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Robert Lightfoot, Lockheed Martin Space EVP, Named to 2023 Wash100 Award for Moonshot Support & Industry Collaboration Leadership

Robert Lightfoot, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s space business area, has been named to Executive Mosaic’s 2023 Wash100 list of highly esteemed leaders who shape the government contracting narrative at the intersection of federal and commercial sectors. This marks the third time that he has been recognized as a Wash100 Award winner.

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“Robert is among those exceptional executives who excel both in government and government contracting,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and creator of the Wash100 Award. “After serving as acting NASA administrator, he joined Lockheed Martin to drive growth in the company’s most exciting aggregated opportunities that lie ahead for the nation and for Lockheed,” Garrettson added.

Lightfoot started year two of his leadership over Lockheed Martin Space in January, an $11 billion corporate unit that is the prime contractor for NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle program – an initiative that has demonstrated a new means to send humans back to the moon.

Lockheed’s uncrewed capsule launched Nov. 16, 2022, in the first integrated test flight with NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and completed the nearly 26-day Artemis I mission Dec. 11.

“Through a nationwide industry team that has also leveraged an international industrial base, this launch and mission unite the skills of a dedicated workforce and innovative technologies to make a global impact,” Lightfoot said in November.

The historic mission saw Orion perform two lunar flybys and travel nearly 270,000 miles from Earth, the farthest distance a human-rated spacecraft has traveled since the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

Revenue in Lockheed’s space segment reached $3.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2022, a 12 percent increase from the prior-year period that was partly driven by a higher volume of Orion-related work.

In a July Executive Spotlight interview, Lightfoot cited speed and accuracy as key to building new systems that help address emerging challenges in the space domain.

“At Lockheed Martin Space, we are transforming our business while still delivering the value that customers have come to expect of our company and our rich history in space. From digital transformation to technology demonstrations that lay the groundwork for future innovations, we are evolving to better deliver on the future needs of our customers and the space industry as a whole,” the former NASA official told ExecutiveBiz.

He underscored the importance of technology industry collaboration to advance warfighter capabilities such as broadband connectivity for defense operations across the air, space, sea, land and cyber domains.

“By partnering with and investing in the best of commercial high-tech companies, we are accelerating the delivery of cutting-edge technologies into our networked systems and helping to bring the significant resources and talent from the digital commercial sector into the defense space,” said the three-time Wash100 awardee.

Also in 2022, Lockheed secured contracts worth a combined $231.6 million to design, build and test the main components of NASA’s Mars Sample Return initiative and received a $744 million award from Space Systems Command to manufacture GPS IIIF Space Vehicles 18, 19 and 20.

NASA additionally chose the business led by Lightfoot to carry out a spacecraft study under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geostationary Extended Observations program.

Lightfoot secured his first Wash100 recognition in 2017, when he was chosen to lead NASA as acting administrator and drove the implementation of White House initiatives to revive lunar exploration.

Executive Mosaic congratulates Robert Lightfoot and the Lockheed Martin organization for their selection to receive the 2023 Wash100 Award. Vote your favorite awardees at the Wash100 site for this year’s Popular Vote rankings. Voting is open until April 28.

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