Phebe Novakovic, WG’88

2016 Joseph Wharton Award for Leadership


Phebe Novakovic, WG’88
Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics Corporation

Phebe N. Novakovic became chairman and chief executive officer of General Dynamics on January 1, 2013.  She was previously named the company’s president and chief operating officer, and a member of the company’s board of directors, in May 2012.

Prior to her appointment as president and chief operating officer, Novakovic was executive vice president for the Marine Systems group, responsible for the performance of three General Dynamics companies:  Bath Iron Works, Electric Boat and NASSCO.  Previously, Novakovic had been senior vice president – Planning and Development since July 2005, where she was responsible for Government Relations, Communications, International, Investor Relations and Strategic Planning.  She also has served as vice president – Strategic Planning, a position to which she was appointed in October 2002.

Before joining General Dynamics, Novakovic served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001.  In that capacity, she was responsible for managing processes for all major U.S. Department of Defense budget and policy decisions for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Novakovic also worked for the Office of Management and Budget, where she served in a number of capacities, culminating in her selection as Deputy Associate Director for National Security where she was responsible for managing and submitting the President’s budget for the Department of Defense and U.S. Intelligence Agencies.
  
From 1983 to 1986, she served as an operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.  Novakovic began her career in 1979 as an analyst for the McLean Research Center where she performed operational analyses on Department of Defense weapon systems.

Novakovic was elected to the board of directors of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) in 2010. She serves on the boards of trustees of Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) and Ford’s Theatre, and on the boards of directors for several charitable organizations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and the National Military Family Association. She is also a member of the Council of Trustees for the Association of the United States Army.

Novakovic received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1988; she completed her undergraduate studies at Smith College in 1979.