Jim Chilton is senior vice president of the Space and Missile Systems division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS). Chilton was appointed to this role in July 2017 as BDS announced a new operating structure to sharpen focus on key markets and move faster to meet customers’ needs. The Space and Missile Systems portfolio includes the International Space Station; government and commercial satellite systems; a range of missile defense and strategic deterrence systems including Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Missile Defense National Team, and the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) System; and a variety of weapons programs for U.S. and allied military customers.
From October 2016 to the July 2017 restructuring of Boeing’s space and defense business, Chilton led Network & Space Systems (N&SS), which included much of the current Space and Missile Systems portfolio. Prior to that role, starting in 2013, he was vice president and general manager of Strategic Missile & Defense Systems within N&SS. Previously, Chilton served as vice president and program manager for Exploration Launch Systems and led Space Launch System (SLS), Boeing’s heavy lift launch vehicle program. Before SLS, Chilton served as program manager for the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He led final assembly and testing of space shuttle and expendable launch vehicle payloads, including hardware destined for the International Space Station.
Chilton began his career with Boeing in 1984 as a turbo machinery development engineer at the Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park, Calif. He went on to hold a number of roles in engine test and launch operations.
Chilton has served on many boards, including the board of directors for the National Children's Advocacy Center and the International Astronautical Federation industry relations committee.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University and a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. He also completed the systems acquisition course for general and flag officers at Defense Acquisition University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s advanced management program.