Martin Faga

2024 Awardee, General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award

Headshot of 2024 Hill Award recipient Martin Faga

Named in honor of Space Foundation’s late, longtime chairman, Gen. James E. Hill, USAF (Ret.), this award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions of 20 years or more to the welfare or betterment of humankind through the exploration, development and use of space, or the use of space technology, information, themes or resources in academic, cultural, industrial or other pursuits of broad benefit to humanity.

Commenting on Faga’s selection for the award, Space Foundation CEO Heather Pringle said, “I sincerely wish we could have honored Marty while he was with us, but his legacy will continue to inspire the global space community. His visionary contributions and passion have left an indelible mark, and we are proud to celebrate Marty Faga's enduring impact on the space industry.”

Faga earned both bachelor’s and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Lehigh University and subsequently received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Over six years, he served as a research and development officer in the Air Force, before transitioning to a significant role with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In 1976, Faga joined the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he advanced to the position of staff director. In 1989, he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as assistant secretary of the Air Force and director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Serving in this capacity until 1993, Faga played a pivotal role in guiding the NRO through the first Gulf War and overseeing the declassification of its existence.

Following retirement from government service in 1993, he joined MITRE Corporation as a vice president, later rising to the position of president and chief executive officer. After retiring from MITRE in 2006, Faga remained on MITRE’s board of directors and served on other boards and commissions.

Faga served on Space Foundation’s board of directors from 2007 to 2014, held the position of board chair from 2012 to 2014, and was honored as director emeritus from 2014 to 2023. In recognition of his outstanding contributions and impressive career of service, Space Foundation established the Faga Forum on Space Intelligence in 2016. This forum brings together leading government officials and industry experts well-versed in space and intelligence issues to discuss critical threats and challenges while sharing their perspectives and insights.