NEWPORT NEWS, Va., (Jan. 30, 2023) — Global all-domain defense provider HII (NYSE: HII) announced today that Eric Chewning, former chief of staff to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, is joining HII as executive vice president, Strategy & Development, reporting directly to HII President and CEO Chris Kastner. Chewning assumes the role on Jan. 30.
Chewning joins HII as it grows its customer set across the armed forces and executes on its significant shipbuilding backlog for its primary customer, the U.S. Navy. HII is the nation’s only builder of aircraft carriers and its largest military shipbuilder; among defense technology distinctions it is the world’s largest producer of unmanned underwater vehicles, the largest aggregator of cyber data across the U.S. Department of Defense, and sole developer and operator of the department’s largest LVC (live, virtual and constructive) training enterprise that leverages artificial intelligence to maximize readiness while reducing costs.
With 20 years of experience in national security markets, Chewning will guide HII’s corporate strategy, including identifying new opportunities for growth, cross-division collaboration, and potential investment.
“HII has a unique opportunity to continue to deliver the proven capabilities our Navy urgently needs, while leading the way on technologies that strengthen and connect the services into the force of the future,” Kastner said. “Eric has the depth of experience and vision to harness the breadth of HII’s talent and resources and advance that mission in service of the nation.”
“HII is an exceptional defense partner, with a storied 135-year history of providing essential capabilities for America’s and allied warfighters. It is a keystone within our national security innovation base, a major American manufacturer, and vital contributor to the day-to-day mission of advancing U.S. national security,” Chewning said. “This is a mission worthy of all of our best efforts, and I am honored and excited to join this driven and committed leadership team.”
Most recently Chewning was the Americas co-lead for the aerospace and defense practice at McKinsey & Company. A former U.S. Department of Defense senior official, he served as the chief of staff to the Secretary of Defense, advising on all policy, operational, personnel, and budgetary matters, and driving senior leaders towards execution of the national defense strategy. Prior to that role, Chewning served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, where he was the principal advisor on defense industrial base and supply chain issues for the secretary.
Chewning enlisted in the U.S. Army after 9/11. He is a former military intelligence officer and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to his military service, he was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he focused on corporate finance and merger and acquisitions in the global industrials sector.
Chewning received an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where he was recognized as a Shermet Scholar. He also earned an M.A. in international relations and B.A. with honors from University of Chicago. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
HII is a global, all-domain defense provider. HII’s mission is to deliver the world’s most powerful ships and all-domain solutions in service of the nation, creating the advantage for our customers to protect peace and freedom around the world.
As the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, and with a more than 135-year history of advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities extending from ships to unmanned systems, cyber, ISR, AI/ML and synthetic training. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s workforce is 43,000 strong. For more information, visit: