Expert speaker, consultant, and author of LIFTOFF: An Astronaut Commander’s Countdown for Purpose-Powered Leadership (click here for more info), Rick Searfoss speaks with authority and expertise born of exercising leadership in the most dynamic, challenging, and dangerous of settings. Coupling that real-world experience with a powerful and exciting stage presence, he has for over a decade been inspiring and enlightening audiences worldwide. He’s among less than 10% of all professional speakers and the only astronaut to have earned the National Speaker’s Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, the industry’s gold standard for speaking skill and experience. With compelling firsthand examples and exciting, unique stories, Rick speaks from the heart to inspire, motivate, and uplift, and teach audiences. His speaking mission: “to share the leadership, execution excellence, teamwork, and innovation lessons of human space flight to empower organizations to achieve out-of-this-world results!”
Colonel Searfoss is one of only a handful of people out of many thousands of hopefuls ever selected to be an astronaut. He piloted two space flights and commanded a third, the most complex space life sciences mission ever flown, STS-90 on space shuttle Columbia. His leadership led to one of NASA’s most successful space missions ever: sterling results with a $500 million dollar project on a $2 billion national asset (click here for more info). Prior to becoming an astronaut Rick was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, with over 6100 hours flying time in 84 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’s also held executive level positions in the aerospace industry (click here for more info). Concurrently with his speaking activities he still consults and is a test pilot on leading-edge aerospace projects, 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 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, early selection to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, 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.