Space Foundation Press Releases

Gen. William L. Shelton, USAF (Ret.), Elected Space Foundation Chairman

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 30, 2017) – The Board of Directors of the Space Foundation met yesterday and Gen. William L. Shelton, USAF (Ret.), was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board. Shelton is former Commander, Air Force Space Command.

Shelton replaces the previous Chairman, ADM James O. Ellis, Jr., USN (Ret.). Ellis is former Commander of United States Strategic Command, former President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and currently Annenberg Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

At the meeting, Ellis was elected Director Emeritus, and a new Space Foundation scholarship was created in his honor — the Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr., New Generation National Security Scholarship. This annual scholarship will provide a young professional in the United States Armed Forces full participation in Space Classified programs at the Space Symposium.

Also at the November board meeting, Kathryn Thornton, Ph.D., was elected to a two-year term as Vice Chairman. Thornton is a professor at the University of Virginia and is a former NASA astronaut.

Elected to a two-year term as Secretary was P.J. O’Rourke, author and political satirist, and re-elected to Treasurer was Hoyt Davidson, Managing Partner, Near Earth LLC.

Also on the executive committee is Member-at-Large and Director Emeritus Lon. C. Levin, President and CEO of GEOshare, and RADM Thomas E. Zelibor, USN (Ret.), Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer.

Elected to Life Directors were:

  • Richard F. Ambrose, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
  • John W. Elbon, Vice President and General Manager, The Boeing Company – Space Exploration
  • Kay N. Sears, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (SSC)

The newly elected Members of the Board are:

  • Christopher U. Browne, Deputy Director, National Air and Space Museum
  • Lisa Callahan, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Civil Space, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
  • James H. Chilton, Senior Vice President, Space and Missile Systems, Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS)
  • William Gattle, President, Harris Corporation Space and Intelligence Systems
  • Peter B. Trainer, Vice President and Air Force Operations Manager, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • Phil Larson, will be the Space Foundation New Generation Space Leader. Larson is Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff, University of Colorado Boulder, College of Engineering & Applied Science.

Continuing their service on the Board:

  • Alice Bunn, Ph.D., Director of Policy, UK Space Agency
  • The Honorable Thomas C. Feeney, III, President and Chief Executive Officer, Associated Industries of Florida
  • Michael C. Gass, former President and Chief Executive Officer, United Launch Alliance
  • Jeffrey D. Grant, Sector Vice President and General Manager, Space Systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
  • Blake E. Larson, Chief Operating Officer, Orbital ATK
  • Amy Mainzer, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Fritz Merkle, Ph.D., OHB System, AG
  • Ronald M. Sega, Ph.D., Director, Systems Engineering Programs, Colorado State University; former NASA astronaut
  • Richard R. Yuse, President, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems

The new Board terms commence on Nov. 29, 2017.

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the world’s premier organization to inspire, educate, connect, and advocate on behalf of the global space community. It is a nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium. Space Foundation headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, and has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston, Los Angeles and the Florida Space Coast. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – and – and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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Space Foundation contact:   
Carol Hively, Director – Public Relations & Team Communications
[email protected]