SpiderOak Mission Systems Executive Chairman

Charles Beames

In addition to his leadership role at SpiderOak Mr. Beames is currently the Executive Chairman of York Space Systems, a leader in commercial small satellite design, manufacturing, and operations. He is also co-founder and Chairman of the SmallSat Alliance, the preeminent industry group representing 50 next generation space companies to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense, and the Intelligence Community. Previously, he served as President, Vulcan Aerospace where he managed asset allocation of Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s $1B aerospace and technology investment portfolio and directed all aspects of the Stratolaunch project, the world’s largest aircraft and air launch system.

Beames brings executive level experience across the space and military industries, including technology development, operations, and private/venture capital investment. His expertise spans the commercial and national security space industry, where he currently serves as a board member for several other space companies. Prior to leading Vulcan Aerospace, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service, holding several executive positions within the Department of Defense. His last was as the Principal Director, Space & Intelligence Systems in the Pentagon, overseeing the execution of a $90B annual acquisition budget, especially focusing on remote sensing, communications, and space launch. Prior to that, he served 23 years on active duty as an Air Force space and intelligence officer, retiring as a colonel.

An engineering graduate of both the US Air Force Academy (BS) and the Johns Hopkins University (MS), Beames also holds graduate degrees from the National War College and Georgetown University in Washington DC and is a nationally recognized technology innovator and leader. Credited with the creation of some of the most transformational space & intelligence programs of the last 30 years, Secretary Gates awarded him the Defense Superior Service Medal in 2011. A thought leader for the last ten years in the worldwide revolution of national security and commercial space, he writes a bi-monthly column for Forbes magazine and maintains residences within the US and abroad.

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