Richard (Rick) Stephens (IL)
Richard (Rick) Stephens retired March 2013 from The Boeing Company as senior vice president, Human Resources and Administration reporting to the Chairman. Stephens, during a 33-year career at Boeing, led a number of business areas at sites across the U.S. and around the world including Homeland Security and Services, Space Shuttle, Tactical Combat Systems and Internal Services. He worked in finance, engineering, program management and general management.
During the last 8 years of his career oversaw all leadership development, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, Global Corporate Citizenship, diversity initiatives and the Shared Services Organization, which is responsible for providing common infrastructure and services to Boeing businesses. Prior to his retirement from Boeing and continuing today, Stephens serves on a number of non-profit and business-focused boards and has been recognized for his long-standing leadership in helping align business and education to create a capable workforce for the future. Passionate about improving education both inside and outside of the classroom, he works directly with community and education leaders to prepare future workers to meet the challenges necessary to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive business environment. He has given hundreds of presentations, written a number of published articles, and is a published author.
At the national level he served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council to three Secretaries, served on the Secretary of Education’s Commission on Higher Education in America and served on the President’s Council for Tribal Colleges and Universities. Stephens has supported the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Committee, and the National Science Resource Center Advisory Board. Today, Rick serves on as a board member of the national organizations of: America’s Promise Alliance, Digital Promise, The Business Industry STEM Education Alliance, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and the Business-Higher Education Forum.
Stephens received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1974 from the University of Southern California, where he was the Boeing executive focal, and his Master of Science degree in computer science in 1984 from California State University, Fullerton. He is a former Marine Corps officer. Stephens is an enrolled member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and served as tribal chairman from 1988 to 1989.
Rick and his wife Elane (a native of Brewster County), between them, have 6 children and 9 grandchildren and well understand the important role that parents and community members have in setting expectations of personal accountability and values from the time children are born until they enter the workforce. Today they work together as partners in a not-for-profit organization called Birth2Work.