Bill Knudsen, president and CEO of the Space
Foundation, has announced his intention to leave
the national non-profit organization to pursue a
challenging opportunity in private industry.
Knudsen, who has led the Colorado Springs-based
Space Foundation since 1997, will depart August
18 to Plano, Texas.

To maintain leadership continuity during the
replacement process, Chief Operating Officer
Chuck Zimkas will assume the added
responsibility of interim president and the
Honorable Jaime Oaxaca, chairman of the
Foundation’s Board of Directors, will assume the
added responsibility of interim CEO.

Under Knudsen’s leadership, the Space Foundation
tripled the attendance at its signature National
Space Symposium, doubled the number of teachers
trained annually through education programs,
introduced a successful international space
symposium in Washington, DC and grew the
Foundation’s annual operating budget by more
than $3 million.

Zimkas joined the Foundation in July 1986 and is
responsible for the operations, human resources
and logistical support functions. He also
manages the planning, coordination and execution
of major Foundation events. A 26-year Air Force
veteran and the first Air Force Space Command
Senior Enlisted Advisor, Zimkas serves on the
national Aerospace Education Foundation Board of

Oaxaca has served on the Foundation’s Board
since 1996 and was elected Chairman in July
1999. He is the vice-chairman of Coronado
Communications, a Los Angeles-based Hispanic
communications, marketing and research company.

Commenting on Knudsen’s tenure, Oaxaca said, “I
speak for all of the directors in applauding the
work of Bill Knudsen in leading the Space
Foundation to its tremendous success and
influence as the leading space advocacy and
education organization. The unprecedented growth
of the Foundation over the past three years is
due to the vision and energy Bill brought to all
of his efforts. We wish both Bill and Sue
happiness and success in their new endeavors.”

The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation is a
national non-profit organization which supports
a two-part mission: “To vigorously advance
civil, commercial and national security space
endeavors for a brighter future, and to
passionately provide educational excellence
through the excitement of space!”

More information on the Space Foundation and its
programs can be found at