U.S. Chamber to Launch Defense and Aerospace Export Council

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 11:00am

Keith Webster Hired to Serve as President

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced today that it will launch a Defense and Aerospace Export Council within its International Affairs Division led by Keith Webster, who has been hired to serve as the council’s president. The Defense and Aerospace Export Council will engage with domestic and international partners to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. defense and aerospace exporters.

“The U.S. Chamber recognizes the array of opportunities that exist to elevate America’s defense and aerospace exporters as economic growth drivers. We are excited to begin this new endeavor, and we welcome Keith to lead these efforts,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber. “We look forward to the vitally important work Keith will do as he applies his expertise to the scope of issues that matter to this sector.”

The U.S. Chamber’s Defense and Aerospace Export Council will be formally established in the coming weeks.

Webster joins the U.S. Chamber following a successful 30-year career in the U.S. Department of Defense as a civilian leading international policy formulation and implementation. Prior to joining the Chamber, he was Director of International Cooperation from 2012 to 2017 for the Secretary of Defense. Keith brings to the Chamber years of expertise in foreign sales of military equipment and services, international agreements, and technology security foreign disclosure processes.

Webster was awarded the rank of Chevalier (Knight) in the French Order National du Merite in 2012 and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration’s Medal of Merit (Silver) in 2013. He was also awarded the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2013, the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2015, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2017.

Ben Schwartz, who currently leads the defense and aerospace program for the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-India Business Council, will serve as executive director of the new council. Schwartz has previously served in a range of positions in the national security community, including with the U.S. Departments of State, Energy, and Defense.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 80 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.