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Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) announced on 5 February 2024 that it has appointed Heather K Armentrout as president and general manager of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Inc, representing the Norwegian defence contractor’s activities in the United States.

Armentrout joins Kongsberg from Northrop Grumman, where she has held several senior leadership positions. She also brings to KDA knowledge of how think tanks inform US policy from her time as the intelligence fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, as well as more than a decade of experience at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“I am very pleased to have recruited such a strong leader to head up our US company,” KDA President Eirik Lie was quoted as saying in a company press release. “Heather has had a unique career, combining experiences from Northrop Grumman, academia and the CIA to make her an accomplished international affairs executive as well as a strategic, global defence industry leader.”

Armentrout joined Northrop Grumman in a government relations role, leveraging her experience from a joint-duty assignment in the US Senate during her tenure at the CIA. She has extensive knowledge of military acquisition and the global security environment. Her subsequent assignments involved strategic investment in technology to align Northrop Grumman’s solutions with the US Department of Defense’s future needs. Most of her assignments involved strategy to expand Northrop Grumman’s presence in international markets.

“I am very excited to join Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace at a critical time for the global defence industry,” Armentrout said of her appointment. “I know the company as a strong niche player that has been traditionally focused on its home market, but with growing international success in recent years. The portfolio of products is well suited outside Norway, which forms a good platform for future growth. The innovation Kongsberg represents is welcomed by US authorities and armed forces, and I look forward to building on that.”

Heather K Armentrout, now the president and general manager of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Inc, previously worked for Northrop Grumman and the CIA. (Photo: KDA)

In her new role Armentrout will deploy her extensive experience with Northrop Grumman as one of the world’s leading defence contractors, but she said she also sees commonalities with her work at the CIA. “There are many relevant experiences from my old assignments. The ability to consume vast amounts of information, evaluate and condense it, and then make it actionable, is one example,” she noted. “There is also commonality in the mission – which is to secure the US and its allies with the best tools available.”

Armentrout has a master’s degree in Security Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service, both from Georgetown University. She assumed her role on 5 February and is based in Alexandria, Virginia.