As one of less than a hundred people ever who have actually ever commanded a human space mission, Colonel Rick Searfoss speaks on leadership, teamwork, and personal performance with authority born of in-depth personal experience. In his career he has led many different teams, including commanding the most complex science research space mission ever, the STS-90 Neurolab flight on Columbia. He also piloted two other space flights, including a joint Russian-American mission to the Mir space station.
Prior to becoming an astronaut Colonel Searfoss was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, with over 5800 hours flying time in 71 different types of aircraft. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons (Top Gun) School and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he is the Director of Flight Operations for XCOR Aerospace, where he flies the world’s only liquid rocket-propelled aircraft and works with the development team of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane, for which he will be the first test pilot.
Rick is a high-content expert speaker on the topics of leadership, teamwork, innovation, peak performance, and related topics. He is among less than 10% of professional speakers and the only astronaut to have earned the National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, the speaking industry’s international gold standard for speaking skill and experience. His mission: “to share the leadership, teamwork, innovation, and peak performance lessons of human space flight to empower organizations to achieve out-of-this-world results!”
Colonel Searfoss completed a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the USAF Academy, a master of science degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and USAF Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.
His numerous awards include the Harmon, Fairchild, Price and Tober Awards as the number one overall, academic, engineering, and aeronautical engineering graduate in his USAF Academy class, USAF Squadron Officer's School Commandant's Trophy as top graduate, Tactical Air Command F-111 Instructor Pilot of the Year, Outstanding Young Men of America, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Legion of Merit.
Beyond the unique professional experiences he has enjoyed, Rick Searfoss' incredibly supportive wife and three daughters keep him focused on what’s truly important: faith, family and service beyond self. His varied outside interests include running, backpacking, model airplanes, soccer, science fiction, and classical music.
- Mach 25 Leadership: The Real Right Stuff (Leadership: Purpose, Program, People, Perspective)
- Apogee! Taking Teams to the Top (Teamwork)
- As We Dream: A Spacefarer’s Vision (The Future)
- Countdown to Success (Personal Excellence)
- America the Beautiful from Space (Patriotism)
- Dare to Explore! Adventurous Innovation (Change)
Leadership, Team Building, Performance, Success, Motivation, Change, Military, Stress, Science/Space
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