Paul Hendrickson

Associate Director, Air Force Strategic Systems and Utah Site Lead Draper Labs

Dr Paul Hendrickson is the Associate Director for Air Force Strategic Programs with the Charles Stark Draper Laboratry Inc. (Draper) which is a not-for-profit engineering innovation company headquartered in Cambridge, MA.. In this role he leads the efforts for Air Force Strategic Programs with responsibilites supporting a broad range of customers across the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise, Missile Defense Agency and the Department of Defense. He also oversee’s the formation and expanion of Drapers Utah site operations and support.

Paul retired as a Colonel from the United States Air Force in 2023 after 21 years serving across five Major Commands in multiple mission areas
including command, program management, engineering, program control, and operations. Prior to retiring in 2023 he served as a the Air Force acquisition lead within the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense leading a team of 35 personnel as a Materiel Leader in the modernization and integration of Air Force requirements on fourty-four joint programs worth over $5.1B. He was responsible for collaborating and integrating across the Air Force CWMD and CBRN Defense enterprise ensuring that current and future command requirements were collaborated across the Air Force and Joint enterprise. Prior to that he served as the Commander of the 709th Technical Maintenance Squadron at the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick AFB, Florida. There he led a 140-member team, operating out of seven global locations, responsible for the global maintenance of the United States Atomic Energy Detection System, a global network of special instruments and equipment designed to detect events in the atmosphere, underwater, underground, and in space to determine if they are nuclear, and report them to national decision makers. As the premier special equipment maintenance Squadron in the Air Force, his squadron was responsible for the direct support, control and maintenance of this network across seven continents.

Paul’s Air Force operational experience includes the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, where he served as a crew commander, assistant flight commander, evaluator and assistant director of operations. He competed as a Crew Commander for Global Strike Challenge 2011, winning the Blanchard Trophy for Best Missile Wing. In 2021 he was recognized with the Department of Defense David Packard Award for Acquisition Excellence for his leadership of the team that responded to the United States Transportation Commands Joint Urgent Operational Need for the High Capacity Airlift of COVID-19 Infected Patients. His 200 member all of government team developed, tested, and fielded a materiel solution patient transport system in less than 95 days and to date has flown over 100 missions saving 400 lives across six continents and all geographic commands.

Paul holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University, a Master’s of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Engineering from Tulane University. He is a graduate from the Defense Acquisitions University Program Manager Course and completed an Air Force Fellowship with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Agency.

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