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Brian P. Whalen

Capability Transition Division

National Reconnaissance


Brian P. Whalen brought 19 years of experience in space systems design, qualification, operations, and engineering management with him when he joined the National Reconnaissance Office.  Today, he’s the Chief of the Capability Transition Division and senior systems engineer in the NRO Systems Engineering Directorate, Office of Mission Engineering.  He leads a team of government, military and contract engineers that focuses on bridging the gap between technology development, and operational execution and sustainment in U.S. reconnaissance satellites – all to keep our military as informed as possible.

As leader of the team that developed the new Mission Opportunity Assessment Process, he is responsible for an innovative approach that provides a consistent and much needed means to identify, assess, and effectively disposition emerging capabilities of potential benefit to the nation's Intelligence Community.

Mr. Whalen has held positions both in government service and in private industry during his career. Prior to joining the NRO, he worked for two years on a classified space project for Alliant Techsystems.  Before that he was an Aerospace Engineer at The U.S. Naval Research laboratory, working on a wide array of technologies, including propulsion modules for the International Space Station, autonomous robotic spacecraft, and many other still-classified projects. He developed one of the three patents he holds while working as an Aerospace Engineer on a NRL Thin Film Solar Concentrator Experiment at AlliedSignal Technical Services Corp.

-By Vinnie Longobardo