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David Beard
Center for Executive Education


Mr. Beard is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, U. S. Marine Corps in 1968. In 1970 he concurrently earned his aviator wings as well as a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida. He also has an Executive MBA from the Claremont Graduate School. During his Marine Corps career, Mr. Beard flew the F4-J Phantom including combat missions in Vietnam and the AV-8A Harrier. He is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School.

After managing prototype testing of the AV-8B, he returned to Test Pilot School as an instructor. In February 1980, Mr. Beard was forced to eject at high speed from a disabled aircraft. The injuries he sustained resulted in his medical retirement a year later at the rank of Major. At the time of his accident, he had been nominated by the Marine Corps as an astronaut candidate.

Mr. Beard subsequently worked for Northrop Grumman. In his 26 years with Northrop Grumman, Mr. Beard served in a variety of Director-level positions, e.g. Sector Director of Employee Relations, Management and Organizational Development and Leadership Development. He spent over 10 years as the Sector Ethics Program Director responsible for the design, development and implementation and leadership of the Sector (15,000 employees/7 sites) ethics program. In his dual role as Ethics Director and Director, Leadership Development, Mr. Beard positioned leadership to be an integral part of the Ethics Program. In 2006 he retired from Northrop and established an ethics speaking, training and consulting company, “Magnolia Associates”.

He is on the faculty as a lecturer at the Center of Executive Education, Naval Postgraduate School (CEE/NPS). His primary audiences are senior Navy and Marine officers and senior DoD civilians. He lectures at the CEE's “Navy Senior Leader Seminar”. In support of the CEE “Tailored Support” Program, he conducts one-on-one ethics and leadership discussions with Flag Officers who are in transition to new assignments. He has spoken extensively at the Navy Aviation Safety School in NAS Pensacola where he lectures on ethics/leadership to newly selected Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard squadron Commanding and Executive Officers. He regularly speaks at the Marine Aviation and Weapons and Tactics Squadron – 1 “tactical risk management” module as part of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor training conducted twice each year to over 100 Marine pilots and aircrew. He is a member of a training team led by the Safety Division, HQMC and has conducted presentations to the leadership staffs at the I/II/III Marine Expeditionary Forces. He also speaks at Navy, Marine and Coast Guard squadron level Safety or PME stand downs.

Mr. Beard lives in Pensacola, FL. He has 3 grown children and 9 grandchildren.