Chair of the Board and Former United States Senator
Kelly A. Ayotte
The Honorable Kelly A. Ayotte is the Chair of the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, Inc., the U.S.-based subsidiary of BAE Systems plc.
Ayotte was first appointed to the Inc. Board in June 2017. In this role, she brings a distinctive blend of skills and experience from her tenure in public service as an elected U.S. Senator, three appointments as New Hampshire’s Attorney General, as well as her highly regarded expertise in national security and advocacy for military readiness and our service men and women.
As a U.S. Senator from 2011 to 2017, Ayotte worked across party lines to sponsor independent and collaborative legislation to address some of our nation’s most challenging domestic and foreign policy issues. Ayotte chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security. In these leadership positions, she supported budget certainty, opposed defense sequestration, led efforts to strengthen our defense industrial base across the nation’s public shipyards, and oversaw the Federal Aviation Administration and domestic aviation infrastructure and security. Ayotte also served on a number of other committees, to include the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Budget, Transportation, and Commerce Committees, where she worked to advance policies that encouraged private-sector innovation and job creation, particularly in high-tech manufacturing and STEM-related sectors.
From 2004 to 2009, Ayotte was appointed by both a Republican and Democratic governor to serve as New Hampshire’s Attorney General, the first and only woman to serve in this role. As New Hampshire’s chief legal and law enforcement officer regarding civil and criminal matters, she argued before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the New Hampshire Supreme Court in multiple cases. Prior to her appointments, she was the deputy attorney general and chief of the Homicide Prosecution Unit, and she previously served as legal counsel to Governor Benson after beginning her career as a law clerk to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and as an associate in the litigation department of McLane Middleton.
Ayotte currently serves on the Board of Directors for News Corp, Caterpillar, Boston Properties, Blackstone Group and Blackstone Blink Health and the Advisory Boards of Microsoft, Chubb Insurance, Cirtonics, Foundation for Defense of Democracies - Center on Military and Political Power, United Against Nuclear Iran, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, and is a member of several Think Tanks, including Aspen Economic Group, United States Institute of Peace – The Taskforce on Extremism in Fragile States, Center on Military and Political Power and as serves as co-chair for CSIS Health Security Commission. She is also a board member of not-for-profit organizations, to include the McCain Institute, the International Republican Institute, Veterans Count New Hampshire, One Campaign, Winning for Women, and Swim with a Mission. A native of Nashua, New Hampshire, Ayotte graduated with honors from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law.