Dr. David Finkleman, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director of Studies and Analysis, and Senior Scientist, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. His organization provides analytical support and technical advice in space systems and strategic aerospace defense for the United States and Canada.
Dr. Finkleman is one of few joint service civilians. During his tenure in the SES, he has held positions with the unified commands, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Army and Navy. He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1963 and left active duty in 1973. He earned his doctorate, served as associate professor of aeronautics at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and was project officer for elements of the Airborne Laser Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He was an active Air Force reservist for the next 20 years, and retired in the grade of colonel as a mobilization assistant to the Director of Science and Technology at Air Force Materiel Command. As an additional duty, he headed the Air Force Academy's admissions liaison district in Washington, D.C. for many years.
Dr. Finkleman served the Navy Directed Energy Weapons Program as a civilian. He was appointed to the SES in 1981 as Deputy Program Manager for Navy directed energy weapons. In 1983, Finkleman joined the Army Ballistic Missile Defense Organization as Director of Systems and Technology. In 1984, he served as the first Director of Kinetic Energy Weapons in the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He is the first and only incumbent of his current position, which was established at the inception of the U.S. Space Command. He has served on numerous technical and scientific advisory and study boards for industry and the federal government.
1963 Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
1964 Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
1967 Doctor of Philosophy in aerodynamics and gasdynamics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
1. 1958 - 1963, cooperative student trainee, aerodynamics department, Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Carderock, Md.
2. 1963 - 1967, graduate student and research assistant, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
3. 1967 - 1971, associate professor of aeronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
4. 1971 - 1973, project officer, Air Force Laser Program, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
5. 1973 - 1983, Director of Technology and Deputy Program Manager, Navy Directed Energy Weapons Program, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
6. 1983 - 1985, Director of Systems and Technology, Army Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and Director of Kinetic Energy Weapons, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, Washington, D.C.
7. 1985 - present, Director of Studies and Analysis, and Senior Scientist, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
1975 Outstanding Young Scientist and Engineer, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1981 Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award
1984 Defense Superior Civilian Service Medal
1988 Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1989 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award
1994 Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award
1994 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award
1996 and 2001 Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award
1999 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
(Current as of November 2001)