Tom Zelibor joined the Space Foundation as Chief Executive Officer in April 2017. From Space Foundation headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., he oversees more than 50 team members across the U.S., including a Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston and the Florida Space Coast.
Before joining the Space Foundation, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Lightwave Logic Inc. His wide-ranging leadership and entrepreneurial background includes having served as President and CEO of Flatiron's Solutions, and as a Vice President for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), among other commercial affiliations.
Highlights of his extensive career in space-related positions include Director, eSpace Incubator at the Center for Space Entrepreneurship; Director of Global Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Deputy for C4 Integration and Policy/Department of the Navy Deputy CIO; Director, Space Information Warfare, Command and Control Division, and as Commander, Naval Space Command. He also held the position of Dean, College of Operational and Strategic Leadership at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy in 1976. He was a Naval Aviator early in his Navy career before branching out into space and information technology assignments. The highlight of his military career was as Commander, Task Force Fifty, where he led three U.S. carrier battle groups, two NATO carriers, nearly 60 other U.S. and coalition ships, 300 aircraft and thousands of personnel in the North Arabian Sea conducting combat operations in Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11.