Martin (Marty) Whelan is senior vice president of the Defense Systems Group at The Aerospace Corporation. He assumed this position on December 1, 2018. In this role, he is responsible for promoting the use of corporate and government resources through horizontal and cross-program integrated planning and engineering, strengthening the company’s ability to operate at the enterprise level to integrate systems of national importance. Whelan was vice president of Special Studies for the Defense Systems Group before assuming his current position. He joined Aerospace in 2018.
Prior to joining Aerospace, Whelan worked at Northrop Grumman as director of Space Programs and corporate lead executive. In that role, he served as the company’s primary liaison for high-level customer interface with the Air Force and other U.S. government organizations for coordination, integration, and synchronization of corporate and sector customer engagements, internal cross-sector and external strategy development, and outreach. With his depth of knowledge of air and space programs, Whelan served in a broad range of leadership and management positions across the spectrum of operations, plans, policy, strategy, and requirements.
Whelan retired from the Air Force in 2016 as a Major General after 33 years of service spanning a range of roles and responsibilities. On his first Air Force assignment, Whelan served as an engineer on the space shuttle program; he went on to command at the squadron and wing levels and has performed numerous missile warning, space control, and missile operations missions. Whelan’s last assignment was as director of Future Operations (HQ U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon) and deputy chief of staff for Operations.
As director of Future Operations for the Air Force, Whelan developed a comprehensive national security space strategy, integrating the objectives and goals for the intelligence community and the Department of Defense. During his time with the Air Force, Whelan also served as director of Space Operations, deputy director of executive agent for Space, and director of requirements at the headquarters of Air Force Space Command.
Whelan also led a strategic review of Department of Defense and intelligence community space systems to develop a mission assurance framework for national security space systems, and drove an operational suitability review for satellite constellations, ground-based space systems, and cyber systems.
Whelan earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Parks College of Saint Louis University, a master’s degree in contracting and acquisition management from Webster University, and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University.
Awards and Honors
Whelan has received numerous awards, commendations, and decorations in recognition of his outstanding achievements and service, including the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Stellar Award for Government Service. He was also named a Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Fellow, Los Angeles Chapter, Air Force Association.