George Whitesides is the CEO and President of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson. With Scaled Composites, the company has developed the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo vehicles, based on the X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne. In his role, Whitesides is responsible for guiding all aspects of the company to commercial operation at Spaceport America in New Mexico. This includes oversight of The Spaceship Company, a joint venture with Scaled to manufacture additional vehicle sets. The company currently has deposits from over 455 individuals for its spaceflight experience.
Prior to Virgin Galactic, Whitesides served as Chief of Staff for NASA, where he provided policy and staff support to the agency’s Administrator. Upon departure from the agency he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.