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Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, USAF (Ret.)

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Larry D. James was elected to The Aerospace Corporation’s Board of Trustees on March 14, 2024. 

Lt. Gen. James retired after 11 years as the deputy director and chief operating officer of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a federally funded research and development center managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In his role, Lt. Gen. James was responsible for the day-to-day management of JPL's resources and activities, which included managing the Laboratory's solar system exploration, Mars, astronomy, physics, Earth science, interplanetary network programs, and all business operations.

Prior to retirement from active duty from the United States Air Force in 2013, Lt. Gen. James served as the Air Force deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) at the Pentagon. He was responsible to the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force ISR capabilities and led more than 20,000 ISR officers, enlisted personnel, and civilians across the Air Force ISR enterprise.

During his 35-year career in the Air Force, Lt. Gen. James has held numerous positions of staff, leadership, and command at the squadron, group, wing, and numbered Air Force levels. He has performed a wide range of duties in various operations, intelligence, and acquisition assignments, including space shuttle payload specialist, Air Staff program element monitor, chief of operations, 14th Air Force, and director of Signals Intelligence at the National Reconnaissance Office.

The numerous awards and honors Lt. Gen. James has received throughout his career include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters; the Bronze Star Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; and an Air Force Commendation Medal in recognition of excellence in service and capabilities.

Lt. Gen. James is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy where he earned a bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering, and he earned his master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was named a Draper Fellow at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

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