How we work

Member representatives are at the centre of the organisation’s structure and work.

ADS Structure

ADS is a non for profit trade organisation and operates as a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a share capital. The Articles of Association for ADS Group Ltd provide further information regarding its mandate of operation.

Governance Structure


The Board is the formal governing body of ADS which is responsible for overseeing the operational and financial decision making on behalf of Members. It consists of a mix of elected and appointed Members to ensure there is balance from across the sectors and Primes, Mid-tiers and SMEs.

Julian Whitehead, Executive Vice President Global Business and Strategic Programmes at Airbus Defence and Space, was elected President of ADS in January 2022, succeeding Tony Wood. He has worked at Airbus since 2012, with his earlier career including roles with ADS members MBDA and BAE Systems. Julian will serve as President and Chair of the Board during his two year tenure.

Four Vice Presidents also serve on the Board representing each of the sectors. All other Members of the Board represent a specific role as defined by the Board or the membership and set out in the Articles of Association.

CEO & Executive team

ADS is managed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), currently Kevin Craven, who reports to the Board on the business ADS conducts on behalf of its Members. The CEO and the Executive Team are responsible for contributing to the strategic development of ADS, including developing and implementing the annual business plan, setting objectives and achieving financial targets.

Boards & Committees

There are numerous Boards and Committees across all our sectors, providing members with the opportunity to engage in the thinking and shaping of topics and agenda’s that are important to the sectors and wider industry. These cover everything from strategic issues, the political and policy environment, to engagement with many key stakeholders such as Ministry of Defence, Government, Home Office and Department of International Trade.

Special Interest Groups

ADS has more than 30 Special Interest Groups which are set up around specific functional and capability areas of activity that represent members interests. They provide a forum designed to enable members to network, seek out business development opportunities, learn, influence markets and stakeholders and keep up to date with current, related developments specific to the group.


The ADS Board is committed to the principles behind the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and to achieving absolute compliance. Find out more