The Journey of Australia's Top Defence Female CEO

 |  23 August 2023

Episode #109 | Creating Synergy Podcast

Ready for a journey that'll leave you breathless?  Join us as we unravel the extraordinary life of Christine Zeitz, the powerhouse behind the fighter jets of TOP GUN fame at Northrop Grumman, Australia's defense powerhouse.

She's not just a corporate leader—she's a multifaceted force, leaving her mark on the boardroom, the football field, and the world stage.



Why You Can’t Miss This Episode:

  • Insider Insights: Get a behind-the-scenes look at Christine's journey from being the overlooked university graduate to becoming a titan in the defense industry.

  • Leadership Lessons: Dive into Christine's 25-year tenure at BAE and discover the anchors that propelled her to success.

  • Hollywood Connections: Explore the thrilling connection between Northrop Grumman and the iconic TOP GUN franchise, straight from Christine herself.

  • Strategic Shifts: Learn about Christine's transition challenges from Lockheed to Leidos and her game-changing strategies behind a whopping 100% growth in revenue.

  • Personal Reflections: Hear Christine's candid take on balancing her 'weirdo hippie' past with the demands of the corporate world.

  • Diversity and Vision: Gain insights into Christine's vision for diversity in the male-dominated defense industry and her role outside the defense circle, from football to economic development.

  • Industry Outlook: Get a close look at the rapidly evolving defense sector and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Australia.

  • Personal Battles: Discover how Christine manages emotions, fears, and mental health amidst the high-stakes world of defense leadership.

  • Future Perspectives: Wrap up with Christine's invaluable advice for aspiring leaders and her visionary outlook on the future, especially regarding AI.

So, are you ready to be inspired? Tune in now and let Christine Zeitz's story fuel your next big leap into the unknown!

Never miss a beat. Follow us on:
Spotify  |  Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  YouTube  |  Amazon Music  |  Overcast

[01:03] - Journey from overlooked graduate to defense titan
[07:45] - Deep dive into 25-year stint at BAE
[13:52] - Connection between Northrop Grumman and TOP GUN
[21:28] - Transition challenges to Leidos and growth strategies
[29:15] - Candid take on "weirdo hippie" phase
[37:10] - Leading in male-dominated industry and vision for diversity
[44:25] - Role outside defense - football to economic development
[51:38] - Insights into evolving defense sector challenges
[59:04] - Managing emotions and personal battles
[01:05:20] - Advice for aspiring leaders and future outlook, including AI

Join the conversation on Synergy IQ on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram (@synergyiq).


Guest Info

Christine Zeitz

CEO of Northrop Grumman Australia

With a career spanning over three decades in the defence industry, Christine Zeitz stands out as an accomplished leader who has consistently delivered world-class solutions across the Asia Pacific. As of July 2020, Christine took on the mantle of General Manager for the Asia Pacific region at Northrop Grumman. Her extensive responsibilities not only encompass growth, program awards, and financial performance in Australia but also stretch to overseeing market development in Japan and Korea.

Before her significant role at Northrop Grumman, Christine showcased her leadership capabilities as the CEO of Leidos Australia. Over five years, she orchestrated an impressive 100% revenue growth by strategically restructuring the Australian operations. Her extensive journey also includes pivotal roles at Lockheed Martin as the Vice President and Managing Director for Australia and Asia Pacific. Furthermore, Christine dedicated 25 years to BAE Systems Australia, where she steered globally strategic partnerships as President North East Asia.

Outside of her mainstay in defence, Christine has been actively involved in various advisory and leadership roles. She serves as the Deputy Chair of SBS Australia and leads the Defence Trailblazer from Concept to Sovereign Capability. Her leadership influence also extends to the world of sports as a board member of the Port Adelaide Football Club and to the economic front as part of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). Additionally, she presides over the South Australian/Northern Territory State Advisory Council (SA/NT SAC).

An unwavering advocate for workplace diversity, Christine champions women's roles, especially in the national security sector. Her expertise runs deep, encompassing program management, operations, strategy, contracts, finance, and business development. A testament to her abilities is her knack for fostering high-performing teams and catalysing business growth in the Asia Pacific.

Christine’s commitment to transparent governance is further evident as she chairs SBS's Board Remuneration Committee.


Connect with Christine Zeitz


synergy iq_team_daniel frnaco-min


Meet your Host

Daniel Franco

Daniel is a 'People Collector' kind, a steadfast optimist who believes that the power of trusting relationships is foundational to our bright future. He believes that the world is a better place when we work together.

Meet Daniel


Continue Watching

Watch related episodes

Let’s get started!

Ready to grow your business?