Biography: Stephen Huggins

I was born in North Carolina and raised in the Virginia suburbs near Washington, D.C. My father worked some sort of undisclosed job with the National Security Agency and my mother was a professor of Elementary Education, so I grew up with an intense interest in science and education. My early years were marked by nerdish pursuits – science club, rocket club, and needless anxiety about girls.

I landed a scholarship to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Virginia Tech was then a full-time military school where nineteen and twenty-year-olds had complete authority over seventeen- and eighteen-year-old freshman. My first “rat” year was marked by constant interruptions for drill and arbitrary hazing, which interfered mightily with study. Worse still, I bought into the military school culture. The result was a life-long aversion to authority and a permanent embrace of Libertarian politics and Objectivist Philosophy.

I graduated in 1965 and moved to Florida to fulfill my passion and become a rocket engineer, but when Pratt & Whitney lost a major NASA program and most of my group was laid off, I transferred to turbojet engines. I worked in Advanced Controls and Simulation Programming before getting assigned as Resident Performance Engineer at Edwards Air Force Base, testing the F100 engine for the F-15 air superiority fighter. After three years in the Mojave Desert I returned to Florida to manage a new business development group before somehow finding my way in International Programs, where I became Marketing Manager for our Spanish Programs, shuttling between the U.S. and Madrid. We lost that program when Spain selected the F-18 over the F-16, but meanwhile I had spent time with the new President of United Technologies, and he tapped me to be his assistant at corporate headquarters in Hartford.

What was to be my big career break went south a couple of years later when my boss was fired. I retreated back to Florida operations and became Director of International Programs. Then at mid-point in my career, I was recruited by Goodrich to run a group of their small aerospace companies. My boss, the President of Goodrich Aerospace, was a visionary. Working with a talented management team, we transformed the moribund Goodrich rubber and chemicals company into the largest pure-play aerospace company in America. I finished my career as Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development at corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I met my wife, Linda in West Palm Beach in 1971 and we married in 1972. We have two children, Abigail and Andrew, who both live in Atlanta with their spouses. Linda and I live in the small antebellum town of Madison, about an hour east of Atlanta.

Academic Experience 

  • PhD in History (2013), University of Georgia/Athens.
    Major Field in War and Society, Minor Fields in Ancient and Classical History; European History; World History.
    Dissertation title – “The Mask of Grotius: The United States’ Use of Terror and Civilian
    Violence as Policy, from its Colonial Origins to World War II.”
    National Honor Societies: Phi Kappa Phi; Phi Alpha Theta
    The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • BA in History (2009)
    The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • BA in Film Studies (2014)
    The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • BA in Comparative Literature (2016)
    The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Post-Graduate Study – MBA in Technology Management (1995 – 1997)
    The University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
  • Post-Graduate Study – MBA (1975 – 1976)
    Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
  • BS in Aerospace Engineering (1965)
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA


America’s Use of Terror, from Colonial Times to the A-Bomb, University of Kansas Press (2019)

Entries in the New Georgia Encyclopedia

Papers Delivered 

  • Brian Bertoti “Innovative Perspectives in History” Conference, March 2011
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Paper Title: An Atom of Opposition: Dissent Within the Manhattan Project Scientist Community
  • Young Harris History Conference – “Remembrances: Constructing Narratives of Wars of the 19th and 20th Centuries”, March 2011
    Young Harris College
    Title: Tortured Benevolence: The Philippine-American War, 1898 – 1902 
  • NCS Graduate Student History Conference, February 2011
    North Carolina State University
    Title: Heresy and Secular Opportunism in the Chivalric Period: The Albigensian Crusade and Its Consequences
  • UGA War and Society “UnCivil Wars” Conference – “Aftermath: War and Its Consequences”, October, 2010
    University of Georgia at Athens
    Title: Invisible Heroes: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and American Culture

Professional Experience

  • Instructor, Department of History, Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, GA (2016)
  • Instructor, Department of History, University of Georgia, Athens, GA (2013 – 2014)
  • Senior Vice President – Strategy and Business Development, The Goodrich Corporation, Charlotte, North Carolina (1996 – 2006)
  • President, Sensors and Integrated Systems Group, The Goodrich Corporation, Akron, Ohio (1988 – 1990)
  • Director of International Programs, Pratt & Whitney United Technologies Corporation, Hartford, CT and West Palm Beach, FL(1984 – 1988)
  • Various Management and Engineering Roles, United Technologies Corporation, Hartford, CT and West Palm Beach, FL (1965 – 1984)