Katherine Bennett CBE
Senior Vice President, Airbus in the UK
Katherine is a Senior Vice President of Airbus and has been with the company for 16 years.
She leads the company’s external engagement and strategy in the UK and works closely with Global CEO, Guillaume Faury. Based out of London and Bristol, she has specific responsibility for Public Affairs for all parts of the Airbus company which employs 14,000 people in the UK.
Katherine has held roles in Communications for Airbus and spent several years based at Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France running the global public affairs function.
Katherine’s previous employment was with General Motors UK where she headed up their
government affairs function and prior to that worked for Hill and Knowlton Public Relations in London.
Katherine was awarded the Order of Commander of the British Empire in January 2019 for
services to the aerospace and aviation sector. This followed her Order of the British Empire
award in June 2004 for services to industry and charity. She has served on various boards of
public/private enterprises focused on economic development in UK regions including the West of England LEP and is Vice President, Aerospace on the Council of ADS (the UK aerospace trade association). She serves on the Board of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy), the Board of the French Chamber of Great Britain and Wales Government Science and Innovation Council. In November 2019 Katherine was appointed as Chair of the new Western Gateway, a cross-government and local authority initiative which will aim to promote and maximise economic growth across south Wales and the West of England. In March 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic, Katherine took up the additional role of leading public affairs for VentilatorChallengeUK, a Consortium (which includes Airbus) of UK manufacturers to turnaround and deliver, the urgent requirement to assist UK Government in their national task to provide medical-grade ventilators to the NHS.
In July 2018 she founded the UK’s Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which is
committed to building a fair and balanced industry for women in this sector. She has also been instrumental in Women in Defence activity. She is President-Elect of the International Aviation Womens’ Association and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Katherine has an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University, one of the world’s leading aerospace universities.
Katherine is active in her local community in Wiltshire, is a church organist, a member of the UK Parliament Choir and founder of the Airbus Filton Choir.