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William S. Clapper

Mr. A headshot of William S. Clapper




  • BS, aerospace engineering, 1969, WVU
  • MS, mechanical engineering, 1981, U. Cincinnati
  • MBA, mechanical engineering 1984, U. Cincinnati

Mr. Clapper joined GE in 1969 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from West Virginia University. He also holds masters degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration from the University of Cincinnati. During his career, Mr. Clapper has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions within the Company. Between 1970 and 1978, he was assigned to the engineering department to develop acoustic and noise reduction technology. In 1978, he made the transition to the marketing department as a sales engineer, supporting the CF6 engine project and performing commercial engine market assessment.

In 1985, Mr. Clapper was named manager of Advanced Technology Marketing and assumed responsibility for managing advanced military programs such as the ATEGG/Joint Technology Demonstrator Engine program. In April 1990, he became Manager of Business Planning and Market Development where his responsibilities included product technology plan integration, global business alliance strategies, and effective customer communication. In February 1995, Mr. Clapper was named CFM56 Project General Manager and was elected Executive Vice President - GE for CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between GE and Snecma (Safran group) of France.

In 2008, CFM launched the LEAP engine, an entirely new baseline turbofan engine that incorporates revolutionary technologies to power future replacements for current narrow-body aircraft. Today, the LEAP engine is enjoyed the most successful and rapid order ramp up in commercial aviation history, with more than 6,000 engine orders on the books. The LEAP engine is currently undergoing certification testing and is on track for entry into commercial service in 2016. In 2005, Mr. Clapper was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's most prestigious award and the country's highest civilian honor. He was recognized for his long-standing contributions to the development of commercial aviation and furthering the successful industrial cooperation between the United States and France. Mr. Clapper retired from GE Aviation on September 20, 2011 and is currently working as a strategic advisor to the GE executive team.