Virgin Galactic is bringing together leaders and experts to define the next generation of space travel.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael Colglazier is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic. With a focus on safety, scale, engineering and manufacturing excellence, and amazing customer experience, Michael brings together and leads the incredibly talented, impassioned and diverse team that is designing, building and operating the world’s first commercial spaceline.
Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Michael served as President and Managing Director of Disney Parks International and previously served as President of The Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Michael had an extensive career at Disney spanning over 30 years, where he drove new businesses, innovative growth, and operational excellence at Disney locations around the world.
Michael is active in the community, currently serving as Chairman of the CEO Roundtable for the University of California, Irvine and as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board of Rice University. Michael graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Chief Financial Officer
Doug Ahrens is the CFO of Virgin Galactic Holdings. Doug has over 25 years of operational and strategic finance experience at multinational corporations. He has led global teams at rapidly growing public and privately held companies in complex technology and manufacturing environments. Doug has deep experience helping global manufacturing companies scale and grow, and expertise in capital markets and M&A.
Most recently, Doug served as CFO of Mellanox, a public company in the semiconductor industry, where he was responsible for all finance functions until the successful acquisition of Mellanox by NVIDIA Corporation in 2020. Previously, Doug served as CFO of GlobalLogic, a large software engineering company experiencing rapid growth. Prior to that, Doug was CFO of Applied Micro Circuits, a public semiconductor company.
Earlier in his career, Ahrens spent over a decade at Maxim Integrated Products, leading financial planning and coordinating M&A activities. He also held a variety of financial positions at Intel Corporation and was an Environmental Engineer at Chevron Corporation.
Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also holds an active CPA license in California and has a private pilot license.
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
Sarah E. Kim is the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Virgin Galactic. Sarah oversees all aspects of the Company’s legal, compliance and regulatory functions, including transactions, strategic partnerships and investments, ensuring securities compliance and corporate governance, and overseeing the company’s in-house legal staff and outside counsel. Sarah also chairs Virgin Galactic’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) committee.
Sarah brings over 15 years of legal and finance experience. Most recently, Sarah served as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Chief Ethics Officer and Compliance Officer for Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. (“Topgolf Callaway”), where she oversaw all global legal matters affecting the company and its subsidiaries, and led the launch of Topgolf Callaway's sustainability initiative. Prior to that, Sarah served as Associate General Counsel for Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., where she operated as lead counsel for several of Petco’s most complex and innovative business units.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Chief People Officer
Aparna Chitale is the Chief People Officer [CPO] at Virgin Galactic. Aparna has over 20 years of strategic experience at multi-national organizations, where she has scaled and led global teams at both public and privately held companies.
As CPO, Aparna leads all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity & inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning & development, compensation & benefits and corporate security. Before joining Virgin Galactic, Aparna, served as Vice President of Human Resources at Disney Parks Experiences and Products. In this role, she led the HR strategy for the company’s International Parks business in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, as well as overseeing HR for Disney’s Engineering, Maintenance, and Safety teams. During her time at Disney, Aparna designed and implemented holistic people strategies – including diversity and inclusion programming – that supported business priorities across corporate functions, engineering, international parks, and cruise line businesses. Prior to Disney, Chitale led Human Resources for Avaya India PVT Ltd, where she built the HR infrastructure that was instrumental for rapid business growth with a strategic focus on building large engineering and technology teams.
Aparna holds a master’s degree in Personal Management and Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) degree from Pune University, India.
President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations
Blair Rich is the President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations for Virgin Galactic. Blair is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s commercial strategy including sales, marketing, business and product development, communications, operations, and customer experience.
Prior to this role, Blair served as a consultant and strategic advisor to Virgin Galactic, where she helped develop and grow the company’s commercial strategy, including the marketing for Sir Richard Branson’s inaugural spaceflight as a member of the Unity 22 crew.
Blair has more than two decades of experience building some of the world’s most recognizable entertainment brands. She spent 23 years at Warner Bros. Entertainment, starting as an intern and rising to President, Worldwide Marketing for both the Theatrical and Home Entertainment divisions of the Company. In this role, she oversaw a global team of over 700, encompassing creative advertising, publicity, media, digital and data, partnerships, research and multicultural marketing that launched an average of 20 films per year. Blair was integral in establishing and shaping some of the most successful films and franchises in that industry, including Harry Potter and the DC Multiverse.
President, Spaceline Missions and Safety
Mike Moses oversees the commercial spaceflight program. He leads the team in all aspects of safety, mission operations and FAA regulatory compliance.
Mike came to Virgin Galactic following a distinguished 17 year career with NASA. From 2008 to 2011, he served at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the Launch Integration Manager, where he led all space shuttle processing activities from landing through launch. Mike also chaired the Mission Management Team where he provided ultimate shuttle launch decision authority. Other NASA experience includes working as a Flight Director at the Johnson Space Center, where he led teams of flight controllers in the planning, training, and execution of space shuttle missions. Before being selected as a Flight Director in 2005, Mike had more than 10 years of experience as a flight controller in the Shuttle Propulsion and Electrical Systems Groups.
Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at Purdue University. He also earned a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, as well as other NASA commendations and awards.
Executive Vice President, Spaceline Technical Operations
Mike leads all Spaceline Technical Operations. His team is responsible for ensuring all vehicles are manufactured, maintained, and sustained to the highest standards of quality, reliability, and efficiency.
Mike came to Virgin Galactic following a thirty-seven-year long career in aviation. He most recently worked for Delta Airlines, where he led Delta’s global tech operations group as Senior Vice President, Maintenance Operations & MRO Services Group.
During his career at Delta, Mike supported the introduction of two major next-generation engine maintenance partnerships -- with Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney. His aviation career began in the Air Force where Mike was an aviation mechanic. Mike is also a race car driver.
Senior Vice President, Spaceline Programs & Engineering
Steve leads the design, engineering, and program management of Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight system and future fleet development.
A 39-year veteran of Lockheed Martin and a “legend” in its Skunk Works division - he brings incredibly deep leadership and engineering experience. During his career, he led numerous technology breakthrough programs and served on the teams that developed the F-117A Nighthawk, the world’s first stealth attack aircraft, the YF-22A prototype for the F-22A stealth fighter, and the JASSM stealth missile. He also served as deputy program manager for Lockheed Martin's Blackswift, an innovative reusable hypersonic testbed for high speed, high-altitude aircraft technologies.
Chief Information Officer
Alistair oversees information technology strategy and infrastructure for Virgin Galactic, which supports the company’s overall business strategy.
Alistair has over 25 years of experience working in some of the largest global companies in a wide variety of industries ranging from manufacturing to media. Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Alistair was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at OSI Systems, a designer and manufacturer of specialized electronic systems and components for critical applications. In this role, Alistair worked across a range of industries including security, defense, aerospace and healthcare.
Alistair has also held several senior leadership positions at FTSE 100-listed manufacturing giant Meggitt Plc, specializing in components and subsystems for aerospace, defense and energy markets. Earlier in his career, Alistair spent over 15 years at Thomson Reuters where he was responsible for managing the large-scale technology infrastructure that powers the world’s financial, news and media markets.
Dave Mackay joined Virgin Galactic in 2009 and is the company’s Chief Pilot. In addition to leading the Virgin Galactic pilot corps and planning for commercial flight operations, Dave plays a key role in the test flight program, regularly flying both carrier aircraft, VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity. Dave has over 40 years of experience as a pilot, first learning to fly while studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Glasgow in 1977. He has clocked over 14,000 piloting hours in more than 140 types of aircraft.
Dave spent 16 years as a pilot in Britain’s Royal Air Force, becoming Officer Commanding the Fast Jet Test Flight in 1992. He was awarded the Air Force Cross by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to test flying in the same year. After retiring from the RAF and before joining Virgin Galactic, Dave spent time as a captain for Virgin Atlantic flying both the Boeing 747 and Airbus 340.
Vice President, Government Affairs and Research Flight Operations
Sirisha Bandla is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Research/Technical Flight Development for Virgin Galactic. Sirisha has supported Virgin Galactic over the past five years, successfully growing the presence of the company inside the beltway through engagement with Congress, the White House, and NASA. Sirisha leads Virgin Galactic’s efforts on policy, regulation, and the business development program for scientific payloads.
Previously, Sirisha served as the Associate Director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies. At CSF, Sirisha works on various policies with the aim to promote the commercial space industry and make commercial spaceflight a reality. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas.
She has a Bachelors of Science degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from Purdue and holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University. Sirisha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Astronautical Society, Future Space Leaders Foundation, and is a member of the Young Professional Advisory Council at Purdue University. She also helps to coordinate the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, a mentorship program for students interested in pursuing a career in the commercial space industry.
Vice President, Investor Relations
SPACE ADVISORY BOARD
Virgin Galactic’s Space Advisory Board brings together aerospace leaders to advise our senior management team as we move towards regular commercial spaceflight, develop our next generation vehicles and explore new opportunities. It also serves as a forum to discuss technical and operational best practices.
SPACE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR
George T. Whitesides is the Chair of the Space Advisory Board, where he is responsible for bringing together aerospace leaders to advise the Virgin Galactic senior management team on the journey towards regular commercial spaceflight, developing the next generation vehicles and exploring new opportunities. Previously, George served as the Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, spearheading the development of future technologies, including high speed, point-to-point travel and orbital flight, after stepping down as CEO in 2020.
George joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer. During George’s 10 years with the Company, he built the company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900, successfully guiding Virgin Galactic through its human space flight R&D and flight test program, culminating in two space flights. These historic flights saw the first humans launched into space from US soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, as well as the first woman to fly on a commercial space vehicle. George led the transition of operations from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico, and oversaw the company’s successful public listing making it a multi-billion dollar company and creating the world’s first publicly traded human spaceflight venture.
Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA. Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.
George’s volunteer service includes Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Antelope Valley Economic Development & Growth Enterprise. He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
He previously served as Vice Chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic, a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and the Board of Virgin Unite USA. George has testified on American space policy before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. An honors graduate of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.
He resides in California with his wife Loretta and two children.
SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Colonel Chris Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot who has commanded the International Space Station. Formerly NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia and veteran of three spaceflights, Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Hadfield is a three-time NYT bestselling author, a renowned musician, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation, and host of several internationally acclaimed television series. In addition, Hadfield leads the space stream at the Creative Destruction Lab, one of the world’s top tech incubators.
DR SANDRA MAGNUS
SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
DR SANDRA MAGNUS
Dr. Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus is the Principal at AstroPlanetview, LLC. Most recently she served as the Deputy Director of Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Undersecretary of Research and Engineering. In that role she served as the “Chief Engineer” for the Department of Defense establishing engineering policy, propagating best practices and working to connect the engineering community across the department.
Dr. Magnus is the former Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Prior to leading AIAA, she was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps for 16 years. During her time at NASA she flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months on board.
Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.
While at NASA, Dr. Magnus worked extensively with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the International Space Station.
Before joining NASA, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer. While at McDonnell Douglas, she worked on internal R&D and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program.
Dr. Magnus has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).
DAVID A. WHELAN
SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
DAVID A. WHELAN
Dr. David A. Whelan is the SVP Chief-Scientist of Cubic Corporation. Dr. Whelan retired from Boeing in 2017, as the Vice President, Engineering (BDS) and Board of Directors for HRL Laboratories. Whelan served as Director of the Tactical Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and began his career at Northrop as designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Whelan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society and IEEE. He earned his Ph.D. Physics from UCLA; He holds over 75 US patents.