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Dr. Debra L. Emmons, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
The Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Debra L. Emmons is vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) at The Aerospace Corporation. Inthis role, she is responsible for providing vital leadership for determining and executing the company’stechnology strategy and investments. Emmons leads four offices: eLab, responsible for setting the technicalinvestment strategy and priorities; iLab, responsible for bringing transformational, game-changing concepts tofruition; xLab, responsible for developing, building, and operating prototypes; and the newest CommercialSpace Futures (CSF) office, responsible for driving the harnessing of commercial solutions for governmentmissions to advance U.S. space. She also manages the company’s $60M+ internal research and developmentprogram and the Aerospace Technical Fellows program, with the company’s top engineers and scientists.Emmons serves as chairperson of the Office of the CTO Roundtable with federally funded research anddevelopment centers (FFRDCs) and university affiliated research centers (UARCs) to develop and maintainrelationships with government and other defense-related research laboratories to identify technology priorities,future requirements, and emerging opportunities.

Previously, Emmons was vice president of special studies at Aerospace, responsible for promoting the use ofcorporate and government resources through horizontal and cross-program integrated planning and engineering.Prior to that, she served as general manager of Aerospace’s Communication Technologies and EngineeringDivision, where she oversaw the communications studies, analysis, and testing products of the division to servethe full range of corporate national security space, civil, and commercial customers, and managed ageographically distributed team of engineers and laboratories.

Earlier in her career, Emmons was integral in the establishment and growth of the NASA and civil spacecustomer lines of business and held various leadership roles. Emmons held the role of principal director, NASAand Civil Programs, serving all science and technology customers. Before joining Aerospace in 2003 as a projectengineer, Emmons worked at Hughes Space and Communications Company as a system engineering projectmanager on commercial telecommunications satellite development.

An experienced aerospace leader with technical, management, and industry experience in the acquisition anddevelopment of advanced technology space systems, Emmons has more than 25 years of experience in systemsengineering, technical and risk analysis, program management, and communications systems. She was aprincipal contributor on several key high level studies and assessments that have informed strategicdecisionmaking within the government.

Emmons earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University with aconcentration in signal processing and communications theory. She was awarded an MBA from Imperial College
Management School, London, UK, with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance. Emmons earned aPh.D. in systems engineering from the George Washington University.

Awards and Honors
Emmons was awarded two Aerospace President’s Awards and named Aerospace Woman of the Year (2007). In2006, she was honored for her contributions to the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Analysis of Alternatives. In2010, she was honored for providing technical studies critical to the Augustine Commission’s recommendationsfor future U.S. human spaceflight.

Past and present affiliations include the California State University Autonomy Research Center for STEAHMExternal Research Advisory Committee; Advanced Space Communications and Navigation Systems Session,International Astronautical Federation; a subcommittee of the National Science Foundation Business andOperations Advisory Committee; and National Space Club and Foundation, Washington, D.C.

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