Dave Kaufman

Chief Operating Officer

Dave KaufmanDr. David Kaufman is the Chief Operating Officer for Ball Aerospace, responsible for delivering on the mission partner commitment Ball makes to its customers and guiding the company’s strategic business units as they focus on execution and growth.

Previously, he served as Vice President and General Manager of the National Defense (ND) strategic business unit, where he was responsible for space systems and advanced technologies for the defense and intelligence communities. Dr. Kaufman led the transformation of ND from a subsystem and demonstration hardware provider into a full-service mission partner on programs of national importance.

Dr. Kaufman has more than 25 years of engineering and management experience supporting the aerospace industry and government customers. 

Since joining Ball Aerospace in 2000, Dr. Kaufman has served in leadership positions for a variety of space system programs including the Orbital Express NextSat and the Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle. He also served as director of the National Security Space mission area within National Defense, where he oversaw a portfolio of critical programs within the national customer community. 

Dr. Kaufman began his aerospace career as a thermal engineer at Hughes Space & Communications Co. in El Segundo, Calif. He was awarded two patents for his research and development work and was the thermal engineering lead for multiple satellite programs. As a system engineering lead, he directed overall technical execution for several geosynchronous spacecraft programs.

Dr. Kaufman earned Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology along with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Willamette University. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and actively engages with the broader aerospace and defense community.