Carole Rickard Hedden

Executive Editorial Director,
Aviation Week Executive Intelligence


Carole Rickard Hedden joined the Aviation Week team in 1996 to provide financial and business analysis and has held a variety of roles over the past two decades. In September 2013 she stood up Aviation Week’s new business unit, Aviation Week Executive Intelligence, to deliver custom news coverage and analysis for industry executives. She also leads Aviation Week’s annual Workforce Study, the Program Excellence initiative, and Executive Roundtables.

The Program Excellence initiative seeks to identify lessons learned and best practices in the art of program leadership, while also providing a process for developing future program executives. Program Excellence is a collaboration of industry program executives, as well as representatives of the Defense Acquisition University, NASA and academia. As of 2015, Program Excellence has evaluated more than 330 system and sub-system level programs and established a professional community of more than 1,200 program managers across the commercial, defense and space sectors.

Aviation Week’s Workforce Study, launched in 1997, serves as the industry’s single source for data about the aerospace and defense workforce and its employers to include demographics, age distribution, hiring plans, professional development and compensation. AIA is Aviation Week’s partner in this study. In 2013, Aviation Week added to this effort our Twenty20s program that identifies top engineering students on the basis of their academic acumen and research, but also their commitment to the community beyond the classroom. AIAA is Aviation Week’s partner in the Twenty20s/Future Leaders program.

Prior to joining Aviation Week, Hedden worked for 20 years in the news media and as a corporate communications leader for Austin Peay State University, Honeywell Defense Avionics, and Corning Incorporated.