Space-sector expert joins ASU Thunderbird

Autry served on the NASA Agency Review Team, as the White House Liaison at NASA and was nominated last year to serve as the space agency’s Chief Financial Officer.

Professor Greg Autry served on the NASA Agency Review Team and as the White House liaison at NASA, and he was nominated last year to serve as the space agency’s chief financial officer.


Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management announced that Greg Autry is joining the faculty as clinical professor of space leadership, policy and business.

Autry will be developing and delivering Thunderbird programs and courses in space entrepreneurship, leadership, business and policy, including an entirely new master’s degree in Los Angeles to be launched in January 2022 on Global Technological Leadership. Autry will also teach Thunderbird Executive Education courses for professionals earning certificates. He will be working closely with Professor Lindy Elkins-Tanton, managing director of the ASU Interplanetary Initiative, and Professor Jim Bell, director of ASU NewSpace Initiativeto develop a cross-disciplinary Institute of Space Leadership and Management.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Thunderbird and Arizona State University,” Autry said. “ASU’s visionary leadership in space exploration and development combined with Dean Khagram’s focus on global innovation at Thunderbird offers the perfect fit for my teaching and research agenda. There is nothing I would rather be doing than teaching space entrepreneurship, leadership and policy in a school with the top-ranked master’s in management program at America’s most innovative university. I’m particularly excited that with the new LA campus opening, I will be working within the commercial space hub of Southern California. The possibilities for students, industry and humanity are boundless."

“Thunderbird is the No. 1 school for global management and ASU is the No. 1 university for innovation,” Thunderbird Dean and Director General Sanjeev Khagram said.

“Outer space offers virtually unlimited opportunities in this 4th Industrial Revolution. As the space sector grows exponentially, private companies and governments will create immense demand for future-ready entrepreneurs, investors, executives and managers. Greg’s expertise and experience as an innovator and leader in both the business and policy sides of outer space enterprises will position our graduates for leadership roles at the frontiers of human exploration and discovery,” Khagram continued. “Greg will turbo-charge our quest to become the Thunderbird Academy of Intergalactic Leadership with our partners at ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative and NewSpace in the years to come!”

“Humans are going to explore space both in person and using robots, and how we do it really matters — here we have a chance to connect with and influence space expansion to be more equitable and inclusive as well as more effective and sustainable,” Elkins-Tanton said. “Doing exploration right is a big goal, and Greg’s expertise in industry and government make him a key expert to help us bring this ecosystem together.”

Autry was an assistant clinical professor of entrepreneurship with the Lloyd Greif Center at the University of Southern California from 2013 to 2020. He taught entrepreneurship, strategy and macroeconomics at the University of California, Irvine, between 2002 and 2014. Autry also teaches space entrepreneurship at the Kennedy Space Center as part of a graduate certificate program in commercial space from International Space University and the Florida Institute of Technology. His research has focused on the government’s role in the emergence of new industries, and he has researched within the booming commercial space industry since 2003. 

"Greg Autry is a noted scholar of commercial space enterprise with practical knowledge of both politics and business. He's a terrific addition to Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU," said Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute and former executive secretary of the National Space Council.

Autry’s extensive experience in space policy includes serving on the 2016 NASA agency review team to establish the moon program’s current return. Autry served as NASA White House liaison in early 2017, and last year, the president nominated him to serve as the space agency’s chief financial officer. By appointment of the secretary of transportation, he currently serves as chair of the Safety Working Group in the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee at FAA. Autry has been a notable advocate for space exploration and development. Currently, he serves as vice president of the National Space Society and the Beyond Earth Institute, nonprofit organizations dedicated to extending humanity’s presence into our solar system.

Before entering higher education, Autry had a career as a serial entrepreneur, founding several technology startups. These ventures included a video game developer, computer services firm and an enterprise software development company in the clinical health care space.

Autry holds a BA in history from California Polytechnic University at Pomona and an MBA and PhD from the Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.

“Greg’s long experience with the space industry and governmental experience combine to give him the ideal background to teach space executives and liaison to the space industry,” said David Radzanowski, who served as chief of staff and chief financial officer at NASA during the Obama administration. 

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