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Ingalls Names First Woman President to Lead Yard

Friday, March 19, 2021

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Earlier this month, Huntington Ingalls Industries announced that its Board of Directors elected Kari Wilkinson to serve as Executive Vice President of HII and President of HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

Wilkinson will succeed Brian Cuccia, who is slated to retire on April 1.

According to HII, Cuccias was named Ingalls Shipbuilding president in 2014 and was responsible for all programs and operations at the shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. However, his career began in 1979 when he joined Litton Data Systems as a financial analyst on several Navy programs.

Brian Cuccia, Kari Wilkinson, Huntington Ingalls Industries

Before being named president of HII in 2014, Cuccias held various positions including vice president, amphibious ship programs and vice president, program management.

“Under Brian’s leadership, Ingalls Shipbuilding optimized production, improved performance and continued meeting or exceeding customer commitments through many significant and unforeseen challenges,” said HII Executive Vice President and COO, Chris Kastner. “His shipbuilding expertise brought immeasurable value, and his contributions to this business have positioned Ingalls for lasting success.”

Before Wilkinson’s new role goes into effect on April 1, she will report to Kastner, as she continues to serve as Ingalls’ Vice President, Program Management. Wilkinson joined HII in 1996 as an associate naval architect. Since that time, she has supported major shipbuilding production events and milestones from positions in engineering, has worked closely with business development on requirements and preliminary ship designs for both domestic and international customers, and also coordinated the prioritization of equipment and processes in operations during the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.

In 2007, Wilkinson transitioned into program management as a ship program manager for the San Antonio-class LPD program, assuming the position of vice president, program management in 2016. In her current role, Wilkinson has profit and loss responsibility for all elements of program execution and serves as the principal liaison to the Navy and Coast Guard for all platforms in the Ingalls portfolio.

Wilkinson has a Bachelor of Science in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Temple University.

“Kari is a respected leader with an impressive 25-year record of success managing programs and overseeing major shipbuilding initiatives at Ingalls,” Kastner said. “Her focus on operational excellence, exemplary leadership skills and ability to build effective customer relationships well positions her for this new role, and I look forward to working with her to continue the Ingalls Shipbuilding legacy of success.”


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business matters; Business operations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Huntington Ingalls Industries; Latin America; North America; Personnel; Program/Project Management; Ships and vessels; Shipyards; Z-Continents

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