Sean O’Keefe is currently a faculty member of the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as university professor and the Howard and Louise Phanstiel chair in strategic management and leadership. He also serves as a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, D.C., a partnership with the Maxwell School.
O’Keefe served as chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the global aerospace, defense and space corporation, from 2009 until March 1, 2014. His duties included directing Airbus’ activities in the United States, developing strategic partnerships with U.S. companies, and enhancing the participation of Airbus in the U.S. marketplace – including the development, growth, and management of large-scale defense acquisition programs.
On four separate occasions, O’Keefe served as a presidential appointee. He served as the 10th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. O’Keefe joined President George W. Bush’s administration on Inauguration Day as deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Appointed secretary of the Navy by the president in July 1992, O’Keefe previously served as comptroller and chief financial officer of the Department of Defense starting in 1989. Before joining then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney’s Pentagon management team in these capacities, he served on the Senate Committee on Appropriations staff for eight years and was staff director of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His public service began in 1978 upon his selection as an intern for the Presidential Management Fellows program.
O’Keefe earned a B.A. from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1977, and an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 1978.