- Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, is retiring after leading the organization for 14 years.
- DiBello helped advance Florida’s position as a global leader in the aerospace industry and played a significant role in the growth of Florida’s commercial space industry.
- Under his leadership, Space Florida achieved several milestones and accomplishments, including developing Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Spaceport, attracting new aerospace companies to Florida, and supporting the growth of existing companies like Boeing and SpaceX.
- Space Florida plans to launch a nationwide search for a new leader with DiBello’s assistance.
Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, announced his retirement on Wednesday after leading the organization for 14 years. Under his leadership, Space Florida has played a significant role in the growth of the state’s commercial space industry following the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.
DiBello has served as Space Florida’s top official since 2009 and helped advance Florida’s position as a global leader in the aerospace industry. Before joining Space Florida, DiBello held executive positions in several major aerospace groups, including the Florida Aerospace Finance Corporation. He also served on Former President Ronald Reagan’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control and was responsible for the management of teams reviewing the Departments of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and NASA.
“I am grateful to have had the privilege of working in the space industry for more than 50 years, and I am incredibly thankful to have served with a great team, multiple business-savvy Boards, supportive legislatures, and with the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Nuñez over these past four years,” said DiBello. “Together, we have made Florida the leading global hub for space technology, research, manufacturing, and exploration.”
Under DiBello’s leadership, Space Florida achieved a wide-ranging series of milestones and accomplishments including the development of Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Spaceport. DiBello has also been instrumental in attracting new aerospace companies to Florida, such as Blue Origin and OneWeb, and has supported the growth of existing companies like Boeing and SpaceX.
“Serving as the Chair of the Space Florida board for the past 4 years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Frank every day, and I can tell you there is no one more passionate about the space industry in our state. While we will miss him dearly, we wish him well in his retirement,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “After serving for 14 years as the leader of the agency, we also know that Frank has had a tremendous influence on the culture of Space Florida from top to bottom. I look forward to working with Frank and the entire Board to launch a nationwide search for a successor that will continue to lead our state in the space industry.”
With DiBello’s assistance, the Space Florida Board of Directors plans to launch a nationwide search for a successor in the following months. DiBello’s final day will be June 30.
Space Florida is a governmental agency created in 2006 with the aim of promoting the growth of the space industry in Florida. The agency provides programs and services such as infrastructure development, business development, and workforce development to support the commercial space industry in the state.
The agency also invests in space-related infrastructure and provides financial assistance and business planning support to space-related businesses in Florida.
In Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2023-24 state budget proposal, he recommended the allocation of $18.5 million for Space Florida. The figure includes provisions to provide $6 million for aerospace industry financing, business development and infrastructure, and $1 million to support research and commercialization projects.