Boeing Exploration Shuffle

by Chris Bergin

Boeing – one of the CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle) contractor teams – have shuffled their leadership pack at their Space Exploration office.

The moves, which includes the installation of John Elbon as vice president and program manager, are designed to position Boeing in a strong position for the impending NASA decision on the VSE-related contracts.

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In a press release, Boeing self-claim the ‘Vision for Space Exploration is a strategy of human and robotic space missions designed to return humans to the moon sometime between 2015-2020,’ which will raise some eyebrows – given it is the first time a date prior to 2018 has been mentioned in any official literature.

Tasked with ensuring Boeing get a lion’s share of the multi-billion dollar contracts, Elbon will lead Boeing efforts on the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and other NASA Constellation program elements. He succeeds Chuck Allen, now the vice president of Boeing business operations in Huntsville, Alabama.

Elbon most recently served as International Space Station (ISS) vice president and program manager.

‘The leadership changes will enable Boeing to successfully execute current programs and position us to better support NASA in implementing the Vision for Space Exploration,’ said Brewster Shaw, Boeing Space Exploration vice president and general manager.

Other moves noted by Boeing involve Joy Bryant, who takes over Elbon’s vacated position as ISS vice president and program manager. Bryant previously served as Space Exploration chief engineer and was responsible for managing the engineering support to Boeing’s ISS, Space Shuttle and Constellation programs. Bryant will lead Boeing in engineering, development, integration and operation of NASA’s ISS program.

Joe Gernand replaces Bryant as director of engineering and program chief engineer. He previously served deputy program manager and chief engineer. In his new assignment, Gernand is responsible for managing and integrating engineering support for all Boeing Space Exploration programs.

Cheryl Britt, formerly Boeing Huntsville, Alabama, operations site chief engineer, is named to the newly created position of program manager, Transformation and Integration (T&I), Space Exploration. In Huntsville, Britt was responsible for people, processes and tools.

As program manager for T&I, she is responsible for ensuring the necessary skills, expertise, tools and processes are properly transitioned from Space Exploration legacy programs – Shuttle, ISS, Check-out, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) – to NASA Constellation projects such as CEV and CLV.


In another newly created position, Jim Chilton is named acting head of Space Exploration’s Launch Systems.

Located in Huntsville, Alabama, Chilton will lead Boeing in support of Marshall Space Flight Center’s CLV, Cargo Launch Vehicle and the Earth Departure Stage projects. Previously Chilton led the CAPPS contract at The Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Mark Jager is named acting CAPPS program manager, replacing Chilton.

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