TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Space Florida, announced the selection of Colonel Robert Long, United States Space Force, Ret. as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. With an extensive background in the military and space industry, Colonel Long will further drive Space Florida’s mission to advance the aerospace industry and solidify Florida as the global hub for aerospace. The vote to select Colonel Long took place during a Space Florida Board of Directors meeting on September 19, 2023.
“I am honored to welcome Colonel Long as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Space Florida,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Chair of the Space Florida Board of Directors. “Throughout the selection process, Colonel Long laid out a compelling long-term vision that will ensure Florida’s dominance in the space industry. Together with the Board of Directors, Space Florida will continue to expand Florida’s footprint and focus on business investment, research and development, national defense, manufacturing, workforce, and more. As Florida’s aerospace ecosystem continues to rapidly grow, I am confident that Colonel Long will serve the state with great distinction and use his proven track record and visionary leadership to propel Space Florida into a new era.”
“I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Nuñez and the entire board for the trust they have placed in me to lead Space Florida into the future,” said Robert Long, newly selected President and CEO, Space Florida. “I look forward to working alongside the exceptional Space Florida team and our stakeholders and partners to solidify Florida as the global leader for aerospace commerce. From infrastructure improvements and business development to spaceport operations, I am committed to driving the future of the industry here where it all began more than 70 years ago.”
Colonel Robert Long most recently served as Commander at Space Launch Delta 30 and Western Launch and Test Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Colonel Long has held numerous operational, staff, and command assignments in ICBM, satellite, and launch operations, including duties in the National Reconnaissance Office, Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space Staff, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. He earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and is a graduate of the College of Naval Command and Staff, the School for Advanced Air and Space Studies, and the Eisenhower School.
The announcement follows a national search after current President and CEO Frank DiBello announced his retirement earlier this year. DiBello has successfully led Space Florida for 14 years, and under his leadership, Space Florida has achieved significant milestones, fostering the growth of the aerospace industry across the state.
“It has been an incredible privilege to lead Space Florida and work alongside some of the brightest minds in the industry,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together, and I am confident that Space Florida will continue to thrive under Colonel Long’s capable leadership.”