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Executive Spotlight: Jeff Trauberman, Vice President of Strategy, Analysis and Government Engagement at Velos

Jeff Trauberman,



Executive Spotlight: Jeff Trauberman, Vice President of Strategy, Analysis and Government Engagement at Velos

Jeff Trauberman began his career in the space field more than three decades ago and now serves as vice president of strategy, analysis and government engagement at Velos, an engineering and consulting firm. Prior to assuming his current position, Trauberman held executive roles at Virgin Orbit and Boeing.

In a recent interview with the Potomac Officers Club, Trauberman detailed the changes he has seen in the space market since his career began and discussed his strategy for leading a team.

Read the full interview below.

What can you tell us about your background and how you’ve been able to adapt to the ever-changing challenges of the federal landscape over the course of your career?

I’ve worked in the space sector for over 30 years in both large and small companies. Throughout my career, I’ve learned how important it is to remain flexible and open to new approaches to succeed, as the sector has undergone rapid, seismic changes over these three decades. When I was starting out, the federal aerospace industry landscape was dominated by a modest number of companies with decades of experience and long standing customers. In the 1990s, consolidation occurred among a number of the large primes, further reducing the pool of experienced contractors. This landscape has now evolved and changed dramatically in so many ways, requiring major shifts to adapt to this new environment.

We are now seeing a significant expansion of smaller start-ups seeking to provide more rapid, agile capabilities and new technologies to federal customers in competition with large primes. This shift is fueled by the accelerated growth in the commercial, non-governmental markets for capabilities that were previously driven by the federal sector, such as unmanned aircraft, space systems and information technology. These market trends have enabled federal customers to obtain many new capabilities more quickly and affordably, but it has really challenged the acquisition system and program managers to adapt. It’s also harder for those of us in industry to keep up, but it is critical to capitalize on these disruptive market forces to succeed in this business. 

When did you decide to pursue a career in the federal landscape and what were the key tasks that you wanted to complete? Any bigger goals you still want to accomplish?

I decided I wanted to pursue a career in space to expand “commercial space” at a time when this term wasn’t prominent in the space sector’s lexicon. When I started my career, almost everything worthwhile in the federal space domain had been done directly by the U.S. government. Now, however, the entire civil and military space landscape has changed and new private sector space ventures from both large and small firms are emerging almost daily. My current goal in working at Velos is to help the U.S. national security and civil space sectors rapidly accelerate their ability to capitalize on emerging new capabilities from all our clients to benefit our national and economic security.

What do you believe are your core strengths as a leader and what lessons taught you the most about driving success?

I believe my collaborative leadership approach is a core strength. I’ve always tried to encourage members of my team to make their own decisions whenever possible, yet I am always available to guide the team. At the same time, leaders have a responsibility to make rapid decisions where consensus or team deliberation isn’t possible, practical or timely. Working as a program manager early in my career drove home the need for quick decision-making to meet demanding execution schedules and cost targets, so I try to exercise leadership to ensure important issues or problems don’t linger.

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