortberg serves on the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), is a member of The Business Council, and serves on the board of directors of FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

Locally, Ortberg is a member of the Iowa Business Council and the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. He also serves on The University of Iowa Engineering Advisory Board and the Hawkeye Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America board.

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