Retired Navy rear admiral hired as new Space Foundation CEO
"I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this position,” Zelibor was quoted in a press release. “I really look forward to joining and working with the superb Space Foundation team. Starting on day one, I am committed to listening, learning and collectively exploring how we can build on the great successes this world-renowned organization has achieved over many years.”
Zelibor most recently served as chairman and chief executive officer for Lightwave Logic Inc., a Colorado-based, publicly traded corporation conducting research and development and producing “advanced materials used in optical devices for the telecommunications, data communications and data center markets,” the release states.
During Zelibor's naval career, after the attacks of 9/11, as commander of Task Force Fifty, he led three U.S. carrier battle groups, two NATO carriers, nearly 60 other U.S. and coalition ships, 300 aircraft and thousands of personnel in the North Arabian Sea, as part of combat operations in Afghanistan.
According to Space Foundation Board of Directors Chairman James Ellis, Jr., “The Space Foundation team is very pleased to have Tom join the Space Foundation as the chief executive officer. His impressive list of accomplishments in government, industry and operational space, along with his broad leadership and educational experience, will ensure that the Space Foundation continues to grow and evolve to serve our members and the global space industry.”
The Space Foundation Board of Directors worked with a national search firm to conduct a five-month search for a CEO.
The position has been vacant since October, following the resignation of Eliot Pulham, who had held the position since 1998.
Chief Operating Officer Shelli Brunswick has been serving as acting CEO.
Zelibor will work from Space Foundation headquarters off Garden of the Gods Road, 4425 Arrowswest Drive. The facility includes the Discovery Center, offering permanent and traveling exhibits as well as interactive activities for the public.
Zelibor will oversee 53 employees in all, including those in an office in Washington, D.C., and field representatives in Houston, Los Angeles, Princeton, N.J., and the Florida Space Coast.
Founded in 1983, the organization offers education, advocacy and “space awareness activities,” the press release states.
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