Thomas Zelibor, CEO of Space Foundation and retired U.S. Navy flag officer, has been appointed to the Defense Innovation Board Space Advisory Council (DIB SAC). On the board, he will provide independent advice and recommendations to Mark Esper, secretary of defense and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, as well as other senior Department of Defense (DoD) leaders on emerging space technologies.
“I spent the first 34 years of my career in the U.S. military. It is where I discovered my passion for space-based technologies and all of the advantages they present to improve our armed forces’ strategic, as well as tactical operations. With my appointment to the DIB SAC, I can serve my country once again, bringing new ideas and the latest technologies to the table,” said Zelibor.
Zelibor has a broad leadership and entrepreneurial background. On the DIB SAC, Zelibor will help provide innovations that support national technological and military dominance.
He has previously served as chairman and CEO of Lightwave Logic, a publicly traded corporation that conducts research and development (R&D) and production of advanced, high-speed organic electro-optic materials for use in devices in the telecommunications, data center and high-speed computing markets.
Zelibor was also president and CEO of Flatirons Solutions, a high-tech IT professional services and systems engineering company, where he was responsible for the overall strategic guidance and direction of business operations. As vice president for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), he supported the company’s growth and strategy.
The DIB parent board is composed of leaders from across the national security innovation base, who provide insights on the DoD’s challenges. The Space Advisory Committee has produced recommendations on topics such as artificial intelligence, software, data, digital modernization, and human capital.
Zelibor was selected for the committee based on his established military career as well as his contributory work in furthering space innovation. He was recently sworn in as a member of the DIB SAC to serve a four-year appointment. Zelibor is uniquely qualified to identify and assess emerging space technologies that could benefit the DoD and all who are under its watch.
“I am honored to join the DIB SAC and look forward to sharing the innovations taking place across the entire space ecosystem with our Department of Defense,” said Zelibor.
James Geurts, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition with the U.S. Navy and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient will serve as a keynote speaker during the event. Geurts will discuss how the U.S. Navy has continually worked to decentralize, differentialize and digitize the service branch’s work as well as develop its talent in the field.
The Navy has also accelerated acquisition channels, modernized emerging technologies and increased research and development to become more effective in warfare. As the Navy continues to evolve to meet the growing demands, challenges still remain.
Join Potomac Officers Club’s 2020 Navy Forum to hear notable industry and federal leaders discuss the initiatives, efficiencies and challenges the service branch faces as well as how to join together to improve the future of warfare.