On Wednesday, December 5, 2007, Northrop Grumman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Sugar, on behalf of the company, accepted the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership to Northrop Grumman Corporation. The company received the award in recognition of its commitment to forming community partnerships and empowering employees while promoting practices that improve business performance. Below are his prepared remarks from the White House ceremony.
Northrop Grumman Receives Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership
Thank you, Mr. Secretary [Carlos M. Gutierrez, U.S. Department of Commerce]. Thanks also to you, Dana [Mead, Chairman, Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership], and to the entire committee of the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership. And thank you, Jonathan [Spector, President and CEO, The Conference Board], for your good work on the Conference Board. It is a pleasure to be here among you all – fellow honorees, distinguished guests, and especially, the family of Ron Brown.
The men and women of Northrop Grumman are proud to receive this distinguished award, which recognizes companies for outstanding corporate citizenship, and which is named after a great American, the late Ron Brown.
Corporate citizenship is a hallmark of Northrop Grumman and the program being recognized today, called Defining the Future, is an example. This program brings together industry, academia, and the community to help address a critical need – the need to encourage young people to explore and develop their interest in math and science. In addition, Defining the Future places a heavy emphasis on working with women, and people of color – two elements of our society that are under-represented in the math and science fields.
Defining the Future focuses on curriculum development, support to schools and the community, mentoring, and teacher development.
One of its key components are our Weightless Flights of Discovery, which have sent more than 730 teachers on airplane flights that simulate weightlessness and lets them experience a microgravity, space-like environment.
Those teachers attend workshops to learn about the physics of weightlessness, and they design – in many cases with the assistance of their students – microgravity experiments to perform during their flights.
They then use their videotaped flight experiences to excite their students about the importance of math and science. These activities have touched the lives of more than 20,000 students.
One teacher who has experienced a weightless flight summed up what it meant for him, his students and his school. His name is Shina Oshinuga, and he is with us today, along with some of his fellow weightless flight veterans. I’d like you to meet them. Would our teachers please stand up?
That is wonderful news. It bodes well for the individual student, their communities, our nation, and companies like mine. And it underscores just what is possible when corporate America joins forces with the society in which it exists to solve problems common to both.
The company I lead is proud of this recognition, as are the members of our leadership team who have supported these efforts. Some of them are with us today, including our President and Chief Operating Officer,Wes Bush, several of our company executives, and all of our community relations leaders who work hand in hand with the communities.
They have all been instrumental in ensuring that we merit this honor.
So, on behalf of the more than 120,000 men and women of Northrop Grumman and our Defining the Future partners, I gratefully accept this award.