Executive Management

Michael Colglazier, CEO

Michael Colglazier is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic. With a focus on safety, scale, engineering and manufacturing excellence, and amazing customer experience, Michael brings together and leads the incredibly talented, impassioned and diverse team that is designing, building and operating the world’s first commercial spaceline.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Michael served as President and Managing Director of Disney Parks International and previously served as President of The Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Michael had an extensive career at Disney spanning over 30 years, where he drove new businesses, innovative growth, and operational excellence at Disney locations around the world.

Michael is active in the community, currently serving as Chairman of the CEO Roundtable for the University of California, Irvine and as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board of Rice University. Michael graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Doug Ahrens, CFO

Doug Ahrens is the CFO of Virgin Galactic Holdings. Doug has over 25 years of operational and strategic finance experience at multinational corporations. He has led global teams at rapidly growing public and privately held companies in complex technology and manufacturing environments. Doug has deep experience helping global manufacturing companies scale and grow, and expertise in capital markets and M&A.

Most recently, Doug served as CFO of Mellanox, a public company in the semiconductor industry, where he was responsible for all finance functions until the successful acquisition of Mellanox by NVIDIA Corporation in 2020. Previously, Doug served as CFO of GlobalLogic, a large software engineering company experiencing rapid growth. Prior to that, Doug was CFO of Applied Micro Circuits, a public semiconductor company.

Earlier in his career, Ahrens spent over a decade at Maxim Integrated Products, leading financial planning and coordinating M&A activities. He also held a variety of financial positions at Intel Corporation and was an Environmental Engineer at Chevron Corporation.

Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also holds an active CPA license in California and has a private pilot license.

Sirisha Bandla, Vice President, Government Affairs and Research/Technical Flight Development

Sirisha Bandla is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Research/Technical Flight Development for Virgin Galactic. Sirisha has supported Virgin Galactic over the past five years, successfully growing the presence of the company inside the beltway through engagement with Congress, the White House, and NASA. Sirisha leads Virgin Galactic’s efforts on policy, regulation, and the business development program for scientific payloads.

Previously, Sirisha served as the Associate Director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies. At CSF, Sirisha works on various policies with the aim to promote the commercial space industry and make commercial spaceflight a reality. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas.

She has a Bachelors of Science degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from Purdue and holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University. Sirisha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Astronautical Society, Future Space Leaders Foundation, and is a member of the Young Professional Advisory Council at Purdue University. She also helps to coordinate the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, a mentorship program for students interested in pursuing a career in the commercial space industry.

Alistair Burns, SVP, Chief Information Officer

Alistair oversees information technology strategy and infrastructure for Virgin Galactic, which supports the company’s overall business strategy.

Alistair has over 25 years of experience working in some of the largest global companies in a wide variety of industries ranging from manufacturing to media. Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Alistair was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at OSI Systems, a designer and manufacturer of specialized electronic systems and components for critical applications. In this role, Alistair worked across a range of industries including security, defense, aerospace and healthcare.

Alistair has also held several senior leadership positions at FTSE 100-listed manufacturing giant Meggitt Plc, specializing in components and subsystems for aerospace, defense and energy markets. Earlier in his career, Alistair spent over 15 years at Thomson Reuters where he was responsible for managing the large-scale technology infrastructure that powers the world’s financial, news and media markets.


Aparna Chitale is the Chief People Officer [CPO] at Virgin Galactic. Aparna has over 20 years of strategic experience at multi-national organizations, where she has scaled and led global teams at both public and privately held companies.

As CPO, Aparna leads all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity & inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning & development, and compensation & benefits. Before joining Virgin Galactic, Aparna, served as Vice President of Human Resources at Disney Parks Experiences and Products. In this role, she led the HR strategy for the company’s International Parks business in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, as well as overseeing HR for Disney’s Engineering, Maintenance, and Safety teams. During her time at Disney, Aparna designed and implemented holistic people strategies – including diversity and inclusion programming – that supported business priorities across corporate functions, engineering, international parks, and cruise line businesses. Prior to Disney, Chitale led Human Resources for Avaya India PVT Ltd, where she built the HR infrastructure that helped grow the business from 50 to 1,200+ employees with a strategic focus on building large engineering and technology teams.

Aparna holds a master’s degree in Personal Management and Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) degree from Pune University, India.

Swami Iyer, President of Aerospace Systems

Swami Iyer is the President of Aerospace Systems for Virgin Galactic. He is responsible for leading the manufacturing, engineering, and program management teams, processes, and facilities to support the design and build of our current and future fleet of vehicles. He has over 20 years of experience in commercial and highly classified aerospace, defense and cyber industries.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Swami served as President of GKN Advanced Defense Systems, which provides advanced components and technology to leading military aircraft and helicopters and, before this, served as Chief Executive Officer of Israel Aerospace Industries North America, which provides systems and intelligence to the aerospace, land, sea, and cyber domains. He was also the President of Ultra Electronics, 3eTI, which specializes in application-engineered solutions for defense, security, and critical detection and, prior to that, was Vice President, Defense & Space at Honeywell Aerospace, where he led multiple, international and domestic defense programs.

An accomplished U.S. Air Force test pilot, Swami logged more than 3,500 hours during his military flying career. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan as well as a Master’s degree in Flight Test Engineering from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School.

Steve Justice, SVP, Engineering

Steve Justice is the Senior Vice President of Engineering for Virgin Galactic. He is responsible for leading and growing a world class engineering team to support the rapid growth of our Spaceflight system fleet, and for the development of all engineering processes and execution across all vehicle programs.

He brings incredibly deep leadership and engineering experience, having spent four decades at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works.

Steve is the former director of Advanced Systems Development for the storied Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, where he worked for over thirty years. During his career, he led numerous technology breakthrough programs and served on the teams that developed the F-117A Nighthawk, the world’s first stealth attack aircraft, the YF-22A prototype for the F-22A stealth fighter, and the JASSM stealth missile. He also served as deputy program manager for Lockheed Martin's Blackswift, an innovative reusable hypersonic testbed for high speed, high-altitude aircraft technologies.

Sarah E. Kim, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Sarah E. Kim is the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Virgin Galactic. Sarah oversees all aspects of the Company’s legal, compliance and regulatory functions, including transactions, strategic partnerships and investments, ensuring securities compliance and corporate governance, and overseeing the company’s in-house legal staff and outside counsel.

Sarah brings over 15 years of legal and finance experience. Most recently, Sarah served as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Chief Ethics Officer and Compliance Officer for Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. (“Topgolf Callaway”), where she oversaw all global legal matters affecting the company and its subsidiaries, and led the launch of Topgolf Callaway's sustainability initiative. Prior to that, Sarah served as Associate General Counsel for Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., where she operated as lead counsel for several of Petco’s most complex and innovative business units.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Dave Mackay, Chief Pilot

Dave Mackay joined Virgin Galactic in 2009 and is the company’s Chief Pilot. In addition to leading the Virgin Galactic pilot corps and planning for commercial flight operations, Dave plays a key role in the test flight program, regularly flying both carrier aircraft, VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity. Dave has over 40 years of experience as a pilot, first learning to fly while studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Glasgow in 1977. He has clocked over 14,000 piloting hours in more than 140 types of aircraft.

Dave spent 16 years as a pilot in Britain’s Royal Air Force, becoming Officer Commanding the Fast Jet Test Flight in 1992. He was awarded the Air Force Cross by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to test flying in the same year. After retiring from the RAF and before joining Virgin Galactic, Dave spent time as a captain for Virgin Atlantic flying both the Boeing 747 and Airbus 340.

Mike Moses, President Space Missions and Safety

Mike Moses oversees the commercial spaceflight program. He leads the team in all aspects of safe and successful spaceline operations, including vehicle processing, flight planning, astronaut training, and flight crew operations.

Mike came to Virgin Galactic following a distinguished career with NASA. From 2008 through July 2011, he served at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the Launch Integration Manager, where he led all space shuttle processing activities from landing through launch. Mike also chaired the Mission Management Team where he provided ultimate shuttle launch decision authority. Other NASA experience includes working as a Flight Director at the Johnson Space Center, where he led teams of flight controllers in the planning, training, and execution of space shuttle missions. Before being selected as a Flight Director in 2005, Mike had more than 10 years of experience as a flight controller in the Shuttle Propulsion and Electrical Systems Groups.

Mike attended Purdue University, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, as well as other NASA commendations and awards.

Clare Pelly, Head of the Astronaut Office

Clare Pelly is responsible for managing the global community of Future Astronauts signed up to fly with Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic started taking refundable deposits in 2005, from individuals around the world who had long dreamt of travelling to space and were keen to reserve their place in line. Since then the group has grown to several hundreds, and these early pioneers not only helped prove the market for commercial space travel, but have also been central to the Virgin Galactic story.

Clare’s background is Management Consultancy at Deloitte in London, where she focused on customer strategies from insight to execution. Her projects spanned different business challenges and industry sectors for a variety of clients, but with a singular goal of understanding their customers and then improving their customer experience and journeys. Clare was seconded from Deloitte to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where she managed the Torch project for the two Torch Relays.

Blair Rich, President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations

Blair Rich is the President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations for Virgin Galactic. Blair is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s commercial strategy including sales, marketing, business and product development, communications, operations, and customer experience.

Prior to this role, Blair served as a consultant and strategic advisor to Virgin Galactic, where she helped develop and grow the company’s commercial strategy, including the marketing for Sir Richard Branson’s inaugural spaceflight as a member of the Unity 22 crew.

Blair has more than two decades of experience building some of the world’s most recognizable entertainment brands. She spent 23 years at Warner Bros. Entertainment, starting as an intern and rising to President, Worldwide Marketing for both the Theatrical and Home Entertainment divisions of the Company. In this role, she oversaw a global team of over 700, encompassing creative advertising, publicity, media, digital and data, partnerships, research and multicultural marketing that launched an average of 20 films per year. Blair was integral in establishing and shaping some of the most successful films and franchises in that industry, including Harry Potter and the DC Multiverse.