Vance D. Coffman

Vance D. Coffman (born April 3, 1944) was the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. He has additionally served on the Board of Directors for 3M, John Deere, and Amgen.[1]

Vance D. Coffman
Born (1944-04-03) April 3, 1944
Kinross, Iowa, U.S.
Alma materIowa State University,
Stanford University
OccupationBusiness leadership

Early life and education

Coffman was born April 3, 1944 in Kinross, Iowa, a very small town.[2] His father was a farmer and grew soybeans, grain and corn.[2][3] In 1949, the family moved to Winthrop, Iowa, where he attended East Buchanan High School.[2]

He is a 1967 B.S. graduate in Aerospace Engineering of Iowa State University (ISU).[4] Coffman had three brothers, all of which studied at ISU within the engineering and science departments.[2] Coffman has Master's and Doctorate graduate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.[5]


In 1967, Coffman joined Lockheed Martin Corporation's Space Systems Division, working on the development of space programs and data processing systems for the corporation.[6] By 1988 he was president of the Space Systems Division.[7] He directed the Hubble Space Telescope project for Lockheed.[6] By 1998 he was the chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, until he retired as CEO in 2004, followed by a retirement as chairman in 2005 after 38 years of service.[6][8][9]

Starting in 2002, Coffman served as a member of the 3M company's Board of Directors, and by 2006 he was elected as a Lead Director of the Board of Directors.[9][10]

In 2004, Coffman was elected to the Board of Directors for John Deere.[11]

In 2007, the biotechnology company Amgen elected Coffman to the Board of Directors.[1]

Awards and honorary degrees

In 1999, Coffman was awarded from his alma mater Iowa State University the Distinguished Achievement Citation, followed by a 2006 awarded honorary doctorate of science for his work in technical and managerial leadership resulting in technological achievements and the achievement of American national security goals.[12][13] He is the Endowed Faculty Chair in aerospace engineering department within the College of Engineering at Iowa State University.[14] The first endowed "Vance D. Coffman Faculty Chair" in the aerospace engineering department at ISU was Dr. Bong Wie in 2007.[15]

Coffman received an honorary doctorate of law degree in 2000 from the George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.[16] And an Honorary Doctor of Aerospace Engineering from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University.


  1. "Amgen Appoints Vance D Coffman to the Companys Board of Directors". Amgen. 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  2. Schneider, Greg (1997-08-03). "New Captain, New Plans". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. Crock, Stan (1997-10-26). "Can This Farm Boy Keep Lockheed In Orbit?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  4. "Iowa State AerE to welcome Dennis Muilenburg and Vance Coffman to Howe Hall". Department of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University. 2016. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. "Deere & Co (DE:NYSE) Executive Profile". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  6. "Vance D. Coffman Named Technology & Management Executive of the Year". UANews. University of Arizona. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  7. "Los Angeles County People". Los Angeles Times. 1988-10-07. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-11-19. Vance D. Coffman will succeed Araki as president of Lockheed Missiles & Space Co.'s Space Systems division
  8. Crenshaw, Albert B. (2005-06-27). "On Top of It All, Gigantic Pensions". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  9. "3M Board of Directors Elects Vance D. Coffman to Serve as Lead Director". 3M News. 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  10. "3M Board Declares Quarterly Dividend and Authorizes Stock Contribution to Pension Plan; Company Announces Results of Shareholder Voting". Business Wire. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  11. "Deere & Co (DE.N), People: Coffman, Vance". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  12. "Past Honorary Degree Recipients" (PDF). Iowa State University. 2017. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  13. "Spring Commencement. Friday, May 8, PDF". Iowa State University (ISU). Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  14. "ISU prof developing ways to protect planet from asteroids". The Ames Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  15. Ferguson, Kyle. "Aerospace engineering names endowed chair". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  16. "Honorary Doctorate Recipients". Pepperdine University, Graziadio Business School. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
Business positions
Preceded by
Norman R. Augustine
Chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin
Succeeded by
Robert J. Stevens

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