Chronic airways infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with worse respiratory disease cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Ceftaroline is a cephalosporin that inhibits the penicillin-binding protein (PBP2a) uniquely produced by MRSA. We analyzed 335 S. aureus isolates from CF sputum samples collected at three US centers between 2015-2018. Molecular relationships demonstrated that high-level resistance of preceding isolates to carbapenems were associated with subsequent isolation of ceftaroline resistant CF MRSA. In vitro evolution experiments showed that pre-exposure of CF MRSA to meropenem with further selection with ceftaroline implied mutations in mecA and additional mutations in pbp1 and pbp2, targets of carbapenems; no effects were achieved by other β-lactams. An in vivo pneumonia mouse model showed the potential therapeutic efficacy of ceftaroline/meropenem combination against ceftaroline-resistant CF MRSA infections. Thus, the present findings highlight risk factors and potential therapeutic strategies offering an opportunity to both prevent and address antibiotic resistance in this patient population.