|Intro||American business executive|
|Countries||United States of America|
|Occupations||Aerospace engineer Engineer Businessperson Entrepreneur President|
|A.K.A.||Gwynne Rowley Shotwell, Shotwell|
|Birth||November 23, 1963 (Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois, U.S.A.)|
|Education||Northwestern University, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science|
Gwynne Shotwell (Rowley; born November 23, 1963) is an American businesswoman. She is the President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX, an American space transportation company, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations and company growth. As of 2016, she is listed as the 76th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Shotwell was born in Evanston, Illinois as the middle of three daughters to a brain surgeon and an artist and raised in Libertyville, Illinois. She received, with honors, a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University.
Shotwell originally planned to work in the automotive industry and was enrolled in Chrysler Corporation's management training program but desired more a hands-on engineering role and did not remain in that industry.
In 1988, she began work at the El Segundo research center of The Aerospace Corporation, and did technical work on military space research and development contracts. During a ten-year tenure she worked in thermal analysis while "writing dozens of papers on a variety of subjects including conceptual small spacecraft design, infrared signature target modeling, space shuttle integration and reentry vehicle operational risks".
Wanting to "build, and put spacecraft together", in 1998 she left the Aerospace Corp. to become "director of the space systems division at Microcosm Inc, a low-cost rocket builder in El Segundo". There, she served on the executive committee and was responsible for business development.
In 2002 Shotwell joined SpaceX, a private, commercial, space exploration company founded by Elon Musk in the same year, as vice president of business development, also being given a seat on the SpaceX board of directors. She was its eleventh employee. The company builds the Falcon vehicle family which has launched more than 50 times representing about $5 billion in revenue. Shotwell is now President and COO of SpaceX, responsible for day-to-day operations and managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth.
In December 2010, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft. It also has a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA to deliver astronauts and science instruments to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX is also working on a next-generation transportation system to take people to Mars in the near future.
On February 6, 2019, Polaris Industries announced that Shotwell will join their board of directors on March 1, 2019.
Shotwell participates in a variety of STEM related programs, including the Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition. Under her leadership the committee raised more than $350,000 in scholarships in 6 years.
Shotwell gave a TEDx Talk at TEDxChapmanU in June 2013 on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She speaks regularly to business audiences and gave a talk for the "Captains of Industry" series at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security in June 2014 on private entrepreneurial accomplishments in advancing spaceflight technology.
At the 2018 TED conference, Shotwell was interviewed by Chris Anderson about the future plans of SpaceX.
Honors and awards
- 2012: Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
- 2017: Satellite Executive of the Year 2017
- 2018: Forbes' America's Top 50 Women In Tech.