(May 11, 2020) AIAA Member Spotlight on Mr. Steve Isakowitz
Mr. Steve Isakowitz
President and CEOThe Aerospace Corporation
Steve Isakowitz is President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, where he leads a team of about 4,000 employees committed to solving the hardest problems in space. Aerospace is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center addressing complex problems across the space enterprise focused on agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership.
Over the course of his more than 30-year career, Isakowitz has served in prominent roles across the government, private, space, and technology sectors, including at NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, and the White House Office of Management and Budget. Prior to joining Aerospace, he was President of Virgin Galactic, where his responsibilities included the development of privately funded launch systems, advanced technologies, and other new space applications.
His work has been widely recognized and awarded, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. He also co-authored the AIAA’s International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems, which received the Summerfield Book Award in 2003.
Isakowitz’s passion for space was formed at an early age as he watched the Apollo 11 astronauts walk on the moon. The film 2001: A Space Odyssey further inspired a vision of space that was accessible to all, where anyone would have the chance to travel through space.
While his dreams of starting a space company after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were stifled by the high-cost launch environment of the 1980s, he later found his way back to space entrepreneurship through his various roles at the leading edge of innovation and technology.
At Aerospace, Isakowitz is helping shape the future during what he describes as “the most exciting time in space… ever.” He sits at the nexus of defense, civil and commercial space enterprises, overseeing efforts to outpace threats to the country’s national security while nurturing the technologies needed to further a new era of space commercialization and exploration.