John Kelly

Pan American Life
Geo Area
Region 1

Mr. Kelly is Chairman Emeritus and Lead Director of Pan-American Life Insurance Group, Chairman of the Louisiana Technology Council, a Director of the World Trade Center and a Founding Director of Rivada Networks LLC. He is Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development’s project, “Louisiana-Latin America Strategic Business Development Initiative.” He was a Director of the Whitney National Bank for twenty years where he chaired the Chairman-CEO Selection Committee for two successions. He was a Founding Director of the National D-Day Museum, which is now the National World War II Museum. He is Past-Chairman of the Louisiana Committee of 100, the Advanced Microstructures and Devices Foundation (CAMD), the National Security Industrial Association, the Amphibious Warfare Committee, and the United States Navy League Industrial Executive Board. He also served as President of the Southern USA Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

Mr. Kelly has published several articles on national defense and industrial issues. Some of the awards he has received are: Outstanding Technical Innovation, Offshore Technology Conference; U.S. Senate Productivity Award; Propeller Club’s “Maritime Man of the Year” Award; the Robert M. Thompson Award for Outstanding Civilian Leadership from the United States Navy League; and the “Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service,” the highest civilian award given by the United States Navy.

Mr. Kelly has held United States Department of Defense clearances of Top Secret. He was a member of the Design Team and responsible for the manufacture of the rocket engine that lifted the astronauts off the moon for the Apollo Program. He was President of Bell Aerospace Textron (formerly Bell Aircraft), where he led the company in the development and production in liquid rocket propulsion, lasers and advanced electronic systems. He was named President of Textron Marine Systems Division based in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986, an organization he had led since 1973. During his presidency Textron Marine and Land Systems was the United States industry leader in the development and production of the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) for the U.S. Marine Corps and for the U.S. Coast Guard’s innovative 47-foot motor lifeboat. They also pioneered the development of the Armored Security Vehicle with innovative safety design features. The organization was recognized for numerous technical innovations that has served customers in seventeen countries. Mr. Kelly retired from Textron Marine and Land Systems in 1998.

Mr. Kelly joined the Pan American Life Insurance Board of Directors in 1994. He was elected Chairman of the Board in January 2004 and served in that office until January 1, 2008. During his chairmanship he led the successful turnaround of the company to operational effectiveness, efficiency and profitability.

Education: University of Notre Dame – BSME, 1956

St. John’s University – MBA, 1966

Military Service: United States Air Force, Rank: Captain

Dual Citizenship: United States of America and Republic of Ireland