Carole Rickard Hedden


Paper: Aviation Week Program Managers Identify Issues Demanding New Best Practices

Abstract: Members of the A&D program/project management community will discuss the hottest issues facing today’s program and project leaders while also identifying areas of best practice most needed to address the challenges of tomorrow. This interactive session will be facilitated by members of the Aviation Week Program Excellence Evaluation Team, including speaker Chris Seat, and Carole Rickard Hedden, who heads Aviation Week’s Program Excellence initiative.

Biography:  Carole Rickard Hedden joined the Aviation Week team in 1996 to provide financial and business analysis and has held a variety of roles over the past two decades. In September 2013 she stood up Aviation Week’s new business unit, Aviation Week Executive Intelligence, to deliver custom news coverage and analysis for industry executives. She also leads Aviation Week’s annual Workforce Study, the Program Excellence initiative, and Executive Roundtables.

The Program Excellence initiative seeks to identify lessons learned and best practices in the art of program leadership, while also providing a process for developing future program executives. Program Excellence is a collaboration of industry program executives, as well as representatives of the Defense Acquisition University, NASA and academia. As of 2015, Program Excellence has evaluated more than 330 system and sub-system level programs and established a professional community of more than 1,200 program managers across the commercial, defense and space sectors.

Aviation Week’s Workforce Study, launched in 1997, serves as the industry’s single source for data about the aerospace and defense workforce and its employers to include demographics, age distribution, hiring plans, professional development and compensation. In 2013, Aviation Week added to this effort our Twenty20s program that identifies top engineering students on the basis of their academic acumen and research, but also their commitment to the community beyond the classroom.

Prior to joining Aviation Week to provide financial analysis and project leadership, Hedden worked for 20 years in the news media and as a corporate communications leader for Austin Peay State University, Honeywell Defense Avionics, and Corning Incorporated. Hedden is the founder of East Mountain High School, a charter high school ranked number one in New Mexico for its students’ academic achievements.