Robert Lightfoot, a longtime NASA executive who served as both the agency’s acting administrator and highest-ranking civil servant, will join Lockheed Martin Space as vice president, Strategy and Business Development, effective May 6.
In his new role, Lightfoot will lead strategic planning, advanced technology concepts, and new business strategy for the corporation’s Space business area.
The business area programs include GPS, missile warning and communications satellites for the Department of Defense; human and robotic exploration systems for NASA; weather and commercial communications satellites, and strategic missile and missile defense systems.
Lightfoot retired from NASA in April 2018 and has served as president of LSINC in Huntsville for the past year.
“Robert is a universally-respected leader with an exceptional understanding of space technology, operations and strategy,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. “Robert’s insights and expertise will be crucial to the continued transformation of our space portfolio as we embrace new technologies and new business models.
“He will shape and drive a strategy that will help us deliver the breakthrough innovations and capabilities our customers need as we enter a new space age.”
During his career at NASA, Lightfoot served in several critical leadership roles to support space operations, exploration and science missions including director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and director of Propulsion Test at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
He also focused on strategies for key missions including the shuttle’s return to flight following the Columbia tragedy, then initial transition and retirement efforts for shuttle infrastructure.
Lightfoot retired from NASA in April 2018 and has served as president of LSINC Corporation in Huntsville