Former Northrop CEO joins Apple's board

The move to appoint Ronald Sugar as a member of Apple's board of directors comes as the company expands its government presence.

Apple has tapped former Northrop Grumman Corp. chairman and CEO Ronald Sugar to be a member of its board of directors. He’ll serve as chairman of the audit and finance committee.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, praised Sugar’s engineering background in the announcement of his appointment.

“Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader,” Jobs said. “In addition to having been the CEO of a high-tech Fortune 100 company, Ron has a Ph.D. in engineering and has been involved in the development of some very sophisticated technology.”

“I have always had enormous admiration for the people of Apple,” Sugar said in the announcement. “It is a special privilege to serve on the board of such an amazing company.”

The addition of Sugar to the board comes at the same time Apple is quietly trying to expand its federal government presence, forming more alliances with systems integrators such as Unisys Corp. and Agilex to pursue more enterprise projects.

Other board members include Jobs; Bill Campbell, chairman and former CEO of Intuit Corp.; Millard Drexler, chairman and CEO of J. Crew; Albert Gore Jr., former vice president of the United States; Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO of Avon Products; and Arthur Levinson, chairman of Genentech.