Sheila C. Cheston

Class of 2015; Class Committee Member

Sheila C. Cheston is Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a global security company. She has 25 years of experience in senior executive positions spanning multinational corporations, the federal government and private practice. 

Ms. Cheston was appointed Corporate Vice President and General Counsel at Northrop Grumman in 2010. She is responsible for the law department and offices of the Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer. At Northrop Grumman, Ms. Cheston has played a critical role in developing and implementing the company’s global strategy; negotiating and executing corporate transactions (including an approximately $10B spin of the company’s ship building business); leading issues of corporate governance and compliance; and overseeing a wide range of litigation, regulatory and other legal matters. She has worked closely with the Board of Directors, the Chairman and Lead Independent Director, and all of the Board committees. 

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Ms. Cheston served as Executive Vice President of BAE Systems, Inc., where she was responsible for finance, strategy and planning, mergers and acquisitions, and legal matters. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, Inc. Immediately prior to BAE Systems, Ms. Cheston was a partner at the law firm now known as WilmerHale, where she developed and chaired the firm’s International Aviation, Defense and Aerospace Group. 

Ms. Cheston has also held various senior positions in the U.S. Government, including General Counsel of the United States Air Force (responsible for approximately 1500 lawyers stationed worldwide), acting UnderSecretary of the Air Force, and Special Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. 

Ms. Cheston has considerable experience serving on the boards of non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Partnership for Women and Families, Equal Justice Works and the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, as well as the Board of Advisors for the National Military Family Association. 

Ms. Cheston has earned numerous awards, including for her leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion. She has been recognized as a “Champion” by the Legal Times and received Inside Counsel’s Transformative Leadership Award for Sharing the Power. Ms. Cheston is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Law.