WASHINGTON — Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy has been appointed as the next chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association’s board of governors, according to an AIA news release.

The president and CEO of Harris Corporation, William Brown, will serve as the board’s vice chairman in 2018.

“AIA and our member companies are the heartbeat of the American economy,” Kennedy said in the release. “We are engines of research and development, innovation and manufacturing.”

In September, the U.S. aerospace and defense industry advocate announced that former U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning will become AIA’s president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“[I]t is an honor to serve as AIA Chairman and join with Eric Fanning in advancing our industry’s cause and helping member companies be more competitive in the global marketplace,” Kennedy said.

Joe Gould contributed to this report.