WASHINGTON — GM Defense has brought on Rick Kewley as its new executive chief engineer, who will be in charge of all engineering and program execution at the General Motors subsidiary, according to a March 10 company statement.

Kewley has a long history at GM — a 27-year career — and most recently served as GM’s executive director of Global Product Development Quality.

Other roles at GM include executive director for Vehicle and Propulsion Systems Engineering, director of Fuel Systems and Chassis Advanced Vehicle Development and director of Chassis and Powertrain Integration in Shanghai.

Kewley is a 1989 West Point graduate and served as a U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery officer.

His background will help build GM Defense’s “core capabilities,” the company said, including integrated vehicles, power and propulsion, mobility and autonomy.

“Rick’s ability to bridge GM’s best-in-class commercial capabilities with GM Defense’s mission to influence the future of military mobility is the perfect complement,” Tim Herrick, interim president of GM Defense, said in the statement. “Rick is a proven leader, bringing a deep understanding of complex vehicle system integration and critical technical acumen. He will be an asset to our growing team and a trusted partner to our military and government customers.”

Kewley comes in at a time where GM Defense is looking at making big plays in modernization efforts across the services, but it specifically has its eye on such programs as the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, intended to replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

GM Defense also recently won a big contract to supply Infantry Squad Vehicles to the Army. Kewley will pick up the mantle on that program.

“I’m honored to lead product development efforts at GM Defense and am convinced that GM’s proven product and manufacturing capabilities offer an unmistakable advantage to the warfighter,” Kewley said in the statement. “As an Army veteran myself, I understand the value that technology and cutting-edge capability can offer to our military and government customers alike.”

GM Defense has yet to hire a new president following the departure of David Albritton, who joined Amazon Web Services as its vice president of global communications in November 2020.

Herrick, the company’s vice president of global product programs, took over as the interim president and will be dual-hatted until a permanent replacement is found.

GM Defense said it was conducting a national search to find a new president.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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