2011 William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture

The New United: Flying to Win in a Changed Industry

2011 Distinguished Patterson Lecturer
Jeffery A. Smisek
President and Chief Executive Officer
United Continental Holdings, Inc.


April 5, 2011

Jeff Smisek is President and Chief Executive Officer of United, the world’s leading airline.  He also is a member of United’s Board of Directors.

Previously, Smisek was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines, Inc.  Smisek joined Continental in 1995 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  In 2004, he became President and was elected to the company’s board of directors.  He became President and Chief Operating Officer in September 2008 and assumed the role of Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2010.

During Smisek’s 15 years with Continental, the carrier significantly expanded its global presence, and served more international destinations than any other U.S. carrier.  In 2009, FORTUNE magazine ranked Continental the No. 1 airline on their annual airline industry list of “Most Admired Global Companies” for the sixth consecutive year.

Smisek graduated from Princeton University, A.B. summa cum laude in economics, in 1976, and Harvard Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, in 1982.  He is married and has two children, and is a long-time supporter of numerous charitable and civic organizations.

Smisek also serves on the board of directors of National Oilwell Varco, Inc.

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