Director, Board of the National Business Aviation Association, Washington, DC

Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Experimental Aircraft Assoc., Oshkosh, WI

Director, Board of the Citation Jet Pilots Association, Enterprise, FL

Director, Board of Worldview Enterprises, Inc., Tucson, AZ

Former VP and General Manager, Propulsion Systems, Northrop Grumman, Salt Lake City, UT

Former NASA Chief Astronaut, Houston, TX

Charlie Precourt is a highly regarded leader in the United States civil and national security aerospace communities.  He recently retired from Northrop Grumman, having joined the company in Salt Lake City in 2005. At Northrop he served as the Vice President and General Manager for the company’s Propulsion Systems Division, a $1.2B enterprise which provides rocket propulsion systems to DoD, NASA, and commercial operators.  In that capacity he led a workforce of 3,500 employees in engineering, manufacturing operations and program management with a portfolio of programs including NASA’s Space Launch System, the US Navy Trident D5 and USAF Sentinel and Minuteman Nuclear Missile systems, the boost propulsion for DoD’s Atlas satellite launch vehicles, and two new hypersonic missile programs that are a national priority.  

Precourt joined Northrop Grumman following a distinguished 15-year career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) where he was as an Astronaut and a program manager in the Senior Executive Service.  He also served twenty-three years in the US Air Force, retiring as a Colonel.  He is a member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.   

At NASA, Precourt was qualified as an astronaut in 1991, and is a veteran of four Space Shuttle missions, including pilot of Atlantis for the first-ever docking with the Russian Mir Space Station in 1995. Precourt gained extensive experience working with the Russian Space Agency and the Russian Air Force and was appointed Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.  From 1998 through 2002, Precourt was Chief of NASA’s Astronaut Corps, responsible for the selection, training and mission certification of all Space Shuttle and International Space Station crews.  Most notably, he selected the crew lost on the Space Shuttle Columbia and has spoken extensively about the organizational “normalization of deviance” that has led to accidents of this nature.

Charlie was later appointed Deputy Program Manager for the International Space Station, responsible for the day-to-day management of ISS operations, on orbit assembly and the interfaces with NASA contractors and the ISS International Partners in Europe, Canada, Russia and Japan.

Precourt entered USAF active duty upon commissioning from the US Air Force Academy in 1977. He was the top graduate of US Air Force Pilot Training in 1978.  From 1981 to 1984 he was an F-15 pilot and flight commander at Bitburg Air Base in Germany.  He then attended the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB and served as a test pilot on the F-15E developmental test program and later as an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School, where he earned the David Barnes Trophy as the top test pilot instructor.

Precourt has accumulated over 13,000 hours of flight experience in over 100 different aircraft types.  He built an experimental VariEze and today flies a Cessna Citation.  He holds commercial, instrument, instructor and several aircraft type ratings.  A native of Hudson, Massachusetts, Charlie received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1977. Precourt also attended the French Air Force Academy in 1976 as part of an exchange program. He is fluent in French and Russian. He earned a Master of Science degree in engineering management from Golden Gate University in 1988, and a Master of Arts degree in national security affairs and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College in 1990. He and his wife Lynne of 45 years have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren.


Our Sponsors