of the Future
s a youth, Leo Reddy worked during his summer breaks at the New England Confectionary Company in Cambridge, MA., where his father was
president. It was the beginning of a lifetime’s passion for manufacturing
and a heartfelt belief in the power of a strong U.S. industrial base.
But he didn’t follow a traditional manufacturing career path. Far from it.
After serving as a naval officer and CIA analyst, Reddy joined the U.S. Foreign Service
and became one of America’s leading foreign policy experts on Soviet affairs and arms control during the Cold War, winning a host of distinguished service awards for his work. As Dip-
lomat-in-Residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he then began
to focus on developing an industrial policy
designed to bridge the gap between defense
and commercial industrial competitiveness.
That role led to an invitation in 1989 to
leave the diplomatic service and help establish a new public-private partnership
body to accelerate advanced manufacturing and workforce skills in the U.S., the
National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM), and ultimately to his
current position as Chairman and CEO of
the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council
(MSSC), which he’s led since 2005.
In our latest Dialogue with a global manu-
Q: What do you see as the main forces now
facturing industry thought-leader, Leo Red-
dy, winner of the this year’s Manufacturing
Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award,
urgent need to transform the relationship be-
tween industry and education to help close
the skills gap, the emergence of a new type of
hybrid front-line manufacturing worker who
can adapt to digital disruption, and his belief
that an enlightened industrial policy can help
the U.S. make a positive difference to societ-
ies around the world.
transforming the global manufacturing
A: The success of the U.S., spearheaded
by the ingenuity of its powerful multinational corporations, has built an economic
model that enables ordinary citizens in every country to raise their standard of liv-
Leo Reddy, the winner of the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s 2017 Lifetime
Achievement Award, aims to close the skills gap by encouraging a new breed of
hybrid worker with the ability to adapt to rapid technological change.