John W. Nicholson Jr.

John Nicholson

John W. Nicholson Jr.

Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Middle East


Retired U.S. Army General John Nicholson is the Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin in the Middle East and was appointed in December 2021. Residing in Abu Dhabi, he is responsible for the company’s strategy, operations, and growth in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Pakistan. He has been selected among the top ten regional business leaders on the Forbes Global Meets Local List for the last two years.

General Nicholson last served as the Commander of all U.S. Forces and the 41-nation NATO-led Coalition in Afghanistan from 2016 to 2018. Before that, he served as Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command and Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division. Commissioned in 1982, he served as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger infantry officer at all levels with over six years in combat. He also lived in Europe and the Middle East for more than twelve years, forging close relationships with security leaders in these regions.

Following retirement from active duty in November 2018, he became the President of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation supporting post-9/11 combat veterans, service members, caregivers, and their families. The foundation created an educational program and venture capital fund which trained and invested in veteran entrepreneurs.

He has been a mentor to U.S. general officers through the U.S. National Defense University and to NATO flag officers through the NATO Senior Mentor Program. He is a member of Harvard’s Belfer Center Elbe Group which has maintained a track two dialogue between retired Russian and American senior officials. He has previously been an adjunct faculty member in leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School Senior Executives in National and International Security Program.

General Nicholson holds Bachelor’s Degrees from the United States Military Academy and Georgetown University and Master’s Degrees from the School for Advanced Military Studies and the National Defense University as well as two honorary doctorate degrees.