Neal J. Keating, Janet Kavandi and Steve Nordlund.

Three Trustees Join Embry-Riddle Board

Marathon runner, astronaut-scientist and alumnus are among the new recruits

The Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees confirmed three new members in March, to help provide sound governance and strategic direction for the university.

The new trustees are Janet Kavandi, Ph.D., scientist and NASA astronaut; Neal J. Keating, chair, president and CEO of Kaman Corporation; and Steve Nordlund (’90), vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt.

Janet Kavandi has logged 33 days in space and 535 low-Earth orbits.

While at the Johnson Space Center, she served as a mission specialist on three space shuttle missions and as NASA’s deputy chief of the astronaut office, director of flight crew operations, and deputy director of health and human performance. In these roles, she was responsible for operations, training, safety, and habitability of crews onboard the space shuttle and International Space Station.

Since 2016, she has directed the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where she oversees the testing of full-scale government and commercial spacecraft, as well as design and testing of Department of Defense and commercial aircraft systems. Her center is also responsible for the Service Module for Orion, the next human-rated spacecraft for NASA, and the first element of the new lunar platform, Gateway.

Prior to her NASA career, Kavandi worked as an engineer at The Boeing Company in Seattle, focused on power system technologies for defense systems. While still at Boeing, she earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington.

Her honors include a Presidential Rank Award, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two Exceptional Service Medals, and three Spaceflight Medals. On April 6, she was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Merritt Island, Florida.

She also holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Missouri Southern State University and an M.S. degree in Chemistry from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Neal J. Keating is a longtime aerospace executive who provides leadership for his corporation’s combined businesses, which serve U.S. industrial markets as well as the global defense and commercial aerospace markets.

Before joining Kaman Corporation in 2007, Keating served as chief operating officer at Hughes Supply, a $5.4 billion industrial distributor, and as chief executive officer at GKN Aerospace, a $1 billion aerospace subsidiary of GKN Plc. He also served as executive director on the board of directors of GKN Plc and as a member of the board of directors of Agusta-Westland Helicopter.

From 1978 until 2002, he served in increasingly senior positions at Rockwell International, with his final assignment being executive vice president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins, Commercial Systems.

He also serves on the board of directors of Hubbell Inc., on the board of governors of the Aerospace Industry Association, and as a member of the board of directors of Avon Old Farms School. He is a past chair of the MAPI Board of Trustees.

In addition to his professional activities, Keating competes in triathlons and marathons. He is a three-time finisher of the Boston Marathon. Since 2001, he has used his participation in these events to raise money in support of the families of fallen heroes through the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Keating holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago.

Steve Nordlund (’90) leads the Boeing NeXt mission to define the future of urban, regional and global mobility. This includes oversight of the development of next-generation platforms, cargo and passenger air vehicles and passenger-carrying hypersonic aircraft.

He has held a series of senior positions with The Boeing Company for 10 years, most recently as vice president of HorizonX, an organization exploring business models for emerging aerospace applications, nontraditional partnerships and investment opportunities with promising start-ups. He also led multiple military aircraft programs.

Prior to his service with Boeing, Nordlund worked for Insitu and IBM. From 1990-1998, he served as chief information officer at Embry-Riddle. Nordlund earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies with an emphasis in Aviation Management at Embry-Riddle, and an M.B.A. from the University of Florida.

He is a pilot and a current member of the board of SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence and machine learning company, and Whitfield, a private school in St. Louis, Missouri.