As one of less than a hundred people ever who have actually ever commanded a human space mission, expert leadership speaker Colonel Rick Searfoss speaks with authority from personal experience. In his career, he has led many different teams, including commanding the most complex science research space mission ever, the STS-90 Neurolab flight on space shuttle Columbia. He also piloted two other space flights, including a joint Russian-American mission to the Mir space station.
Prior to becoming an astronaut Colonel Searfoss was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, with over 5800 hours flying time in 71 different types of aircraft. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons (Top Gun) School and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he is the Director of Flight Operations for XCOR Aerospace, where he flies the world's only liquid rocket-propelled aircraft and works with the development team of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane, for which he will be the first test pilot.
Rick has held executive level positions in the aerospace industry and was a contributing author to the book Leadership on the Run - How to Get Better Results Faster. He also consults regularly for numerous entrepreneurial "New Space" ventures, including serving as the Chief Judge for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first private reusable human spacecraft and test flying the world's only liquid-fueled experimental rocket plane.
Rick is a high-content expert speaker on leadership, teamwork, innovation, peak performance, and related topics. He is among less than 10% of professional speakers and the only astronaut to have earned the National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, the speaking industry's international gold standard for speaking skill and experience. With compelling firsthand examples, Rick speaks from the heart to teach, motivate, enlighten, and uplift audiences. His mission: "to share the leadership, teamwork, innovation, and peak performance lessons of human space flight to empower organizations to achieve out-of-this-world results!"
Colonel Searfoss completed a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the USAF Academy, a Master of Science degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and USAF Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.
His numerous awards include the Harmon, Fairchild, Price and Tober Awards as the number one overall, academic, engineering, and aeronautical engineering graduate in his USAF Academy class, USAF Squadron Officer's School Commandant's Trophy as top graduate, Tactical Air Command F-111 Instructor Pilot of the Year, Outstanding Young Men of America, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Legion of Merit.