Elissa Lee

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Director, Commercial Rotorcraft Programs
General Electric Company

Manufacturing is the ideal environment to recognize the power of lean, continuous improvement and empowerment … to realize how to derive the nature of every person’s value.  While these concepts are as needed outside as it is inside of manufacturing, there is no better place to learn, fail, explore and exploit the fulfillment of lean, continuous improvement and empowerment.

Elissa is responsible for GE’s commercial rotorcraft engine fleet, shouldering the responsibility to meet cost, quality, delivery and compliance for engine, components and services; execute new product development and certification; and define the product line growth strategy in partnership with commercial airframer partners.  She is an avid sponsor for manufacturing lean activities and provides leadership across manufacturing organizations. Elissa is known for her collaborative leadership and for delivering sustainable impact in every role she occupies. She has been recognized with a variety of awards, including the Supply Chain & Operations Leader Award in GE’s Asian Pacific American Forum’s Global Symposium, the Empower & Inspire Award in GE Aviation’s Supply Chain Forum, and the Inspiring Leader Award in the annual GE Aviation Leadership Meeting.

From the earliest days of her career, Elissa has worked to support other women in her industry. She created a monthly Ladies Lunch that brought women together to share and rejuvenate within a community that understood the challenges women can face every day in the male-dominated manufacturing environment. During her time as a plant manager in Germany, she sponsored a Women in Operations Summit for women across Europe to come together for leadership skill development and networking. She also co-sponsored GE Germany’s parental leave program, the first ever for GE in Germany. Most recently, she activated an Executive Women’s Council comprised of the female executive leaders of GE Aviation’s Military Division to sponsor and highlight female talent for leadership opportunities within GE.

Elissa is passionate about investing in the young people of her community. In addition to mentoring high school and college students and young professionals, she also tutors at local schools, volunteers as an Educational Counselor for MIT, supports the Girls at MIT summer camp⁠—a week-long technology event at MIT and GE for middle-school girls, and is an active leader in the Girl Scouts Association of Eastern Massachusetts. She has been recognized in her home community as a Volunteer in Excellence by the Girl Scout Council of Danvers.