Gwynne Shotwell (born November 23, 1963 in Libertyville, Illinois) is an American businesswoman. She is the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX (Space Explorations Technologies Corp.), a United States corporation providing space transport services to both government and commercial customers. As of 2014, she is listed as the 90th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
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In 1988, she began work at the El Segundo research center of the Aerospace Corporation, and did technical work on military space research and development contracts. During a ten-year tenure she worked in thermal analysis while "writing dozens of papers on a variety of subjects including conceptual small spacecraft design, infrared signature target modeling, space shuttle integration and reentry vehicle operational risks."
In 2002, Shotwell joined SpaceX (Space Exploration Company) in its founding year as the Vice President of Business Development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to nearly 50 launches, representing nearly $5 billion in revenue. She is now President and COO of SpaceX and is responsible for the day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth.
Gwynne participates in a variety of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related programs, including the Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition. Under her leadership the committee raised more than $350,000 in scholarships in 6 years.
Shotwell gave a TEDx Talk at TEDxChapmanU in June 2013 on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She speaks regularly to business audiences and gave a talk for the "Captains of Industry" series at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security in June 2014 describing entrepreneurial private accomplishments in advancing spaceflight technology.
Honors and awards
- 2011: World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space
- 2012: Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
As of 2014, she is listed as the 90th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
- "Gwynne Shotwell: Executive Profile & Biography". Business Week (New York: Bloomburg). December 1, 2011. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Hennigan, W.J. (June 7, 2013). "How I Made It: SpaceX exec Gwynne Shotwell". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- SpaceX AsiaSat8 press release
- Chestnut, Paul (June 20, 2013). "Video: Engineering America: Gwynne Shotwell at TEDxChapmanU". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved June 21, 2013. (subscription required (. ))
- Shotwell, Gwynne (June 4, 2014). Discussion with Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX. Atlantic Council. Event occurs at 22:35–26:20. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
This [reusable launch vehicle technology], all this innovation is being done by SpaceX alone, no one is paying us to do it. The government is very interested in the data we are collecting on this test series. ... This is the kind of thing that entrepreneurial investment and new entrants/innovators can do for an industry: fund their own improvements, both in the quality of their programs and the quality of their hardware, and the speed and cadence of their operations.