President & Chief Executive Officer
Salvatore T. "Tory" Bruno is the president and chief executive officer for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Bruno serves as the principal strategic leader of the organization and oversees all business management and operations.
Prior to joining ULA, he served as the vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Strategic and Missile Defense Systems. The business is a leading provider of ballistic missile and ballistic missile defense systems, supporting U.S. Department of Defense customers, as well as the U.K. Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence. Programs included the Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM), the Air Force’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Reentry Systems, and the Missile Defense Agency’s Terminal High Area Altitude Defense (THAAD), Targets and Countermeasures and Common Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) Concept Definition. He also managed the corporation’s responsibilities in Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Management Limited, a joint venture that produces and safely maintains the U.K.’s nuclear weapons. He is a former member of the board of directors of Lockheed Martin U.K. Ltd.
Bruno joined Lockheed Martin in 1984. He previously served as vice president and general manager of FBM and ICBM, as vice president of the THAAD Missile, as vice president of Engineering, as chief engineer for Strategic Missile Programs, as program manager for FBM Rocket Propulsion and in engineering positions involving design and analysis for control systems of rockets and hypersonic reentry vehicles. He holds several patents.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, California, and has completed graduate courses and management programs at Harvard University, Santa Clara University, the Wye River Institute, San Jose State University and the Defense Acquisition University.
Bruno is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fellow, a companion of the Naval Order of the United States, a member of the Navy League and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He served on the National Blue Ribbon Panel for Bettering Engineering & Science Education and as Chairman of the Diversity Council of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
He is the author of two books that explore the organization of the medieval Knights Templar from the perspective of modern business management: “Templar Organization: The Management of Warrior Monasticism” and “Templar Incorporated.” He is a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.
Chief Operating Officer
John Elbon is the chief operating Officer for United Launch Alliance (ULA). Elbon is responsible for the operations of the Atlas, Delta and Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle programs, including design, engineering, integration, production, quality assurance and program management.
Prior to joining ULA in May 2018, Elbon served as vice president and general manager, Space Exploration, a division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security at The Boeing Company. He was responsible for the strategic direction of Boeing's civil space programs, and support of NASA programs such as the International Space Station (ISS), Commercial Crew Development program, and the Space Launch System.
Previously, he served as vice president and program manager for Boeing’s Commercial Programs. In this position, Elbon managed Boeing’s efforts on NASA’s Commercial Crew Space Act Agreements, including the first two phases of the Commercial Crew Development program. He has leveraged innovations and capabilities from across Boeing in the development of crew transportation systems to support NASA and commercial customers in accessing destinations in Low Earth Orbit.
During his 35-year career at Boeing, he has also served as the vice president of Systems Integration for the Army’s Future Combat Systems, and the Boeing program manager for several NASA programs including Constellation, ISS, and the, Checkout, Assembly & Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract at Kennedy Space Center.
As vice president and program manager of ISS, Elbon led Boeing in its role as prime integrating contractor for NASA’s ISS contract to design, develop, test, launch and operate this orbiting facility. The multi-billion dollar contract required the coordination of several thousand Boeing employees in five major locations as well as subcontractors and suppliers located in 23 states across the United States.
He holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) named David Bourcier as controller, replacing Jim Hardin who announced his retirement last year after serving in that role since the company began in 2006.
"David brings 30 years of financial background within the aerospace and defense industry to the ULA team,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “As ULA transforms to make space more affordable and accessible, strong leaders like David are critical to ensuring our success while we continue our laser focus on reliable launch."
Before joining ULA, Bourcier served as the assistant controller for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company where he led enterprise restructuring projects, implemented overhead cost reduction initiatives and served as the ULA consent order liaison.
He began his career with Martin Marietta in 1984 and held various positions of increasing responsibility within program and central finance, including leadership positions as director of Accounting, director of Government Compliance and director of Financial Planning and Analysis.
Bourcier holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Principia College and a masters in business administration from the University of Colorado.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 100 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
General Counsel and President, Global Commercial Sales
Thomas Tshudy serves as Vice President and General Counsel for United Launch Alliance (ULA), as well as the President of Global Commercial Sales. In his role for Global Commercial Sales, Tshudy is responsible for the team that markets and sells Atlas V launch services to commercial customers. He will also be responsible for commercial launch service sales on the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle currently in development at ULA.
Before joining ULA, Tshudy served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS). Previously, he served as Vice President and General Counsel at Lockheed Martin Corporation while ILS was a subsidiary to sell and market launch services provided on the Atlas II, III and V launch vehicles. Tshudy also served as Division Counsel for the Delta II launch vehicle and International Space Station programs and later as the Business Director for Reusable Launch Vehicle programs at McDonnell Douglas Corporation.
Tshudy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s in business administration from University of California Los Angeles and a Juris Doctorate from the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University.
Director, Advanced Programs and Chief Architect
Chris Deel is the director of Advanced Programs and chief architect for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Deel is responsible for defining the product evolution roadmap from concept definition through detailed design. He also oversees the chief engineer teams for Advanced Programs and Major Development. Deel most recently served as the chief engineer for Major Development.
Prior to this position, Deel was the deputy chief engineer for the Atlas program and the chief engineer for Delta propulsion systems. Before joining ULA, Deel served as the Launch Vehicle Integration Lead for Lockheed Martin’s Orbital Space Plane development program.
Deel has led two significant anomaly investigations and supported the activation of two launch pads. He began his career with Martin Marietta in 1994 as a flight dynamics engineer on the Atlas program.
Deel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver.
Vice President, Human Resources
Liane J. George is the vice president of Human Resources for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, George is responsible for directing all human resource operations including talent acquisition, organizational development, payroll, benefits and HR systems.
George brings more than 20 years of experience leading human resources operations to ULA. She began her career with the General Motors Corporation in 1985 and has held numerous positions in both privately-held and publicly-traded, multibillion-dollar manufacturing, technology and service/solutions corporations.
Before joining ULA, George served as the corporate people officer for the Sierra Nevada Corporation, directing the enterprise HR and corporate administration functions. She was also the lead member of the ethics committee, the HR lead for acquisitions and a key member of the corporate crisis management team.
George also served as the director of Human Resources for Lockheed Martin Corporation. She held multiple roles in both operating businesses and corporate headquarters. In one of her last roles, she
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from State University of New York at Oswego and her master’s degree in human resources from the University of Pennsylvania. She also completed several leadership development programs including HR Leadership Programs at Lockheed Martin and the Corporate Executive Board.
Chief Information Officer
John C. Keenan is the chief information officer (CIO) for United Launch Alliance (ULA) and joined the company in July 2015. In this role, Keenan leads the development and implementation of
During his more than 25-year career, Keenan has served in a variety of CIO and business executive positions, leading large, complex global IT operating organizations for billion-dollar, multi-national corporations.
Prior to joining ULA, Keenan served as Group Executive for Global IT Infrastructure, Operations and Project Management Office at the Newmont Mining Corporation. There he led a governance process that leveraged Cloud, SaaS, Virtualization and Outsourcing market maturities, to align deployment of $40 million of annual project funding across business and IT initiatives. He also delivered a sustained and significant reduction in IT operating cost through the development and execution of a centralized global IT services delivery strategy, which increased overall IT performance and reliability.
Keenan holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial marketing from Pace University in New York, as well as completing engineering coursework at Colorado School of Mines.
Vice President, Engineering
Charles G. Krisch serves as vice president of Engineering for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Krisch leads the team responsible for the value stream that includes all engineering functional areas (propulsion and mechanical engineering;electrical engineering and engineering services; operations engineering; systems engineering; and chief engineers), as well as supply chain management and Quality and safety. Krisch is responsible for driving process and execution transformation to achieve a lean, effi¬cient and innovative organization for market competiveness.
Krisch’s prior role with ULA was serving as vice president of Standard Services. In this role, Krisch led the team responsible for the value stream including supply chain management, Production Operations, Launch Operations, as well as manifest planning and program integration.
Krisch joined ULA following a 36-year career with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), where his most recent assignment was vice president and deputy, Commercial Space. Over his career, he has led major business activities including program management, engineering, supply chain, manufacturing and quality, as well as satellite launch and satellite mission operations. Since 2012, he was a key member of the LMSSC commercial space leadership team defi¬ning the vision, strategy and tactics to grow the commercial space business.
Krisch began his career with Lockheed Martin in 1979 at the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Space Systems Division as a ground equipment design engineer. In 1985, after progressing through a variety of increasingly responsible engineering assignments, he began his management and leadership career when he was appointed manager, ground equipment projects. He completed several manufacturing, quality assurance and commercial satellite program management assignments and in 1999 was named program director for Astrolink, providing leadership through the program’s design and development phase. In 2002 Krisch was appointed vice president of commercial satellite production operations and later vice president of commercial satellite engineering before being appointed in 2007 as vice president of quality for LMSSC.
Krisch holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and has completed multiple leadership institutes at Lockheed Martin, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Creative Leadership.
Vice President, Strategy and Business Development
Kent Lietzau joined United Launch Alliance (ULA) in December 2015 as vice president of Strategy and Business Development. In this role he leads a team responsible for ULA’s growth in providing commercial, civil and governmental launch services.
Lietzau began his career as a flight test engineer and project manager for the Air Force. In 1994 he joined the private sector, taking leadership roles at Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company and Honeywell Aerospace. Before joining ULA, Lietzau served as the director of Strategy and New Ventures, Space Systems Company at Lockheed Martin, where he led strategic planning, strategic growth, and new business solutions for their $8 billion space and missile business area.
Lietzau graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s of science degree in aeronautical engineering. He also has a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Operations and Mission Success
Cindy Nafus is the vice president of Operations and Mission Success for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role she serves as the strategic leader for Mission Success, Production Operations, Launch Operations, manifest planning and customer communication.
Nafus began her career with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1983 and worked in a quality support role on both the Spacelab and SPACEHAB Programs. After joining the Decatur, Alabama, Operations team in 1999, she held several positions of increasing responsibility with The Boeing Company and then ULA, including director of Production Operations and vice president of Quality, Safety and Mission Success.
Nafus earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Athens State University. She has served in numerous positions of leadership in the community including board of directors positions at the Decatur/Morgan County (Alabama) Chamber of Commerce and Morgan County Economic Development Association as well as serving on the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. In 2016, Nafus was honored as a 2016 North Alabama Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award Recipient.
Vice President, Major Development
Mark Peller is the program manager for major development at United Launch Alliance (ULA), and in this position is responsible for development of Vulcan. Vulcan is ULA’s future launch system that builds upon ULA’s extensive Atlas and Delta heritage to provide a competitive product offering to serve a broad spectrum of markets. As the program manager, Peller has overall responsibility for developing the launch vehicle and the supporting capabilities required across the supply chain as well as ULA’s production and launch operations to meet the program’s objectives.
Peller began his career with Rockwell International in 1990 as a propulsion engineer supporting the Space Shuttle program. He joined The Boeing Company in 1996 when it acquired the aerospace and defense businesses of Rockwell. Peller moved to the Delta program in 1997 and held various technical and program management positions throughout the development and initial fielding of the Delta IV launch system.
Peller continued his work on the Delta program at ULA after the company was formed in 2006. In 2009, he was appointed the product line chief engineer for Delta, where he had overall technical responsibility for the Delta II and Delta IV launch systems. During this period he oversaw 24 successful Delta launches, including the first launch of the Delta IV Heavy configuration from the West Coast. In 2013 Peller transitioned into the role of the director of the ULA Hardware Value Stream where he was responsible for managing the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contracts with the U.S. Air Force, and leading the product teams supporting launch vehicle development, procurement, and production.
Peller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mechanics from the University of California, San Diego, a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Irvine. He is a licensed mechanical engineer in the state of California.
Vice President, Washington Operations and Communications
Robbie Sabathier is the vice president of Washington Operations and Communications for United Launch Alliance (ULA) headquartered in Centennial, Colorado. In this role, she is responsible for leading ULA’s interaction with key decision makers and stakeholders in Washington, D.C. and shaping critical policies and decisions related to ULA’s business.
Sabathier brings 15 years of broad-based commercial and civil launch experience from her work with the European commercial launch company Arianespace, and space shuttle contractor United Space Alliance. In addition, she co-founded a startup telecommunication company specializing in designing, deploying and operating low-cost, high-speed internet networks to serve rural communities.
Sabathier holds a bachelor’s degree in international business from San Diego State University and a Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law.
Vice President, Government and Commercial Programs
Gary L. Wentz is vice president, Government and Commercial Programs for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Wentz will lead the mission management, hardware integration, program management and launch services for ULA’s government and commercial customers, as well as the team responsible for ULA’s role in returning human spaceflight to American soil on The Boeing Company’s CST-100 Starliner capsule. Wentz previously served as ULA’s vice president of Human and Commercial Systems.
Prior to joining ULA, Wentz served as the chief executive officer of Stratolaunch Systems Corporation and during the first four years was instrumental in establishing a small entrepreneurial company and leading the team through all startup activities. In addition, he successfully completed construction and outing of two large facilities in Mojave, California, to manufacture and assemble the air-launch platform. He led the development, manufacturing, and assembly of a unique one-of-a-kind, purpose-built composite aircraft.
Previously Wentz served as a senior executive at NASA and has worked projects onboard SpaceLab, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program, Orbital Space Program, and Exploration Systems.
Wentz received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering and a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida. He is the recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Certificate of Commendation, the NASA Space Station Program Team Excellence Award, numerous group achievements, and certificates of achievement.