Robert T. Hastings, Jr., is Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, where he leads the company’s internal and external communications, marketing, branding, corporate giving, and community affairs.
Robert joined Bell from Northrop Grumman where he served as vice president of communications for the Information Systems Sector. Previously, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. As the senior public affairs official and spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), he was the principal staff advisor to the Secretary of Defense and senior Administration officials for all strategic communications, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 4,000 military and civilian personnel. Before joining the Defense Department, he served as chief of staff and vice president of communications for BAE Systems, Inc.
Mr. Hastings is a retired U.S. Army officer with nearly 40 years combined federal and state military experience. His U.S. Army assignments include command tours in Aviation and Cavalry and operational assignments in Germany, Eastern Europe, Central America, Iraq, and Bosnia. Robert continues to serve as a Brigadier General in the Texas State Guard where he commands disaster response forces.
Robert is the 2019 recipient of the Lieutenant Colonel James "Maggie" Megellas Award presented to leaders for extraordinary service to the nation both in uniform and as civilian servant leaders. In 2009 he was awarded the DoD Distinguished Public Service Medal and was honored by the University of Maryland as its 2010 Distinguished Alumni. He received the Public Relations Society of America Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Leadership Award and Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, as well as the International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Award for Excellence in Communications Management. Additionally, he is a member of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
Robert presently serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Washington, DC USO, the World Affairs Council of Dallas, and is 2022 co-chair of the Tarrant County American Heart Association Heart Challenge. He is a former Chairman of the North Texas Commission, former member of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America, the National Defense Industrial Association, the Armed Forces YMCA and the Army Aviation Association of America. He is a licensed commercial pilot with broad experience in both military and civilian aircraft.
Robert earned a Bachelor of Science degree in government studies from the University of Maryland and has completed executive studies at the Wharton School of Business and the University of Michigan.
Robert is Accredited in Public Relations, APR+M, and is a Fellow of the Public Relations Society of America.