Karina Drees Named New CEO of Mojave Spaceport

Katrina Drees
Katrina Drees

MOJAVE, Calif. — Mojave Air and Space Port Deputy General Manager Karina Drees has been named to replace outgoing General Manager/CEO Stu Witt, who is retiring on Jan 15.

The spaceport’s Board of Directors approved the appointment of Drees in a closed session meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Drees, 39, joined the spaceport as director of business development on July 1, 20o12. She was appointed deputy general manager in August 2013.

Director Allen Peterson said the board concluded Drees was the best candidate to take over the spaceport and civilian flight test center in California’s High Desert after a very systematic search process.

Prior to coming to Mojave, Drees had worked for more than 12 years in strategy and business development in growing technology companies rranging from startups to large public corporations. Her most recent position had been as a member of the strategy and positioning team for SRA International, a large defense contractor in Fairfax, Virg.

Drees lives in Mojave with her husband Todd and their one-year old son, Max.
Witt will be ending a nearly 14 year stint as head of the airport. He is widely viewed as having been a strong leader who built the former Marine Corps base into one of the world’s leading civilian test centers. In addition to the National Test Pilot School, Mojave boast leading edge space companies, including Virgin Galactic, Stratolaunch, Masten Space Systems and XCOR Aerospace.