The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

  • Donate
  • Press Room
  • Renew
  • View Cart
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten

    AIAA Statement on U.S. Senate Confirmation of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

    Institute Congratulates Longtime Member and Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin

    February 16, 2018 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) congratulates Mike Griffin on being confirmed as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Griffin will oversee Pentagon technology investments and set R&D priorities, as well as serve as chief technology officer.

    AIAA President Jim Maser made the following statement upon learning of Griffin’s confirmation:

    “We are all fortunate that Mike Griffin will be returning to government service. Mike is the right person for this newly created and crucial position. Maintaining technological leadership and solving military space challenges is critical to the security of the United States and no one understands this better than Mike. He has been a tireless advocate of—and evangelist for—developing U.S. space and aviation technology for decades and has served in industry, academia, and the civil and national security government space sectors. His leadership and knowledge of aerospace and defense technology investments will positively influence the near- and long-term security, innovation, and technological advancements of our country.”

    Griffin’s extensive experience in government, private industry, and academia is reflected in his wide-ranging career. As NASA’s 11th Administrator from 2005 to 2009, Griffin brought vision and innovation to the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), a private–public partnership designed to provide commercial cargo launch services.

    In addition, he served as Space Department Head at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, was previously President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc., and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Orbital's Magellan Systems division and General Manager of the Space Systems Group. Most recently he was Chair and CEO of Schafer Corporation.

    Griffin is an Honorary Fellow and Past President of AIAA and has been a member for more than 40 years. He also is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Griffin is the recipient or co-recipient of numerous AIAA awards including the Goddard Astronautics Award, the Space Systems Award, and the Summerfield Book Award. His other honors include the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given to a non-government employee.

    About AIAA
    The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists, and 95 corporate members, from 85 countries who are dedicated to advancing the global aerospace profession. The world’s largest aerospace technical society, the Institute convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551