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CAE appoints Gelston president of Defence & Security

August 11, 2020  By Helicopters Staff

Daniel Gelston is set to become group president of CAE’s Defence & Security business unit, effective August 24, 2020. He will be based in Washington, D.C., succeeding Heidi Wood, CAE’s executive vice president, business development & growth initiatives, who was also serving as interim group president.

“[Dan Gelston] is a proven leader with more than 20 years of experience in the U.S. military, intelligence community and the global defence industry,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s president and CEO. “Dan’s energy and his solid track record as a growth-focused leader will be invaluable in driving the growth of our Defence business in our core operations and expanding further into an array of related adjacencies that align well to our business strengths.”

Before joining CAE, Gelston served as president of L3Harris Technologies’ Broadband Communications Systems sector and president of Communication Systems-West division. In this role, according to CAE, Gelston led his team to multiple record-breaking years of fiscal performance and significantly improved the overall win-rate and pipeline expansion for the business.

Prior to his leadership role at L3Harris, Gelston was president of the Special Security Agreement (SSA) businesses Smiths Detection Inc. and Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance. In 2017, he led the SSA-controlled portion of Smith’s $710 million Morpho Detection acquisition and the divestment of Smith’s Brazil business. In 2015, Gelston led the sale of Cobham’s surveillance business and served as CEO during its transition to a standalone company.


Gelston holds a Master of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and a double-major Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Strategic Policy from Bucknell University. His military experience includes active and reserve duty from 1998 to 2007 as an Armor and Military Intelligence Officer. Gelston is a U.S. Army Armor School Draper Awardee and Intelligence Officer School Distinguished Honor Graduate.


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