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Leslie F. Kenne is a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force, a rank she attained in 1999, and the first woman to attain that rank in the Air Force.[1] She is currently on the board of directors of SRI International, Harris Corporation, Oshkosh Corporation and Unisys Corporation.[2] Kenne also serves on the Air Force Studies Board, part of the National Academy of Sciences.[3]

Leslie F. Kenne
Leslie Kenne.jpg
Leslie F. Kenne
Born1949 (age 69–70)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service1971–2003
RankLieutenant General
UnitU.S. Air Force Test Pilot School
Commands heldElectronic Systems Center
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal (3)
Other workSRI International Board of Directors
Harris Corporation Board of Directors

A graduate of Auburn University, Kenne served in a variety of roles, including director of three major programs: the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared System for Night, the F-16 and the F-35. She has won numerous awards, including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

In 1970, Kenne graduated from Auburn University with a degree in aerospace engineering and had participated in Auburn's ROTC program, and in 1971, she entered the Air Force. She served as a flight line maintenance officer in operations, and attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in 1974.[3]

She would later attain a master of science in procurement management from Webster University.[4]

Early careerEdit

After graduating from the Test Pilot School, she served as a test and evaluation project manager, and in test and evaluation supervisory positions.

Kenne has served first as a division chief, and during a second tour, as a deputy director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. She has directed three major programs—the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared System for Night, the F-16 and the F-35.

She also has served as Vice Commander of Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif. Prior to assuming her current position, Kenne commanded the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.[3]

Later careerEdit

Kenne was Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. She was responsible to the United States Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of staff for forming and executing policy and strategy to integrate command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to enable more effective employment of air and space power in support of national objectives.

General Kenne also provided guidance and direction to four field operating agencies: the Air Force Command and Control & Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center; the Air Force Communications Agency; the Air Force Spectrum Management Office; and the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation. She retired from the United States Air Force on September 1, 2003.[3]

In February 2008, she joined SRI International's board of directors.[4]

In 2009, she was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Skaine, Rosemarie (2011). Women in Combat: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 139. ISBN 1598844598. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Leslie F. Kenne". SRI International. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Lieutenant General Leslie F. Kenne". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Leslie Kenne Joins SRI International Board of Directors". SRI International. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  5. ^ "LT. GEN. LESLIE F. KENNE, USAF, RETIRED". State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 December 2015.