In 1967 he got a law degree from the Northwestern University. He was then employed by the Jenner & Block law firm in which he stayed for almost thirty years, from 1968 to 1997. In this first and longest period of his career he also served as a Special Counsel for the United States House of Representatives. He also held counseling positions for General Dynamics, being a Senior Vice President and Counsel from 1993 to 1994, and a Vice Chairman from 1996 to 1997.
In 1997 he was appointed a Chief Executive Officer of General Dynamics, a position which he held for twelve years, stepping down from his office in June 30, 2009. This makes Nicholas Chabraja the longest-serving Chief Executive Officer of the top five defense contractors, the others being Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Raytheon. Under his management General Dynamics grew rapidly, mainly through acquisitions: from $4 billion in sales and 29,000 employees, to $29.3 billion in sales and 92,900 employees in 2008. In 2008, Nicholas D. Chabraja earned a total compensation of $17,962,579, which included a base salary of $1,375,000, a cash bonus of $4,500,000, stocks granted worth $3,756,556, options granted worth $7,926,420, and other compensation worth $404,603. In 2009, he was included in the list of the 24 "TopGun CEOs" in the US, published by Brendan Wood International, an advisory agency.
He is also a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
- "Nicholas D. Chabraja". Archived from the original on 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- "General Dynamics Corporate Office Information". Archived from the original on 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- "Nicholas D. Chabraja". Businessweek. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Hedgpeth, Dana (2009-06-22). "At General Dynamics, Chief Leaves a Legacy Of Nailing the Numbers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
- 2008 CEO Compensation for Nicholas D. Chabraja, Equilar.com
- The Market's Best Managers - Forbes.com, Forbes.com
- Brendan Wood International Announces 24 TopGun CEOs in the US, Reuters.com