Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award
For strategic leadership that transforms company culture; for advocating, championing, and sponsoring women in technical roles; and for promoting an inclusive, flexible workplace where women engineers can thrive.
Richard Ambrose is executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space, a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that employs nearly 22,000 people and provides advanced technology systems for national security, civil, and commercial customers. Chief products include major systems for satellites; human space flight; strategic and missile defense; satellite command and control; sensor and data processing, including predictive analytics and big data applications; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; and a range of sensing, communications, and exploration payloads.
With more than four decades of experience in the defense and aerospace industry, Ambrose has led a significant number of programs in support of military, commercial, and national security missions. Previously, he was president of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions–National business.
Ambrose also served as vice president and general manager of Surveillance and Navigation Systems within Space. Prior to that, he led Mission Systems and Sensors Tactical Systems as vice president and general manager. He began his career with Lockheed Martin in 2000.
Throughout his career, Ambrose has been an ally and a champion of women, advocating their recruitment, recognition, retention, development, and promotion. He leads by example, with a growth mindset that promotes the value of diverse thinking on teams.
Since his appointment to executive vice president in 2013, he has hired and/or promoted more than 11 women to positions on his executive leadership team (ELT). Consequently, for the first time, the Space ELT is 47% women. Of its 17 total members, six of these vice presidents also are designated as Space general managers; five of the six are women.
Since Ambrose became Space executive vice president, Lockheed Space has seen an increase of more than 2,000 women employees, with nearly 75% in technical roles. Promotions of women and women in technical roles have doubled, trends that are also reflected for women of color.
In 2014, Ambrose committed significant resources to long-term, required inclusion training for all Space leaders. This program has trained nearly 2,000 and counting, and has been described as “life changing” by numerous participants. The return on this substantial culture investment includes low attrition for Space women.
Ambrose serves on the Denver Museum of Nature & Science Board of Trustees and is a National Association of Corporate Directors governance fellow, a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an International Academy of Astronautics Full Academician. Among his honors are the 2020 Denver Business Journal C-Suite Lifetime Achievement Award and the Aviation Week Network 2018 Laureate Award for Space: Leadership.
He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering technology from the DeVry Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Denver. Ambrose is a proud father of two Gold Award-achieving Girl Scouts and the husband of a long-time Scout leader.