Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Stevens is a 1976 summa cum laude graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania from which he received the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award for his degree in psychology. He earned a masters' degree in engineering and management from the Polytechnic University of New York and, with a Fairchild Fellowship, earned a masters' degree in business from Columbia University. He is a graduate of the Department of Defense Systems Management College Program Management course and also served in the United States Marine Corps.
Stevens is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the British-American Business Council and on the Executive Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association. He is Presiding Director of the Monsanto Company, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
In October 2000 Stevens became President and Chief Operating Officer when Louis R. Hughes resigned after only 6 months. During 2001 and 2002, Stevens served on President Bush’s Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. On August 5, 2004, he was elected Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin by its board of directors. In 2004, he was recognized by the National Management Association as Executive of the Year. He was elected Chairman on April 28 2005, retaining his previous responsibilities as President and CEO. He has held a variety of increasingly responsible executive positions including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and head of Strategic Planning.