Heather Cohea

Heather Cohea

Integrated Fighter Group Engineering Operations
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics




Area of interests for collaboration and/or mentorship:

  • Customer Needs Analysis
  • Strategy Development
  • Systems Engineering
  • Engineering Leadership

Heather Cohea is a Director at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, serving as Chief of Staff for Engineering and Technology, which oversees engineering operations for F-35, F-22, F-16, C-130, Skunkworks, and future aeronautics systems. A former military pilot, Cohea also ranks as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, currently serving as a Commander for a space-based missile warning squadron.

With over 26 years in the aerospace industry, Heather’s career spans engineering development, as well as DoD operations in both air and space domains.

Cohea holds a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. Finishing as a Distinguished Graduate from Officer Training School, Heather earned certificates from Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, the International Junior Officer Leadership Development Program, and multiple Air Force Space Professional Development graduate-level courses.

Cohea specializes in Systems Engineering, Strategy Development, and Engineering leadership. Her past positions include serving as the Director, Operations for the Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin, where she was responsible for ensuring disciplined systems engineering approaches were used in the daily execution of design, development, delivery, and integration of all engineering efforts for F-22, F-16, and future fighters. Previously, she worked to develop the ground system for the first geosynchronous satellite to join the Space Based Infrared System satellite constellation, responsible to issue missile warning to the President of the United States and Combatant Commanders. She’s also performed engineering analysis for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

Lt Col Cohea earned both pilot and space wings. She flew C-17s in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation NOBLE EAGLE/HOMELAND DEFENSE and was one of the first volunteers to fly for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. In space operations, she commanded a multi-national crew of 37 in providing missile warning, battlespace awareness, technical intelligence and missile defense. As a certified military instructor, she served as the Deputy Chief for Faculty Development at the HQ Reserve National Security Space Institute. She also holds a commercial pilot license with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings.