Mike Griffin Sets Up Consulting Firm, Joins Rocket Lab Board

Mike Griffin

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Fresh off a short-lived and rocky tenure overseeing the establishment of the Pentagon’s new Space Development Agency (SDA), former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has set up a consulting firm and joined Rocket Lab’s Board of Directors.

“We are honored to welcome Mike to Rocket Lab’s board of directors,” said Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck in a press release. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the civil, defense, and commercial space sectors that will be invaluable to our team as Rocket Lab continues to grow and meet the ever-evolving launch and space systems needs of the national security community and commercial sectors alike.”

The release said Griffin’s day job is serving as “co-President and co-Founder of LogiQ, Inc., a company providing high-end management, scientific, and technical consulting services.”

In February 2019, Griffin became Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering with a mission to to overhaul the Pentagon’s costly and time-consuming R&D and procurement systems.

On June 10, it was reported that Griffin and his deputy, Lisa Porter, were leaving for an opportunity for an unspecified private sector opportunity. That business turned out to be LogiQ.

“Rocket Lab has established itself as the leader in dedicated small satellite launch, and it’s a privilege to be joining the board at an exciting time for the business as it continues to increase launch cadence and expand into satellite manufacturing and operations,” Griffin said.

“Space continues to be a highly contested domain crucial to our national security, and it’s also a domain that presents significant commercial opportunity. The Rocket Lab team has a proven track record of executing on a clear vision to make space accessible to these diverse communities, and I look forward to supporting that vision,” he added. 

The full press release is below.

LONG BEACH, Calif., 12 August 2020 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, a space systems company and global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has welcomed a new member to its board of directors, former Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin.

Griffin joins Rocket Lab’s board with more than 35 years of space industry experience spanning roles in the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the commercial sector. Prior to joining Rocket Lab’s board, Griffin served as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, overseeing the establishment of the Space Development Agency (SDA). In this role he was responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the DoD enterprise, mandated with ensuring technological superiority for the Department of Defense. He also oversaw the activities of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Strategic Capabilities Office, the DoD Laboratory enterprise, and the Under Secretariate staff focused on developing advanced technology and capability for the U.S. military. Griffin also served as the 11th NASA Administrator, a role in which he initiated the first development of commercial cargo delivery service to Earth orbit in the agency’s history.

Griffin previously held numerous executive positions in industry, including President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, CEO of Magellan Systems, and EVP/General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group. He also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schafer Corporation, a professional services provider in the national security sector. He has also served as the King-McDonald Eminent Scholar and professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and as the Space Department Head at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Today, Griffin serves as Co-President and Co-Founder of LogiQ, Inc., a company providing high-end management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

“We are honored to welcome Mike to Rocket Lab’s board of directors,” said Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the civil, defense, and commercial space sectors that will be invaluable to our team as Rocket Lab continues to grow and meet the ever-evolving launch and space systems needs of the national security community and commercial sectors alike.”

“Rocket Lab has established itself as the leader in dedicated small satellite launch, and it’s a privilege to be joining the board at an exciting time for the business as it continues to increase launch cadence and expand into satellite manufacturing and operations,” said Griffin. “Space continues to be a highly contested domain crucial to our national security, and it’s also a domain that presents significant commercial opportunity. The Rocket Lab team has a proven track record of executing on a clear vision to make space accessible to these diverse communities, and I look forward to supporting that vision.”  

Griffin joins existing Rocket Lab board members Sven Strohband of Khosla Ventures, David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners, Matt Ocko of DCVC (Data Collective), and Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck.