A thoughtful and vision-oriented leader, experienced in creating and developing high-performing executive teams and company cultures to achieve strategic and financial goals. Skilled in identifying unique strategies, prioritizing opportunities and dealing with the unknowns in complex problems. Experienced at creating strategic plans, managing resources, and capturing new markets. Keenly focused on customers, productivity and quality.
Elliot Pulham is one of the leading non-profit executives in the world, having guided the Space Foundation, from 1998 through 2016, to its position as the world leader among non-governmental organizations serving the $330 billion global space industry. A seasoned executive with nearly 30 years’ experience in the space sector, Pulham is a widely quoted authority on space exploration and development, and, under his leadership, the Space Foundation was named by the Non-Profit Times’ as one of the “Best Non-Profit Companies to Work For" in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Pulham joined the Space Foundation in 1998, after a decade as a communication and public affairs executive with The Boeing Company. At Boeing he led the company’s public affairs efforts in support of the post-Challenger return to flight of NASA’s space shuttle, and served as spokesperson at Kennedy Space Center for the shuttle-launched interplanetary missions Magellan (Venus), Galileo (Jupiter and its Moons) and Ulysses (the Sun). In addition to his support of more than a dozen major NASA and U.S. Air Force space flight missions, he led a national industrial team in support of the International Space Station program, which earned him the coveted Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America – the profession’s highest honor.
Elected CEO by the Space Foundation Board of Directors in 2001, Pulham served as CEO for 15 years - until October 2016. He led the transformation of the 34-year-old foundation into a global non-governmental organization at the heart of space policy, space programs and STEM education (Science, Technology Education and Mathematics). Under his leadership, the Space Foundation grew from humble trade association beginnings into a diverse operating foundation with integrated enterprises in space public awareness and public outreach; technology authentication and certification; national and international policy; space-related policy, economics and industrial research and analysis; and global education and discovery programs based from the Space Foundation Discovery Center – Colorado’s only dedicated space science and technology museum. At the heart of this portfolio remains a strong space trade association focus, including stewardship of the annual Space Symposium, the largest annual gathering of the global space community anywhere in the world. With its global perspective, the Space Foundation today is actively engaged with space-related government agencies, companies, and academic institutions throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific. The foundation participates as an industry adviser to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and is a member of the International Astronautical Federation.
Mr. Pulham has served as a civilian advisor to three Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and is a recipient of the Air Force Public Service Medal – the highest honor the service can bestow upon a civilian. Along with legendary CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite and renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Pulham is a recipient of the RNASA Foundation’s Space Communicator Award. He is a member of the Planetary Society, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Royal United Services Institute.
In his spare time Mr. Pulham enjoys snow skiing in the Colorado Rockies and scuba diving in Hawaii and the Caribbean. He enjoys Hawaiian music and culture, and holds an Advanced Open Ocean Diver certification from PADI.
As Master of Ceremonies at the 25th National Space Symposium.
Current Board of Directors Service:
The Rotary National Awards for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation (Houston): Mr. Pulham serves on the National Board of Advisors of this Foundation, which annually presents the National Space Trophy, the Stellar Awards, and, on rare occasion, the Space Communicator Award.
The Colorado Thirty Group: This unique membership group of business leaders from across the State of Colorado exists to support men and women serving in the Armed Forces of the United States in Colorado. Mr. Pulham is a member of the Board of Trustees.
With Leonard Nimoy at The Broadmoor.
Engagement with Communities and Causes:
- Kamehameha Schools Relay for Life/American Cancer Society: In remembrance of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and of his late son, Nathan Ka'ehukai Pulham, Mr. Pulham supports the American Cancer Society via the Kamehameha Schools Relay for Life program.
- National American Pacific Islander Leadership Institute (NAPALI): Mr. Pulham is a contributor, supporter and guest lecturer for this non-profit foundation, which works to develop new generations of leaders from island cultures across the Pacific.
- Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling: Mr. Pulham is a member and supporter of this historic temple in the Wood Valley Rain Forest in his native Ka’u, adjacent his family’s ancestral Hawaiian lands.
With friend Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.
- The Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'u
- The Planetary Society
- The Royal Aeronautical Society, Space Division
- The Royal United Services Institute
- The PADI Sport Divers' Society
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