Dr. Vivek Lall has been appointed as commissioned Kentucky Colonel by Governor Andy Beshear and the Secretary of State Michael J. Adams of Kentucky.

Vivek Lall is a world-renowned scientist who has been Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation since June 1, 2020. Before joining General Atomics, Dr. Lall worked at Lockheed Martin and held key positions with Boeing and Reliance. Lall previously worked at General Atomics from August 2014 to December 2017. He has also worked as CEO and President of Reliance New Ventures Reliance Industries Limited.

Lall was heading the Boeing (Defence and Space) operations in India from 2007 through April 2011. Lall previously worked for the US-based global defense and nuclear giant General Atomics as the global Chief Executive for international Commercial Strategic Development for General Atomics.

He was also affiliated with the United Nations in New York to advise on Broadband and Cyber Security issues for challenges within the global community and provide services that will help address them.

Lall was born on 5 March 1969 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Lall began his technical education at Canada’s Carleton University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was also instrumental in conducting research on single-engine blades for Canada’s National Aeronautical Establishment. Lall completed his Aeronautical Engineering master’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He then worked with NASA Ames Research Center where he was part of a project undertaking research work. With a fellowship from NASA, he finished his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at Wichita State University, Kansas.

During his tenure in defense company Raytheon, he worked on the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) Beechcraft T-6 Texan II. He also worked on various disciplines at the NASA Ames Research Center.

In 1996, Lall joined The Boeing Company as an aerospace engineer and working on computational fluid dynamics and air elasticity and loads and dynamics for the 757-300 and 777 aircraft. He moved from engineering to management and later. In 2003, Boeing moved Lall to Delhi, India, as managing director of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. During his tenure, Boeing secured $25 billion worth of commercial aircraft business in India. In May 2007, Lall was appointed as vice-president and Country Head for India, Boeing Defense Space & Security. Under his leadership, Boeing concluded the US-India defense deals for C17 strategic lift, P-8I Anti-submarine warfare aircraft and Harpoon Missiles.

Lall has previously worked with another defense company, Raytheon.

On January 2, 2018, Lockheed Martin announced the appointment of Lall as vice president, Aeronautics Strategy and Business Development.

Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments, contributions to Kentucky society, remarkable deeds, and outstanding service to a community, state, or the nation. The Governor of Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel’s commission, by the issuance of letters patent.

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, commissioned Kentucky Colonels are considered members of the Governor’s Staff and his honorary aides-de-camp, and as such are entitled to the style of ‘Honorable’ as indicated on their commission certificates. The commission and letters patent granted by the Governor and Secretary of State bestowing the title of Kentucky Colonel refers to the honoree as ‘Honorable’.

The honor has been given to a broad variety of notable people – including various celebrities, artists, writers, athletes, performers, business people, the US and foreign politicians, and members of foreign royal families – some of whom have no obvious connection to Kentucky. It has also been bestowed upon various people who are not generally considered especially notable – they have been people from “all walks of life”.

The tradition began in 1813 during the second term of Governor Isaac Shelby after he returned from leading the Kentucky Militia on a highly successful “War of 1812” campaign. He named one of his officers, Charles Todd, as an “aid-de-camp” on the Governor’s staff with the rank and grade of Colonel. Later governors commissioned Colonels to act as their protective guards; they wore uniforms and were present at most official functions. (Today’s Colonels are not required to perform such service.) Other governors continued this practice, and by the 1920s the Colonels’ ranks had grown considerably.

Today, commissions for Kentucky Colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or nation. Among the ranks of the Kentucky Colonels are distinguished leaders such as Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, volunteer firemen and teachers – people from all walks of life who have performed in an extraordinary manner.

In 1928, an effort began to organize the Colonels into “a great non-political brotherhood for the advancement of Kentucky and Kentuckians.” In 1932, the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels was formally born. Today, the organization is incorporated as a charitable organization with by-laws directing it to be non-partisan, non-profit and dedicated to good works within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Over the years, Colonels have contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes. In 2006, with voluntary donations from all 50 states and 35 nations, the Good Works Program Fund made grants totaling $1.5 million to 162 charitable and educational organizations. It marked the 16th consecutive year grants of at least $1 million had been made. In addition to their collective charitable efforts, Colonels are Kentucky’s ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world.

The Governor serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Honorable Order. The 12 members of its board of trustees serve on a voluntary basis.

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