Sean O’Keefe is a University Professor at the Maxwell School of Citizen and Public Affairs and the Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair of Strategic Management and Leadership. Concurrently, he is a Distinguished Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a partner institution with the Syracuse Maxwell School in Washington, D.C..
Professor O’Keefe is the 17th person in Syracuse University history to hold the title of University Professor. A longtime public administrator, national security expert and aerospace industry executive, Professor O’Keefe has served in several top leadership positions in the U.S. government, higher education and industry.
Along with the faculty appointments, Professor O’Keefe will play a leadership role in building Maxwell’s partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), including research collaboration, expanding programming and executive education.
Professor O’Keefe’s expertise ranges over a variety of subjects like public management, national security policy and strategy, public finance and public budgeting, financial management, technology development and innovation management, executive leadership, looking ahead with military spending, threat of foreign affairs and terror, space and aviation, and procurement policies.
He is the former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Airbus Group Inc. Immediately prior to joining Airbus, O’Keefe served as a vice president of the General Electric Company following his service as chancellor of Louisiana State University. On four separate occasions, O’Keefe served as a presidential appointee. Prior to leading LSU, he was administrator of NASA. Earlier, he was deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. He also served as secretary of the Navy, following service as comptroller and CFO of the Defense Department. He began his career after graduate studies at Maxwell as a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Management Intern program, and later joined the US Senate Appropriations Committee staff.