Leslie Kovacs is Vice President of Business Development at Firefly Aerospace, an emerging small launch provider. Les was formerly the senior director of executive branch affairs in Washington, DC for United Launch Alliance, where he was responsible for leading ULA’s interaction with government agencies including the national security and intelligence space communities, White House and NASA. While working with the Air Force on behalf of ULA he was instrumental in shaping policies for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program, which sends the nation’s most valuable national security and scientific payloads into orbit.
Prior to ULA, Kovacs was the operations manager and launch site manager for Orbital Sciences’ Antares launch vehicle at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Previously, he was operations manager for Orbital Science’s X-34 rocket plane, developed architectures for Lunar and Martian surface habitation, and led concept of operations efforts for launch vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle.
Les is retired from the from the Air Force where he was an Air Force Space Operations Officer. During his career he served in a variety of ballistic and missile warning roles and concluded with being a launch controller at Cape Canaveral. While in the Air Force Kovacs developed their Spacelift course, where he instructed classes in orbital mechanics, launch vehicle design, and range and flight safety operations.