David Thompson, MBA

Fellowship Awarded 1977
David Thompson

David Thompson was President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, prior to his retirement in 2018.

He co-founded one of Orbital ATK’s predecessors, Orbital Sciences Corp., in 1982, and served as the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until its merger with Alliant Techsystems in 2014. He is a member and fellow of numerous professional societies and, among other awards and recognitions, was awarded the National Medal of Technology, was honored as Virginia’s Industrialist of the Year, and received the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum Trophy. He received a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Aeronautics from California Institute of Technology, and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He serves as a member of the Boards of Trustees of Caltech and the Carnegie Institution.

Graduate Studies

California Institute of Technology
Aeronautics, Astronautics


1991, National Medal of Technology and Innovation, National Science Foundation; 2002, Member, National Academy of Engineering; 2019, National Space Trophy, The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation