Orlando Figueroa retired from NASA in 2010 to start the Orlando Leadership Enterprise, LLC aerospace consulting company. The company specializes in assisting the aerospace community through expert advice in: space missions and technology, organization and enterprise/program management, strategic planning, and 4D Systems leadership and team development.
Mr. Figueroa’s career with NASA spanned 33 years; throughout which he demonstrated a record of consistent achievements in the planning, design, development and oversight of multi-faceted scientific space missions. He is well versed in interacting with national and international government and non-government organizations. Considered a highly competent strategist and director of scientific space systems and technology, the management of large (>1300 employees) multi-disciplinary engineering organizations; and experienced in the management of complex multi-project programs with total budgets in excess of $4 billion.
Experiences over his 33 years in federal service at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and Headquarters (HQ) include the following: GSFC Deputy Center Director for Science and Technology, GSFC Director for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, HQ Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs in the NASA Science Mission Directorate; HQ Director for the Solar System Exploration Division; HQ Director for Mars Exploration; and HQ NASA Deputy Chief Engineer for Systems Engineering, GSFC Director of Systems, Technology and Advanced Concepts, GSFC Explorers Program Manager; GSFC Manager for the Small Explorers (SMEX) project; GSFC Manager for the Superfluid Helium On Orbit Transfer (SHOOT) Shuttle Experiment; GSFC Head of the Cryogenics Technology Section; and GSFC Lead Cryogenic Engineer for the Cosmic Background Explorer mission.
Mr. Figueroa has received numerous achievement and performance awards. Among the most notable are: the 2008 Smithsonian Latino Center Legacy Award, the 2005 Service to America Federal Employee of the Year Medal, NASA Presidential Rank Awards (2004 - Distinguished, 2010 and 2002 - Meritorious) for sustained extraordinary accomplishment in management of programs of the United States Government; Hispanic Business Magazine ranking as one the most influential Hispanics in the Nation in 2004, 2005, and 2010; the 2002 Pioneer Award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation; NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals in 2004 and 1993; and the 1994 Community Stars Award from the Maryland Science Week Commission.
Mr. Figueroa received an honorary doctorate degree in science from Dominican College in New York in 2004. He is the author of several technical publications in the field of cryogenics, the SMEX missions, and the Mars Exploration Program. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in 1978, and completed advanced studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland. Mr. Figueroa is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.