Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Boston CIO Community

Mona Bates

VP, Digital Technology & CIO

Collins Aerospace

As chief information technology and leadership experience in aerospace, defense and commercial sectors to drive success for our customers, improve processes for our business and enhance digital experiences for our employees.She leads strategic planning and execution for all facets of information technology and cybersecurity at Collins, leading digital transformation across strategic business units and functional support organizations.

Learn more about the Boston CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I am currently serving as the CIO of Collins Aerospace, which is my third tour of duty as CIO at RTX, which I first joined in 2011. Before joining RTX, I held senior leadership positions at Boecore Inc., supporting the Missile Defense Agency and successfully consolidating multiple contracts and entities to form the Enterprise IT organization for MDA. I also held several positions of increasing responsibility at Verizon, leading network engineering and service teams across the western United States.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Team empowerment and accountability. Hiring strong and diverse talent and perspectives is one thing; establishing a clear vision and expectations is another. Empower and resource the team at different levels of the organization to execute and deliver results by bringing their best thinking and skills to the workplace. This also fosters a culture where teams and leaders communicate openly. A motto I live by and share often is “bad news does not get better with time.” I would rather people communicate no matter the message, to allow us all to collaborate to a positive outcome.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?

Promoting, enabling and supporting self-service for the workforce – delivering tools and services that allow employees to leverage data to help accomplish tasks and drive a digital transformation that serves as an enabler of all business, regardless of industry.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?

This is about people and relationships. The technology portion is the easy part; ensuring people come along for the ride is critical, but often more challenging – requiring understanding of the cultural considerations to enable change and progress.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. I immigrated from Southern Lebanon and am bilingual and fluent in Arabic.
  2. I am an avid runner, regularly participating in half marathons and long distance running.
  3. I am the youngest of 5 siblings.

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