James “Jim” Chilton
Senior Vice President, Space and Launch
Jim Chilton is senior vice president of the Space and Launch division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS). Chilton assumed this role in April 2018 as BDS announced a new operating structure to sharpen focus on key markets and move faster to meet customers’ needs. It realigned his previous Space and Missile Systems organization, created in July 2017, to focus entirely on space and launch programs for government and commercial customers.
The Space and Launch portfolio includes the International Space Station; the CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle; NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS); government and commercial satellite systems; and Boeing’s participation in United Launch Alliance.
From October 2016 to the July 2017 restructuring of Boeing’s space and defense business, Chilton led Network & Space Systems (N&SS), which included much of the current Space and Launch portfolio. Prior to that role, starting in 2013, he was vice president and general manager of Strategic Missile & Defense Systems within N&SS. Previously, Chilton served as vice president and program manager for Exploration Launch Systems and led SLS, Boeing’s heavy lift launch vehicle program. Before SLS, Chilton served as program manager for the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He led final assembly and testing of space shuttle and expendable launch vehicle payloads, including hardware destined for the International Space Station.
Chilton began his career with Boeing in 1984 as a turbo machinery development engineer at the Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park, Calif. He went on to hold a number of roles in engine test and launch operations.
In July 2019, Chilton was named a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and of the IAA Board of Trustees, Engineering Sciences Section. He also has served on the board of directors for the National Children’s Advocacy Center and the International Astronautical Federation industry relations committee.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University and a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. He also completed the systems acquisition course for general and flag officers at Defense Acquisition University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s advanced management program.