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Making Leaders Interview: Tory Bruno, President & CEO of United Launch Alliance

In this Making Leaders interview conducted at the Hall of Fame Celebration, we hear from Tory Bruno, President & CEO of United Launch Alliance and one of the three inductees to the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2020. Tory Bruno came to United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2014 after a long career managing programs for some of the most advanced and powerful weapons systems in the American arsenal. As general manager of Lockheed Martin Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, he led a team of men and women responsible for the Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, the Air Force’s ICBM Reentry Systems and the Terminal High Area Altitude Defense System (THAAD). He managed a joint venture responsible for producing and safely maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons and has engineered control systems for rockets and hypersonic weapons, for which he holds numerous patents. No words describe him better than Tom Wolfe’s famous phrase, “a steely-eyed missile man.”

When he was tapped to lead ULA, the company was at a crossroads. What had been an effective monopoly on national security and NASA missions had turned competitive as new commercial competitors entered the business. The company needed to adapt to survive. This veteran of military space and missile programs might not have seemed the obvious choice of leader, but he was soon to prove doubters wrong. Read more about Tory.

Tory was inducted into the SSPI Hall of Fame on March 10, 2020. At the Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC, Robert Bell asked Tory a series of questions about his career and leadership experiences. You can click on the videos below to see his 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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