Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, USAF (Ret.)
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Larry D. James was appointed Deputy Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in August 2013. At JPL he is the Laboratory’s Chief Operating Officer responsible to the Director for the day-to-day management of JPL’s resources and activities. This includes managing the Laboratory’s solar system exploration, Mars, astronomy, physics, Earth science, interplanetary network programs, and all business operations. These activities employ 6000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and business support personnel, generating $2.6 billion in annual revenues.
Prior to his retirement from the Air Force and his appointment as JPL Deputy Director, Lt. Gen. James was the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at the Pentagon. He was responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and led more than 20,000 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance officers, enlisted and civilians across the Air Force ISR Enterprise.
Lt. Gen. James received his Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering (1978) from the US Air Force Academy (Distinguished Graduate) and his Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics (1983) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. He was also a Draper Fellow at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge MA.
James’ 35 year military career included assignments as a Space Shuttle Payload Specialist, GPS Program Manager, Titan IV Launch Director and Commander of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, CO. He was commander of the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg AFB, responsible for all military satellite, launch and C2 operations, and was Director, Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition and Operations Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office, Washington, D.C. He was the Director, Space Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom at the Combined Air Operations Center, Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia.
James is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Major Awards and Decorations:
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star Medal
National Reconnaissance Office Leadership Award
General Thomas D. White Space Award
General Jerome O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award
2020 Space Technology Hall of Fame: Swigert Award
Originally aired: December 11, 2020