Blakey, leaving her position as president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), has been an authoritative and influential voice for the aerospace and defense industry, representing approximately 340 of the industry’s leading manufacturers, says a representative. She has promoted the export of civil and defense aviation products, and supported the priorities of America’s thousands of suppliers to aerospace and defense programs.
Blakey’s career also includes a five-year term as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where she operated the world’s largest air traffic control system and managed 44,000 employees and a $14 billion budget. From 2001 to 2002, Ms. Blakey served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), where she led a number of accident investigations, improved the Board’s accident reporting process, and strengthened its advocacy and outreach programs to promote safer travel throughout all modes of transportation.
“We are extremely pleased to have Ms. Blakey leading the North American region because she brings deep industry perspective and is a well-respected voice in Washington. These markets are critical to our Aerospace and Land & Sea Divisions and I am delighted to have a person of her calibre to join us in this role,” affirms Rolls-Royce Plc Chief Executive John Rishton.
“I couldn’t be any more pleased to have Marion take my place as the leader of Rolls-Royce North America. I’ve known her for many years, serving together on the AIA Board of Governors and other very important industry initiatives. She is a valued and trusted voice in our industry, and a wonderful friend. This experience – with AIA and previously with the FAA and NTSB – will be extremely valuable to Rolls-Royce and our 8,000 employees located in the region,” says James M. Guyette, retiring president and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America.
Born in Gadsden, Ala., Blakey received her bachelor’s degree with honors in international studies from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia. She also attended Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for graduate work in Middle East Affairs. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a fellow in the Royal Aeronautical Society, and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Aeronautic Association’s 2011 Henderson Trophy for making “a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States,” Aviation Week & Space Technology’s 2013 Laureate award for AIA’s contributions to workforce development through STEM education activities, and the National Aeronautic Association’s 2013 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, recognizing her “significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”
Rolls-Royce has been present in North America for over 100 years and today it employs more than 8,000 people across the North America region in 26 US states, six Canadian provinces and three Mexican states. Its regional headquarters are located in Reston, Va., with major operations in: Indianapolis, Ind.; Prince George Co., Va.; Walpole, Mass.; Oakland, Ca.; Montreal, Canada; and, the NASA John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss.