Dr. Claire Leon leads the Space Systems Integration Office (SSIO) for the Space Systems Command within the United States Space Force. She leads the SSIO team in uniting the Systems-of-Systems integration effort across all SSC PEO portfolios and with mission partners in the National Security Space enterprise. Prior to joining the Space Force, she led the Graduate Systems Engineering programs at Loyola Marymount University. She previously worked for the US Air Force as a member of the Senior Executive Service, as the Director of the Launch Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles, Air Force Base, California. She was responsible for leading the acquisition, integration, development, production, operation and sustainment of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program.
Dr. Leon held a variety of leadership positions in industry, government and academia. She started her career at Hughes, Space and Communications Group in 1979, in the Propulsion Department. She gained experience across the company, in Systems Test, Systems Engineering, Line Management, and Program Management through positions of increasing responsibility. In 2008, she was promoted to Vice President of Navigation and Communications Systems within Boeing, Space and Intelligence Systems, responsible for the Wideband Global SATCOM System, the Transformational Satellite Communications System and Global Positioning System IIF satellite systems, as well as a number of classified programs. She retired from Boeing, in 2013, as the Vice President of National Programs after 34 years in the aerospace industry.
1979 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, George Washington University, Washington D.C.
1986 Master’s degree in management, University of Redlands, Redlands, Calif.
1995 Master of Business Administration, University of California, Los Angeles
1997 Leadership Program Certificate, California Center for Creative Leadership
2010 Ph.D. Executive Management, Drucker School of Business, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Calif.
2012 Harvard Business School Executive Strategy Seminar
1. August 1979 - July 1982, Propulsion Engineer/Test Engineer, Hughes, Space and Communications Group (SCG)
2. April 1982 - September 1985, Systems Engineering/Spacecraft Lead, LEASAT Program, Hughes, SCG
3. September 1985 - September 1990 Government Program Systems Engineering, Hughes, SCG
4. August September 1990 - August 1991, HS 601 Commercial Programs, Systems Engineering, Hughes, SCG
5. August 1991 - August 1992, Paradigm System Architecture Study, Systems Engineering Manager, Hughes, SCG
6. August 1992 - October 1993, PanAmSat Program, Systems Engineering, Hughes, SCG
7. October 1993 - January 1996, PanAmSat Program Manager, Hughes, SCG
8. January 1996 - July 1998, Systems Engineering, Analysis and Operations, Deputy Business Unit Leader, Hughes, SCG
9. July 1998 - June 2001, Director, System Software and Operations/Integrated Systems, Hughes, SCG
10. June 2001 - April 2002, Deputy Program Manager, Government Program, Boeing, Space and Intelligence Systems (S&IS)
11. May 2002 - January 2003, Director-Special Project, Boeing, S&IS
12. March 2003 - July 2007, Wideband Global SATCOM Program Director, Boeing, S&IS
13. July 2007 - February 2008, TSAT Program Director (Deputy), Boeing, S&IS
14. February 2008 - August 2008: Vice President, Navigational and Communications Systems, Boeing, S&IS
15. August 2008 - November 2013, Vice President, National Programs, Boeing, S&IS
16. December 2013 - October 2014, Senior Advisor, Integrity Applications Inc.
17. October 2014 – December 2017, the Director of the Launch Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Air Force Base, Calif.
18. December 2017-December 2020, Program Director, Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Programs, Loyola Marymount University
19. December 2018-December 2021, Owner, Claire Leon Consulting, LLC
20. January 2022-Present, Director, Space Systems Integration Office, United States Space Force, Space Systems Command, El Segundo Calif.
AWARDS AND HONORS
1994 Outstanding Achievement Award, Women in Aerospace
1997 Lectured at MIT in Systems Engineering Process and Product Development
2005 Boeing Amelia Earhart Award for “Woman of Leadership”
2012 Avionics Magazine, Women in Technology, Honorable Mention
2016 Level III Acquisition Certified
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
1995-1997 NRC Committee on Advanced Technology, NRC Council
2006 - 2008 Executive Champion for Boeing Women In Leadership Organization
2006 - present Loyola Marymount University, Part time Lecturer for courses in Spacecraft Design; and Advanced Program Leadership, 2014 – present
2013 - present California State Long Beach-Dean’s Advisory Council
(Current as of February 2022)