Press Release

Michael Griffin Joins Rocket Lab Board of Directors

By SpaceRef Editor
August 12, 2020
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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. 


Mr. 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, Mr. 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.  Mr. 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.


Mr. 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, Mr. 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 sector 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 Mr. 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.”  


Mr. 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. 



About Rocket Lab:

Rocket Lab is a space systems company and the world’s leading dedicated small satellite launch provider. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab provides end-to-end mission services, including complete satellite build and launch solutions, that provide rapid, frequent and reliable access to space. Since its first launch in 2017, Rocket Lab has delivered 53 satellites to orbit on the Electron launch vehicle, enabling operations in space debris mitigation, Earth observation, ship and airplane tracking, and radio communications. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite platform. Together Electron and Photon offer an all-inclusive spacecraft build and launch service for Rocket Lab customers. Rocket Lab operates launch sites in Māhia, New Zealand and Wallops Island, Virginia. To learn more, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.