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Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Leaders, Founders, Execs: Who Are They?

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Leaders, Founders, Execs: Who Are They?

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Leaders, Founders, Execs: Who Are They? With over 50 years of innovation, Airbus became one of today’s biggest and most renowned government contractors. Read on and meet the people behind one of the leading aerospace company’s success.


Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Leaders, Founders, Execs

Here is the list of the top executives at Airbus U.S. Space & Defense. Included are the U.S. Board of Directors, Business Line leaders, the Business Development Team, as well as its founders.


Robert Geckle, Chief Executive Officer

Robert Geckle, Chief Executive Officer

Robert A. Geckle Jr. is the current Chief Executive Officer at Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. As the CEO, he oversees the company’s overall operations, strategy, and activities. Mr. Geckle has a long history with Airbus, as he joined in 2005. He started as Associate General Counsel for EADS NV Group. He has held several positions, such as VP, SVP Head of Legal, COO prior to landing in this role.

Robert is integral to supporting Airbus’s industrial operations and Space and Defense activities. Before Airbus, he was a Litigation Associate at Howrey LLP and Corporate Associate at Hogan & Hartson. Robert got his B.A. at Middlebury College and J.D. at Boston College Law School, where he graduated cum laude in both schools.

Robert was featured several times at GovConWire and recognized at 2023 Wash100 for his leadership and contributions to National Security and Satellite Tech Markets. His strategic and growth vision has helped the company to expand not only in national security but also in the government industry.


Mohamed Denden, Chief Financial Officer

Mohamed Denden, Chief Financial Officer

As the Chief Financial Officer of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Mohamed Denden oversees the financial activities. His role includes the financial decision-making process, day-to-day reporting, and creating sustainable strategies to enhance corporate growth. He has been with the company for over 14 years. 

Mohamed joined Airbus in 2009 as a Finance Director. He has an extensive background in the aerospace and defense industry, having worked with some prominent government contractors. He was a senior consultant at Deloitte, Assistant Controller at DRS Technologies, and Finance Manager at Lockheed Martin. 

Mohamed is a multilingual executive who can speak Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. He holds an MBA from Central Florida and a CPA from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Some of his expertise includes corporate finance leadership, auditing, program control, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions.


Cara Sindir, Chief Operating Officer

Cara Sindir, Chief Operating Officer

Cara Sindir is the Chief Operating Officer of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, overseeing the company’s everyday operations. Prior to this role, she was Head of Strategy for Marketing and Communications. Some of her expertise includes strategic planning, board-level communications, and organizational and leadership development.  

Ms. Sindir joined Airbus Defence and Space in Germany in 2012 and spent over seven years there before moving to Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. in 2019. She had experience working with different companies like Robert Bosch Stiftung and Hogan Lovells. 

Cara also previously worked in Washington, DC, as an attorney and government relations specialist. Her extensive background in education includes graduating summa cum laude at Duquesne University and a  J.D. and master’s degree from the University of Denver. She also took a Foundational Leadership course at Stagen Leadership Academy.


Gloria Sutton, Facility Security Officer

Gloria Sutton, Facility Security Officer

Gloria Sutton is the current Facility Security Officer at Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. She oversees facilities management, including industrial, information, physical, and employee security initiatives. Her other responsibilities include:

  • Risk management
  • Staff education and communication
  • Safety and emergency preparedness, 
  • Airbus U.S. facilities and properties maintenance
  • Budget and resource management planning

Before joining Airbus in March 2005 as the assistant FSO, she worked as Access Research Corporation’s junior help desk engineer and office manager. Gloria holds a degree in Information Technology from Georgia College & State University.


Alex Veneziano, Chief Administrative Officer

Alex Veneziano, Chief Administrative Officer

As the Chief Administrative Officer, Alex Veneziano leads Airbus U.S. Space & Defence Information Security, HR, and Legal, Ethics, and Compliance departments. He first joined Airbus in 2012 as Head of Employee Relations and Legal Counsel. Eventually, he became the Head of Business Operations and HR in September 2020.

His career experiences include being a Law Clerk in the U.S. District Court and a Research Assistant at INSCT. Alex studied at the University of Michigan and earned a J.D. and a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University.


Armen Askijian, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering

Armen Askijian, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering

Armen Askijian is the Airbus U.S. Space & Defense’s Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering. He works on developing solutions for commercial and governmental clients. He joined the company in 2020 as Head of Engineering and became CTO in 2021.

Before Airbus, he held several positions at OneWeb from 2014 to 2018. He led numerous successful projects with OneWeb, including the Gen1 satellite and its underlying modular platform (Arrow) and Generation 2 satellite constellation. 

Mr. Askijian was also the Engineering Lead of Google, Staff Mechanical Engineer at Lockheed Martin, and Mechanical Engineer at J&J Air. He is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Santa Clara.


Russ Matijevich, Chief Innovation Officer

Russ Matijevich, Chief Innovation Officer

Russ Matijevich oversees various teams as the Chief Innovation Officer of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Under his purview, he leads the business development, government relations, marketing strategy, and strategic communications teams.

Mr. Matijevich is a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel veteran with over three decades of experience in space, satellite, and aviation. After his retirement in 2011, he joined SAIC as Reconnaissance System Architect & Senior Capture Manager. He also worked with prominent government contracting companies, such as Northrop Grumman, HawkEye 360, and BAE Systems.

Having graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, he also earned an M.S. in Astronautical Engineering, specializing in orbital dynamics and space mission analysis.


Images from Airbus U.S. Space & Defense


Complete List of Airbus Leadership

Besides the listed executives above, Airbus has a lot of dedicated leaders with various expertise. Get to know Airbus’s Board of Directors, Business Line Leaders, and Business Development Team below.


Airbus U.S. Board of Directors

  • The Hon. Franklin C. Miller
  • William L. Shelton General, retd. U.S. Air Force
  • Kevin Sweeney, retd. Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
  • Michael Schoellhorn
  • Bruno Even
  • Jeff Knittel
  • Jean-Marc Nasr

Business Line Leaders

  • Debra Facktor, Airbus U.S. Space
  • Scott Tumpak, Airbus U.S. Military Helicopters
  • Jose Antonio de la Fuente, Airbus U.S. Military Aircraft
  • Didier Cormary, Airbus U.S. Connected Intelligence
  • Brian Zarchin, Vice President, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Business Development Team

  • Aubert Kimbrell, Government Relations
  • Christopher Demi, Executive Director, Business Development
  • Lavanson “LC” Coffey, Executive Director, Customer Engagement

About Airbus U.S. Space & Defense

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense Headquarters
Photo by Sergey Kohl/Shutterstock


Airbus traces its history back to 1969, founded by Roger Béteille, Henri Ziegler, Bernard Lathière, and Felix Kracht. The company has over 55 years of industry milestones and continues to deliver outstanding products and services around the globe.

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., the Northern Virginia-based business segment of Airbus, delivers advanced aerospace solutions and space technology to the government. The company is known for providing cyber capabilities, geospatial intelligence, space exploration capabilities, and other aerospace mission-enabling services.

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