The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) CEO, Dan Dumbacher, will step down from his role on September 30, 2024. The AIAA Board of Trustees has retained Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) to assist with the national search for its next CEO. The search process is expected to take several months and will be led by Julia McGeorge and Stephanie Tomasso in the RRA Washington, DC, office.
“Dan shared his intent to leave his role as steward of the Institute during a recent AIAA Board of Trustees meeting. His leadership over the past six years has been key to solidly positioning us for a strong future, especially successfully navigating through the challenges of the pandemic. We highly value his many contributions to AIAA and the aerospace community. At the heart of that leadership is his enduring commitment to helping AIAA members succeed as they devote their life’s work to unraveling the mysteries of flight and exploring the universe. We wish him all the best in his next chapter,” said AIAA President Laura McGill.
Dumbacher joined AIAA in 2018 as Executive Director (now CEO) following a more than 30-year career at NASA. He also served as a Professor of Engineering Practice in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, where he taught courses in systems thinking, systems engineering, and space policy. He has been a member of AIAA for almost 40 years.
“It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Dan on inspiring the next generation. In just the past few years of our collaboration, the Foundation has been able to offer new STEM education programs to K-12 students, establish partnerships to impact one million students per year by 2025, create the new Trailblazing STEM Educator Award to recognize deserving teachers, and add valuable new university scholarship opportunities for students studying aerospace engineering,” said AIAA Foundation Chair Basil Hassan.
During his tenure, the Institute has continued to deliver on its mission to help aerospace professionals and their organizations succeed. Under Dumbacher’s guidance, AIAA has continued its work through the combination of his tireless advocacy of the industry among policymakers and government leaders at state, national, and global levels, and the endorsement of an audaciously bold vision for the future of aerospace.
Dumbacher has been a vocal thought leader in aeronautics and astronautics subjects, publishing editorials on timely industry topics, appearing frequently in media coverage of industry events, and sharing his passion about developing the next generation STEM-literate workforce. He has enthusiastically championed diversity, equity, and inclusion in aerospace, helping move the community toward better reflecting the demographics of society. Through his influential contributions, the Institute is viewed as an essential voice for the industry.