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Making Leaders Interview: Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO, SpaceX

In a conversation with SSPI’s Robert Bell, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, talks about her early years, her first role in managing people and the leadership lessons she has learned, how she hires and what she has learned about leading a team bringing major innovations to market.

As VP of business development, Gwynne led the effort to build the Falcon vehicle manifest to over 50 launches representing $5 billion in revenue including commercial resupply services for delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station.  She became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2008, and assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations and for managing the customer and strategic relationships that support company growth.  Under her leadership, SpaceX's backlog has grown to more than $7 billion worth of launches while achieving a set of remarkable milestones. Learn more about Gwynne.

Gwynne was inducted into the SSPI Hall of Fame on March 13, 2018. At the Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC, Robert Bell asked Gwynne a series of questions about her career and leadership experiences. You can click on the videos below to see her responses.

1. How did you enter the space & satellite business, and what qualified you for your first job?

5. If you were advising a young person about careers in space and satellite, where would you steer them?

2. Could you walk us through some of the highlights of your career?

6. What skills and experience should professionals in the industry that are seeking leadership roles be focused on building?

3. What were your first experiences managing people and what lessons did you learn?

7. What have been the one or two most memorable moments you have over your career?

4. What do you think are the most important skills and traits of a good leader?

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This interview is also available as a two-part podcast series:


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