Diversity Leadership: Clayton M. Jones, Rockwell Collins
Clayton M. Jones
Chairman and CEO
Growing up in the South, Clay Jones witnessed the civil-rights movement alongside the racism of his own friends and family. Despite his upbringing, his thinking began to change in college and in the military, but things really came into focus as he worked to improve diversity and inclusion at Rockwell Collins. “We had to bring in outside thoughts to educate us on how other people think to focus on the value of our differences as opposed to accentuating them for all the wrong reasons,” he told DiversityInc. “It was through that training that my own thinking and the thinking of our leadership team really changed.”
Jones, who will retire on July 31, chairs Rockwell’s executive diversity council and ties executive compensation to diversity metrics. All of his direct reports are sponsors of resource groups, which he meets with regularly.
Before becoming Chairman and CEO, Jones served as President of Rockwell Collins and Senior Vice President of Rockwell International. He joined Rockwell in 1979 after serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. During his three-plus decades with the company, he has held numerous leadership roles, including Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Collins’ Air Transport Division and Senior Vice President of Government Operations and International for Rockwell International.
Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from George Washington University. He sits on the board of United Way of East Central Iowa and the Aerospace Industries Association, and on the advisory board of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. He is also a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, the Iowa Business Council, Business Roundtable and The Business Council.