About Linda Parker Hudson

Linda Hudson


A graduate of the University of Florida, Ms. Linda Parker Hudson received her bachelor’s degree in systems engineering with honors. She founded the LINDA PARKER HUDSON LEADER-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM in 2015 to bring leaders in industry, government, and academics together for the purpose of nurturing UF engineering students to become world-class leaders.
In recognition of her outstanding engineering leadership career, Ms. Hudson was selected for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2021. She continues to serve as a director on a number of corporate boards. As a Distinguished Alumna and member of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame, she remains very active in UF alumni and athletic affairs and serves on advisory boards for the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the Engineering Leadership Institute. Ms. Hudson now resides in Gainesville, Florida.


Ms. Hudson retired in 2020 as Chairman and CEO of The Cardea Group, a specialized consultancy that she founded. There, through her innovative leadership, she turned around failing enterprises, helped formulate adaptive business strategies, strengthened her companies’ competitiveness in changing markets, structured portfolios through mergers/acquisitions and organic actions, and shaped cultures to attract, develop and retain key talent.


Before founding The Cardea Group, Ms. Hudson served as President and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., a global defense, aerospace, and security company wholly owned by London-based BAE Systems. There she was responsible for approximately 40,000 employees and $13B in revenue. She retired from these roles in January 2014. Prior to becoming President/CEO, Ms. Hudson was President of BAE Systems’ Land & Armaments operating group, the world`s largest military vehicle and equipment business, with operations around the world.


Before joining BAE Systems, Ms. Hudson served for seven years as an officer and vice president of the General Dynamics Corporation and was president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. She also held a variety of senior management positions in engineering, production operations, program management, and business development during a period of significant consolidation in the defense industry, leading organizations at Martin Marietta through the Lockheed Martin merger and subsequent divestiture to General Dynamics. She began her engineering career with the Harris Corporation and Ford Aerospace.

Ms. Hudson’s outstanding engineering leadership career includes numerous accolades and recognitions for her professional accomplishments and philanthropic activities. In addition to her election into the NAE, she holds honorary doctorates in science from the University of Florida and engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She was named as UF’s Gator of the Year in 2017 in recognition of her extraordinary career and long-term service to her alma mater. She was cited as one of Fortune Magazine`s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington. Washington Business Journal named her one of its Power 100 and one of the Most Admired CEOs. The London Sunday Times proclaimed her “the first lady of defense.” The Charlotte Business Journal honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2015. In 2013, she was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame and also received the Association of the US Army’s Dixon award for her industry leadership and contribution to national security. In 2011, she was elected to receive the USO’s 2011 Woman of the Year Distinguished Service Award and also received the Luminary Award for Corporate Innovation from the International Women’s Forum and C200 association.