Ethics is the Best Defense: Leo S. Mackay, Jr. on Building a Values-Based Culture at Lockheed Martin

“We’re very ambitious with respect to inclusion and participation and we have goals for both on recruitment and retention. … With respect to #MeToo, that has affected our ethics awareness training.”

Leo S. Mackay, Jr. 

This episode of the Principled podcast is hosted by Ben DiPietro, editor of LRN’s E&C Pulse newsletter, who interviews Leo S. Mackay, Jr., senior vice president of ethics and enterprise assurance at Lockheed Martin Corp. 

Mackay explains the strict compliance landscape within the aerospace and defense industry, and open and collaborative efforts that go beyond the law with a commitment to ethics, both in the industry itself and within the company's supply chain. 

Lockheed Martin has five distinct disciplines under the Enterprise Assurance umbrella, but the tools used for risk management within each are largely the same. Mackay describes Lockheed Martin’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, mandatory ethics training in response to #MeToo, and other social activism.



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Dr. Leo S. Mackay, Jr. is senior vice president, ethics and enterprise assurance, at Lockheed Martin Corp. He reports directly to the chairman, president, and chief executive; and to the audit committee of the board of directors. 

As the chief audit executive, Dr. Mackay provides independent, objective assurance and advisory activity to improve the corporation’s operations. He is responsible for overseeing Lockheed Martin’s award-winning ethics program and the execution of its compliance training. 

As the chief sustainability officer, Dr. Mackay is responsible for ensuring responsible growth and global corporate citizenship providing a focal point for the many Lockheed Martin organizations committed to responsible business practices encompassing environmental stewardship, community outreach, employee health and safety, ethical business practices, philanthropy, and diversity and inclusion. He is a director of LMVentures, Lockheed Martin’s $200 million corporate venture capital arm. 

Dr. Mackay is an independent director of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., and USAA Federal Savings Bank.



  • [1:02] How did you find your way to working at Lockheed Martin? What led you to ethics and compliance?

  • [3:13] What is unique about leading ethics and compliance at a defense company?

  • [6:34] What were some of the challenges associated with integrating ethics and compliance with the internal audit enterprise risk function?

  • [8:22] Are there still times when these issues need to be separated and handled individually?

  • [9:33] Are you finding other departments more willing to embrace ethics and compliance than they were in the past? What can ethics and compliance do to better lay the groundwork for positive relationships with other business units and executive management?

  • [11:46] As you move forward, what’s happening at Lockheed Martin in terms of diversity and inclusion, and how is all this being shaped my #MeToo and social activism of employees, investors, and others?

    Don’t miss our next episode! Be sure to subscribe to Principled on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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