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Business Quality Advocate: Dr. David Spong

We would like to recognize and introduce Dr. David Spong as a partner and advocate for Quality and business transformation. He retired in 2004 after a 43 year career in the aerospace industry. During his career, he grew from an individual contributor in the engineering and technical disciplines to becoming general manager, vice president, and later President of Boeing airlift and tanker programs.

From 1997 to 2004, he was the President of Aerospace Support for the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Before this, he supported the C-17 programs as Chief Engineer for McDonnell-Douglas Corporation. During his career, he progressively increased management responsibility for developing aircraft propulsion technology and the propulsive design of several aircrafts including the F-15, F-18, AV-8B, and the F-4K. This led to his Chief Technology Engineer Advanced Tactical Fighter position in 1982. By 1991, he was promoted to Program Manager and Deputy Chief Engineer for the Northrop, F-23 Program. Simultaneously, he acted as the Director of Aircraft Performance Systems for the C-17 Program.

In 1998 as Vice President and General Manager of airlift and tanker programs at Boeing, he received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for manufacturing. In 2003 as President of Boeing Aerospace Support, he received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for service. He currently serves as a consultant providing guidance on leading organizations in the application of the Malcolm Baldrige criteria for Performance Excellence. In 2017, David became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baldrige Foundation.

"How do you as a leader ensure an ethical organization? You think, 'Do I do that?' and if you can write an answer down, you're probably doing it. But also invest in employee involvement because I think it is so powerful in bringing everyone together."

Interview with Dr. David Spong, former President of Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs sponsored by the Leadership and Transformation Podcast

David earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of London in 1961 and earned his master's degree in English from the University of Missouri at Rolla Missouri in 1968. Later, he earned his doctor of science in English from the University of Washington in 1972.

We are proud to support David in his future endeavors and excited to share powerful leadership tools from his career experiences! Take a listen to his podcast, “How to Achieve World-Class Business Performance" sponsored by the Leadership and Transformation Podcast for more information.

Related Resources

"To receive the E. David's Spong Lifetime Achievement Award, an individual must have made sustained exceptional and far-reaching contributions to the Baldrige enterprise." Watch Dr. David E. Spong receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, named in his honor, from the Baldrige Foundation.

Learn about the latest recipients of the Spong Lifetime Achievement Award. Click here to see a video of their acceptance remarks.


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