John L. Hudson

Program Executive Officer and Program Director
USAF Joint Strike Fighter Program
MSAE 1974

“I loved school at Purdue.”

Jack Hudson has filled 18 assignments with the Air Force and has flown more than 3,500 hours in the A-10, A-7, T-38 and 42 other aircraft. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1999 and to major general in 2002. Currently, he is program executive officer and program director for the Joint Strike Fighter Program, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development, and Acquisition. The program will develop and produce the next-generation strike warfare weapon system for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force; for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; and for the military of other partner countries, including Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, and Australia.

He has to rely on his engineering background in that position. That training, along with his flying experience, gives him the judgment he needs to work with the many engineers and administrators involved. Lockheed-Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and General Electric are the prime contractors, and there are people from every partner country working on the project. In addition, as a joint and international program, part of the challenge is to take people from different backgrounds and nationalities and develop a great product. So a large part of his job involves diplomacy and leadership.

Jack Hudson chose Purdue for his master's degree because the Air Force Academy had an agreement that Purdue would accept about a half-dozen second lieutenants from the Academy for its master’s program. Hudson did not fly while studying at Purdue. He entered the Air Force pilot training program after completing his MS.