Executive Biography of Thomas J. Downey

Thomas (Tom) J. Downey

Thomas (Tom) J. Downey
Senior Vice President,
The Boeing Company

Tom Downey is a senior vice president for The Boeing Company, the world's largest aerospace company. He served on the company’s Executive Council as senior vice president of Communications from December 2006 to September 2017. Downey has announced plans to retire at the end of 2017. In his most recent role, Downey was responsible for development and implementation of the company's global communications activities, which include media relations, brand development and management, advertising, in-house creative services, and executive and employee communications.

In earlier positions, Downey, 53, led communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, Wash., overseeing public relations during a period of dramatic industry downturn, multiple labor contract negotiations and a transformation of the Boeing product line -- including the successful launches of the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8 airplane families.

Before joining Commercial Airplanes in May 2002, Downey led companywide internal and executive communications at the corporate office in Chicago and Seattle. In that position, he oversaw the revamping of the company's employee communications with new digital and print publications.

Before joining the corporate staff in September 1999, Downey led Communications and Community Relations for the company's Military Aircraft and Missile Systems unit, based in St. Louis. In this position he was responsible for the public relations functions of the tactical aircraft, helicopter, military transport and missile systems division of the company.

Downey joined the company in 1986 as a writer on the company's fighter aircraft programs in St. Louis. In 1991, Downey began a five-year assignment in Washington, D.C., where he held a variety of communications and business development positions. He also worked on Capitol Hill as a Brookings Institution Congressional Fellow.

In April 1996, Downey was named director of Communications for Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, Calif. He returned to St. Louis in March 1997 to lead communications for the military unit. Downey is a graduate of Saint Louis University and holds a bachelor's degree in English, and a creative and professional writing certificate. He served as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and is a past president of the Boeing Employees Community Fund.

Downey was born in Middletown, Ohio. He is married with five children and resides in the Chicago area.