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Space Florida Board Picks Col. Long as next CEO

Space Florida
Space Florida Board Picks Col. Long as next CEO. Credit: US Space Force

Ibadan, 31 August 2023. – The Board of Directors at Space Florida has selected U.S. Space Force Col. Robert Long to succeed Frank DiBello, as president and CEO of Space Florida. Before leading the agency, DiBello was president and CEO of Florida’s Aerospace Finance Corporation. The board, chaired by Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez, opted to move forward with contract negotiations with Col. Robert A. Long, one of three finalists to replace Frank DiBello.

Prior to the role, Long was the commander for Space Launch Delta 30 and the Western Launch and Test Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. It’s a similar role to the Space Launch Delta 45 group leader who oversees launches from the Space Coast.

Speaking on the appointment, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez said, “It’s my opinion that Col. Long is the candidate that differentiated himself throughout the interview process from the other candidates. He was very enthusiastic, very energetic, very passionate about the future of Space Florida.” The Board of Directors chair also added, “His extensive military background, of course, is an added bonus given all that we’re engaging with in terms of the Space Force and STARCOM.”

Outgoing President and CEO Frank DiBello announced his retirement in March after leading the organization for 14 years. Under his leadership, Space Florida played a significant role in the growth of the state’s commercial space industry following the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. DiBello was also instrumental in attracting new aerospace companies to Florida, such as Blue Origin and OneWeb, and has supported the growth of existing companies like Boeing and SpaceX.

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