Leading US-based space launch and space services company Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) announced today the addition of industry leader Dr. Candace Givens as its new Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Givens joins the Virgin Orbit team as the company scales up its flight rate to accommodate high demand seen from commercial customers, the national security community, the international community, and NASA.
Dr. Givens joins a team that has uniquely demonstrated the ability to bring new technology to spaceflight and move it into regular launch operations—Having now completed their third commercial spaceflight and having deployed 26 satellites during the first 12 months of operations. In her role as Vice President of Engineering Dr. Givens will work closely with Virgin Orbit chief engineer and senior vice president of technology Kevin Sagis who has been instrumental in developing, proving and establishing the air-launched LauncherOne System.
“As we continue to scale, Candace’s experience spanning more than 25 years of managing complex, technical and mission critical programs across the commercial, government and defense sectors will be a vital asset across our organization,” said Tony Gingiss, Virgin Orbit’s chief operating officer. “Her expertise in organizational leadership and track record as a people-oriented executive and bridge builder with a strong commitment to equitable business practices, smart organizational design and operational excellence is a perfect fit for our Virgin Orbit team.”
“I have watched Virgin Orbit’s impressive evolution over the past few years and am thrilled to join such an innovative, creative, forward-thinking team,” Dr. Givens said. “From responsive launch to a wide array of space solutions, it is clear to me that the mission to open space for good, for everyone, from everywhere is not just an inspiring vision – it’s something Virgin Orbit is already beginning to deliver. The company is investing in the technologies and, most importantly, the people that are committed to making this once implausible future a reality today.”
Dr. Givens brings to Virgin Orbit more than two decades of experience combined from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and TRW Space & Defense. Prior to joining Virgin Orbit’s senior leadership team, she served as vice president of remote sensing programs for Northrop Grumman’s space systems sector. In this role, she directed the business unit, focusing on key space systems, payloads and software that supported customer missions. In this $500 million business, she drove operational and production efficiencies with integrated development and design activities across the product lines.
Born in Southern California, Dr. Givens holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, undergraduate studies in electrical engineering, a Master of Science in systems engineering and a Doctor of Education in organizational change and leadership. She is a champion for STEM initiatives and actively mentors students aspiring to become tomorrow’s innovators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She also serves on the regional advisory board of NPower Baltimore, a tech career-focused nonprofit organization.
Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) operates one of the most flexible and responsive space launch systems ever built. Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, the company began commercial service in 2021, and has already delivered commercial, civil, national security, and international satellites into orbit. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and are air-launched from a modified 747- 400 carrier aircraft that allows Virgin Orbit to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs.