International Business and International Development: A Winning Combination

October 10, 2013 By Guest Author

This guest post is by Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel, the Vice President for Washington International Business Development at Lockheed Martin Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

The face of international development is rapidly changing. Today, major U.S. businesses are partnering with public sector organizations like the State Department and USAID to emphasize the importance of U.S. investments overseas as not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.

Our world becomes more interconnected every day and as over half of U.S. exports now go to the developing world, investing in these markets is critical to our nation’s security and economy.

Lockheed Martin has a long and proud history of supporting international development, working alongside the State Department to enhance what I always like to call the toolbox for trade. Contrary to what some might believe, we’re not simply an organization comprised of planes and satellites. In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded a patent for Perforene™ material, a molecular filtration fabric that will help to meet the world’s growing demand for potable water by removing sodium, chlorine and other ions from sea water and other sources. Innovation like this is vital to security and stability and also can enhance the environment for business investment and economic growth.

Marillyn Hewson

Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, speaks at the 2013 CR Commit Forum

Our focus on the intersection of international business and international development falls perfectly under Lockheed Martin’s values to “Do What’s Right, Respect Others, and Perform with Excellence.” And just last night, Marillyn A. Hewson, our Chief Executive Officer and President, was named the winner of the 2013 Responsible CEO of the Year Award by Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine for Lockheed Martin’s commitment to governance, sustainability, and societal improvements.

Another example of our focus on these aspects of development is our work to deliver sustainable energy solutions that reduce pollutants and help to meet the global population’s needs. By driving a generator’s turbines by harnessing the temperature differences between surface and lower-depth ocean water, or the movement of the waves themselves, we are producing electricity with no emissions. Those innovative solutions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to energy independence. And in Turkey, Lockheed Martin has developed a system to manage maritime traffic through the Istanbul and Çanakkle Straits – both among the world’s most challenging waterways. This technology not only provides a sustainable solution to an ally’s most complex transportation problems, but also helps to ensure long-term security for American and other nation’s vessels in key international trade routes.

At Lockheed Martin we believe the old adage that you can do well by doing good. By using our innovative technologies and global position to help solve the dilemma of fresh drinking water, produce clean energy, or create a sustainable solution to an international problem, we’re building our economy here at home and helping to create a better, safer world. It’s the right thing to do and it makes good business sense.