Lockheed with AFSA Launches Exciting Speaker Series

A Lockheed Martin building in BethesdaImage via Wikipedia

RSVP by April 2, 2010

AFSA will launch a new speaker series with Ambassador Negroponte on April 7 at the AFSA headquarter: Here is the press release:

Lockheed Martin and AFSA have initiated an exciting new speaker series, which will bring high-profile speakers to AFSA in order to discuss the topic “Promoting Excellence and Deepening Impact – Resources and Skills for Diplomacy and Development in the Age of Smart Power.” The kick-off event will take place on Wednesday, April 7 at 11 am right here at AFSA HQ. The speaker will be former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, the UN, Mexico, Honduras, and the Philippines. Ambassador Negroponte also served as Director of National Intelligence. This event will be moderated by Ambassador Edward Gnehm Jr., former Director General of the Foreign Service as well as Ambassador to Kuwait, Australia, and Jordan.
RSVP by April 2 to paintern@afsa.org.  The next event in this series has been tentatively scheduled for May 12th with Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Clinton. This program is run through our 501(c)(3) organization, the Fund for American Diplomacy (FAD). FAD sponsors all of AFSA’s outreach and publicity programs – donations are always appreciated: www.afsa.org/CFCFAD.cfm.

Lockheed Martin is also ranked 5th in the State Department’s top 10 Contractors for FY 2009. 

OpenSecrets.org of the Center for Responsive Politics considers Lockheed Martin one of the country’s “Heavy Hitters:” The company is #31 in the top all time political donors from 1989-2010.  Open Secrets compared these heavy hitters to boxing where big punchers seek knockouts. “In government, the same principle applies: The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process.” More below:

Lockheed Martin is the nation’s top defense contractor, the brains behind such high-tech military hardware as the F-16 jet fighter and a variety of land and sea missiles. In 2001, the company landed the biggest defense contract in history when it was named the main contractor for the Joint Strike Fighter. Considering that access is the name of the game when securing such lucrative contracts, it’s no surprise that Lockheed splits its campaign money equally between Democrats and Republicans. All told, NASA and the Defense Department account for roughly 80 percent of the company’s annual sales.

Hoovers say: “The company is the world’s #1 military contractor (ahead of Boeing and Northrop Grumman). Lockheed is firmly on the defense/government side of the aerospace industry; in fact, the US government accounts for about 85% of sales. This reliance on the US government is a double-edged sword: Lockheed can largely avoid turbulence in the commercial aerospace sector, but the company is vulnerable to military spending cuts.”

I don’t know, I’m kinda easily impressed — should I say “wow!”?
Update:  Somebody reminded me that today is April 1st — so sorry but this is not/not an April Fools’ Day prank.  Read the official AFSA announcement here.  RSVP by tomorrow, April 2, if you want to attend.