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Colonel Rick Searfoss, CSP California
Rick Searfoss

As one of less than a hundred people who have ever actually commanded a human space mission, expert leadership speaker Colonel Rick Searfoss speaks with authority born of in-depth personal experience.

In his career he has led many different teams, including commanding the most complex science research space mission ever, the STS-90 Neurolab flight on Columbia. He also piloted two other space flights, including a joint Russian-American mission to the Mir space station.

Prior to becoming an astronaut Colonel Searfoss was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, with over 5,800 hours flying time in 71 different types of aircraft. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons (Top Gun) School and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he is the Director of Flight Operations for XCOR Aerospace, where he flies the world's only liquid rocket-propelled aircraft and works with the development team of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane, for which he will be the first test pilot.

Rick has held executive level positions in the aerospace industry and was a contributing author to the book Leadership on the Run - How to Get Better Results Faster. He also consults regularly for numerous entrepreneurial "New Space" ventures, including serving as the Chief Judge for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first private reusable human spacecraft and test flying the world's only liquid-fueled experimental rocket plane.

Rick is a high-content expert speaker on leadership, teamwork, innovation, peak performance and related topics. He is among less than 10% of professional speakers and the only astronaut to have earned the National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional designation, the speaking industry's international gold standard for speaking skill and experience. With compelling firsthand examples, Rick speaks from the heart to teach, motivate, enlighten and uplift audiences. His mission: "to share the leadership, teamwork, innovation and peak performance lessons of human space flight to empower organizations to achieve out-of-this-world results!"

Colonel Searfoss completed a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the USAF Academy, a Master of Science degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology on a National Science Foundation Fellowship and USAF Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

His numerous awards include the Harmon, Fairchild, Price and Tober Awards as the number one overall, academic, engineering and aeronautical engineering graduate in his USAF Academy class, USAF Squadron Officer's School Commandant's Trophy as top graduate, Tactical Air Command F-111 Instructor Pilot of the Year, Outstanding Young Men of America, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit.

Beyond the unique professional experiences he has enjoyed, Rick's incredibly supportive wife and three daughters keep him focused on what's truly important: faith, family and service beyond self. His varied outside interests include running, backpacking, model airplanes, soccer, science fiction and classical music.


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Spectacular video and still imagery in every program to amplify Rick's powerful messages!
  • Right Stuff Leadership!: Solutions from a Top Gun Command Astronaut - Purpose - Program - People - Perspective...True leaders balance all these elements to get the job done, build their organization and uplift their followers. Colonel Rick Searfoss, Top Gun fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut, personally knows that commanding a Space Shuttle mission requires the utmost in competent, trustworthy and service-oriented leadership. Too much is at stake for anything less than the real "right stuff!" Crucial real-world lessons delivered with high energy for all leaders!

  • Trust-Based Teamwork: Secrets of Trust-Based, Effective Teams - Astronaut crewmates must act in unity as a finely honed team, literally trusting their lives to one another while fulfilling their nation's trust to care for billions of dollars of national assets and achieve real results for mission success. They also need to lead and motivate the members of a vast variety of other specialized teams for the mission to succeed. It's the perfect model for any ambitious team venture! Space Shuttle Commander and "team captain" Rick Searfoss shares these universal teamwork principles to accelerate your team's ascent to the pinnacle of cohesion and success.

  • Boosting Leading-Edge Innovation - Develop flexible adaptability to embrace the opportunities change offers. Research, innovation and the exploration of the unknown in space give startling examples of adaptability. Amplified with Rick's unique current test pilot work helping develop leading-edge new technologies with the most creative private space companies of the new millennium, this program will prepare your team to innovate your way to a profitable and exciting future!

  • Execution Excellence When It Really Matters - Human space flight demands the relentless pursuit of execution perfection. Learn how to apply the real-life execution principles learned from leading Space Shuttle missions to your own dynamic business challenges. Colonel Searfoss' Prepare - Apply - Adapt - Debrief Astronaut Execution Cycle provides crucial keys for those in today's difficult business environment who must get the job done, and done right!

  • Countdown to Success!: The Peak Performance Primer - Competition to become an astronaut is fierce, and only the very peak performers - literally one in thousands - succeed. Much like in Sales! From a successful astronaut career to his entrepreneurial space company business development leadership successes in recent years, pinnacle performer Rick Searfoss has wired the Countdown to Success. This program will arm you with the tools and attitudes to launch your own trajectory to peak personal effectiveness in sales or in life, for out-of-this-world results!

  • Customer Service: The Mission that Matters! - Imagine leading a 500 million dollar project that was over 8 years in development and which peaked in a short 16-day window. Now consider delivering a unique service in one of the most hostile and unforgiving environments possible, on behalf of thousands of clients and customers who gambled their professional hopes, dreams and future on your performance. With a "service before self" focus, Space Shuttle commander Rick Searfoss shares a powerful, results-oriented approach to energizing customer service regardless of the challenges!

  • Overcoming Adversity in Today's World - Robust resiliency - the fighter pilot-test pilot-astronaut key attitude to conquering the adversities that invariably come our way. Forging out boldly into dangerous unknown territory takes a special mindset and skills. Astronauts train continually to build this robust "right stuff" resiliency to handle emergencies and setbacks. This go-for-it mentality mixed with unwavering dedication to applying correct principles is empowering and energizing! Learn from Rick how you too can overcome the environment and the competition regardless of the obstacles.

  • Safety: The Only Option - Flying safety officer for the U. S. Astronaut Corps, major aerospace company Executive Safety Director, Chief of Flight Test for the world's only liquid-propellant rocket plane development company and Space Shuttle Commander responsible for a $2 billion national asset and seven lives. With this safety leadership experience and a totally accident-free 25 year military and NASA high performance jet flying career, Colonel Rick Searfoss shares lessons and attitudes for building an effective "failure is not an option" safety culture.

  • Land of Promise: America the Beautiful from Space - Fascinating stories, breathtaking images - beauty, wonder, hope. America truly is a blessed and promised land. One orbital view forcefully confirms the special beauty and place our country holds on Earth. Through the glorious medium of astronaut earth observations photographs, many of which he took himself, Rick will carry you on a breathtaking journey around this land, from North to South and coast to coast. A fascinating combination of inspiring historical, geographical, geological and cultural stories with stunning images testifying of sublime beauty, wonder and hope. This delightfully unique presentation will fill you with pride to be an American.

  • Dreams to Hopes to Realities - Optimistic view of the amazing possibilities. In a short 100 years humankind has gone from earthbound to living in space. What challenges and opportunities await us in the next 100 years? As Dr. Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid fueled rocket engine, proclaimed, "Who is to say what is impossible? For the dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and the realities of tomorrow." With the combined perspective of having flown in space, a world-class technical education and ongoing involvement with private entrepreneurial space ventures, Rick offers an visionary and enthusiastic view of the life-changing possibilities ahead of us.

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