Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he received a Bachelor of Science in international relations from St. Joseph’s University in 1964, gained a B.A. and M.A. from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Lehman served in the Air Force Reserve for three years while at Cambridge, then in 1968 left and joined the United States Navy Reserve as an ensign, later rising to the rank of commander. In 1977 Lehman founded the Abington Corporation, a consulting company with clients including defense companies such as Northrop Corporation. He remained its president and director until 1981, when he was appointed by Ronald Reagan to be Secretary of the Navy.
From 1981 to 1987, Dr. Lehman served as Secretary of the United States Navy. Prior to serving as Secretary of the Navy, Dr. Lehman was President of the aerospace consulting firm Abington Corporation, served as a delegate to the Mutual Balanced Force Reductions negotiations and was the Deputy Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He currently is a director of Ball Corporation, ISO Inc., EnerSys, JFL DMH Partners, LLC (“Drew Marine”). He is Chairman of the Princess Grace Foundation and an Overseer of the School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.