Frances Townsend is the Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Lockheed Martin. She is responsible for the company’s government relations and communications with federal, state, and local government officials.
Townsend was raised in New York City, where her father was a professor of physics at Columbia University. Her mother is a former journalist and editor of “Harper’s Bazaar.” Townsend graduated from the exclusive St. Mary’s School in Connecticut, followed by Wellesley College, where she majored in English. She also studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, graduating with a Master’s degree in 1996.
Townsend began her career in 1996 as a reporter at “The Boston Globe.” In 1999, she became the newspaper’s Washington bureau chief. Townsend is an expert on the Middle East, having reported on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. She has also covered the rise of al-Qaeda and terrorism, as well as Iran’s nuclear program.
Townsend has also been a guest on television programs including “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and “Charlie Rose.” In 2009, Townsend was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 50 most powerful women in Washington D.C.She was named as one of “The Atlantic”s 50 Most Influential People in 2012.
Frances Townsend’s success in business has been attributed to her ability to communicate effectively with people. In a “Fortune” magazine article, she was described as having an “understated” style and able to communicate effectively with people of all backgrounds. Townsend has said that she wants to improve the perception of Lockheed Martin’s products among the military and intelligence communities.
Townsend has served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations, including The Atlantic Council, The Global Center for Women Leaders, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Refer to this page for additional information.