Dr. Candace Givens
Vice President of OPIR and Geospatial Systems, Strategic Space Systems
Dr. Candace Givens, vice president of the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) and Geospatial Systems (OGS) business unit, leads a talented team that partners with customers to deliver highly capable, resilient, and defendable systems for the warfighter.
The OGS portfolio includes the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar (NGP) program, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, and the Space Tracking and Surveillance System.
Givens has more than 25 years of industry experience and has held numerous leadership positions across program and functional management and systems engineering. She has successfully led multi-disciplined engineering teams and managed complex, technical and mission-critical programs across the government and defense sectors.
Most recently, Givens was vice president of engineering at Virgin Orbit, where she oversaw the execution of all tasks and activities related to new product development, sustaining engineering, and production support.
Prior to this, Givens spent six years at Northrop Grumman, where she served in multiple leadership roles of increasing responsibility that include director of Engineering for the Space Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; senior director of Engineering and Program Management; and vice president, Remote Sensing Programs (RSP) within the Payload and Ground Systems division of Space Systems sector.
Givens earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University and completed undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at Hampton University and California State University. She received a master’s degree in systems engineering from Loyola Marymount University and a doctorate of education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. She is a champion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives and actively mentors those who aspire to become tomorrow’s innovators in STEM fields.