Leslie F. Keene graduated from Auburn University in 1970 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and had participated in Auburn’s ROTC program, and in 1971, she entered the Air Force. She served as a flight line maintenance officer in operations and attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in 1974. In 1979, she would attain a Master’s in Procurement Management from Webster University.
After graduating from the Test Pilot School, she served as a test and evaluation project manager, and in test and evaluation supervisory positions.
Kenne has served first as a division chief, and during a second tour, as a deputy director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. She has directed three major programs—the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared System for Night, the F-16 and the F-35.
She also has served as Vice Commander of Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif. Prior to assuming her current position, Kenne commanded the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
Kenne was Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. She was responsible to the United States Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of staff for forming and executing policy and strategy to integrate command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to enable more effective employment of air and space power in support of national objectives.
General Kenne also provided guidance and direction to four field operating agencies: the Air Force Command and Control & Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center; the Air Force Communications Agency; the Air Force Spectrum Management Office; and the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation. She retired from the United States Air Force on September 1, 2003.
In February 2008, she joined SRI International’s board of directors.
In 2009, she was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.
Kenne has been awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
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