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Richard Kniseley, Commercial Space Office of Space Systems Command's Senior Materiel Leader

Richard Kniseley, Commercial Space Office of Space Systems Command’s Senior Materiel Leader

Don’t miss to join the 2024 Space Summit to closely examine how the country’s top space leaders and business leaders deal with the most critical problems and pave the way for the future in space.


Col. Richard Kniseley is a seasoned leader in the industry with over two decades of expertise. He is one of the speakers for the upcoming POC event, the 2024 Space Summit.


Get to know Col. Richard Kniseley


Richard Kniseley
Image from CyberSat


As the Senior Materiel Leader for the Commercial Space Office under Space Systems Command, Colonel Richard Kniseley oversees the service’s major procurement initiatives. He manages a broad procurement team of military, civilian, and contractors that supplies or sustains the Air Force’s capabilities to win warfighting.


As the current Senior Materiel Leader, he manages around 90 personnel working under the DoD. Their primary job is evaluating, implementing, integrating, and managing the department’s commercial space capabilities.


Educational Background

Col. Richard Kniseley has a broad academic background. He has been active primarily in Maxwell Air Force Base and holds an MA degree from Webster University. Here is the list of his educational attainment:


  • 2000: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Colorado State University 
  • 2001: Air and Space Basic Course at Maxwell Air Force Base
  • 2003: Master of Arts in Computer Resources and Information Management at Webster University
  • 2006: Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base
  • 2009: Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base
  • 2016: Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base


2024 Space Summit Speaker

Col. Richard Kniseley is an invited speaker at the Potomac Officers Club event: 2024 Space Summit. The summit will cover the rapid changes in the industry because of the new and transforming technologies. It also includes the potential threats and how our space industry leaders address them.


We invite you to register here for the summit which will happen in February 2024, 7:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone).  Other details will be announced on the POC website or you can become a member to get first-hand news on upcoming govcon events.


Career and Leadership Timeline


Richard Kniseley Career and Leadership Timeline
U.S. Air Force photo / James Spellman, Jr.


Col. Kniseley has been in the industry for more than 20 years. He entered active service after attending the Air Force ROTC program at Colorado State University in 2000. Since then, Richard built his career in the space industry. Here is the list of his assignments and leadership chronology:


  • 2000 – 2002: CSEL Business IPT Lead, Navstar GPS JPO
  • 2002 – 2004: Chief, GPS Modernization Planning, Navstar GPS JPO
  • 2004 – 2006, Vulnerabilities Test Manager, 746th Test Squadron
  • 2006 – 2007: Chief, Inertial Systems Element, 746th Test Squadron
  • 2007 – 2008: Flight Commander, Test Engineering, 586th Flight Test Squadron
  • 2008 – 2010: Program Manager, Joint Threat Emitter, 501st Combat Sustainment Squadron
  • 2010 – 2010, Wing Executive Officer, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing
  • 2010 – 2011: Deputy Chief, Commander’s Action Group
  • 2011 – 2014: Deputy Chief, EELV Acquisition Branch, Launch Systems Directorate
  • 2014 – 2015: Deputy Chief, Mission Management Branch, Launch Systems Directorate
  • 2015 – 2017: Branch Chief, Space Launch & Ranges, Directorate of Space Programs
  • 2017 – 2018: Chief for USAF Space Programs, Office of Legislative Liaison
  • 2018 – August: Materiel Leader for Mission Integration Branch, Launch Systems Enterprise
  • 2020 – 2021: Chief for Commander’s Action Group
  • 2021 – 2022: Chief of SSC CORE Team, Space Systems Command
  • 2022 – 2023: Chief of Enterprise Requirements and Architectures Division, Space Systems Command
  • 2023 – Present: Senior Materiel Leader of Commercial Space Office, Space Systems Command 


Contributions and awards received by Col. Richard Kniseley

One of the notable contributions of Col. Richard Kniseley is implementing a “Buy Before Build” paradigm shift. He makes over $1 billion in investments that fill in critical capability gaps for the warfighter while talking to senior Air Force members, Congressional Staff, and business leaders.


Because of Richard’s excellence leadership, he earned several awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.


Col. Richard Kniseley: Top Priorities for Commercial Space Office


Space Systems Command Headquarters
Space Systems Command Headquarters/Wikimedia


Col. Richard Kniseley stated that one of his primary goals is to make strategic investments in commercial capabilities to meet the demands of the warfighter community. When he started with his current position, he also emphasized moving the Commercial Satellite Communications Office away from the Defense Information Systems Agency. 


Richard added that by the end of September, his office intends to establish working funds to pursue additional mission areas. He plans to enhance industry collaborations further as he builds up the Commercial Space Office in Chantilly, Virginia. Lastly, Col. Kniseley pointed out the importance of integrating new capabilities for the Space Domain Awareness market.


About Space Systems Command


Space Systems Command logo
Space Systems Command logo/Wikimedia


The Space Systems Command (SSC) is a government agency in the United States in charge of building and using combat space capabilities. SSC, which is based in Los Angeles, California, creates, acquires, equips, deploys, and supports space assets that are both lethal and resilient for warfighters.


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