Kam Ghaffarian, CEO
Kam Ghaffarian is a visionary entrepreneur and engineer whose mission to advance the state of humanity and human knowledge has led him to create companies transforming the space and energy sectors. He is the CEO of IBX, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of X-energy, Intuitive Machines, and Axiom Space, and supports several other innovative companies and charities.
Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Kam co-founded his first business, SGT, in 1994, growing it to become the second-largest engineering service provider to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with annual revenues of over half a billion dollars.
Today, he is leveraging his 35+ years of experience in innovation and building world-class teams with groundbreaking deep-tech companies that are expanding the commercial space economy, creating clean energy solutions, putting Kam at the forefront of several next-generation technologies making a positive impact on the world. His companies have worked with NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, among others, on some of their most sensitive and technical advanced projects to support national interests, expand the economy, and improve the state of humanity.
In 2009, focused on finding a carbon-free solution to our world’s energy problems he created X-energy which is revolutionizing advanced nuclear energy to provide clean, affordable, and safe power. X-energy was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate its commercial-scale reactor, the Xe-100, and the TRISO-X fuel facility, by 2027, playing a vital role in the nation’s clean energy strategy.
Intuitive Machines, co-founded by Kam in 2013, is leading the way in creating a lunar economy and serving as the premier provider and supplier of space products, services, and technologies. When its IM-1 mission launches in early 2022, Intuitive Machines will be the first American spacecraft on the Moon since the Apollo era, and the first commercial spacecraft to land on the lunar surface. They will also launch the first spacecraft to ever reach the Lunar South Pole with their IM-2 mission scheduled for late 2022.
In 2016, Kam co-founded Axiom Space to advance the commercial utilization of space to benefit everyone, to develop the world’s first commercial space station, serving as the central pillar of a thriving economy in low Earth orbit and deep space. Axiom Space will launch the first private astronaut missions to the International Space Station (ISS) in January 2022, and its first commercial module will be launched and attached to the ISS in 2024.
Kam is involved in several other businesses, including serving as a strategic partner in technology and aerospace companies, with various real-estate ventures, and is the CEO and founder of IBX, an investment and innovation firm.
An active philanthropist, Kam is focused on education, empowering underserved communities, STEM initiatives, and the pursuit of interstellar travel. His philanthropic spirit spans the globe, with work in four continents. He is the main donor to a school in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that is providing education to approximately 700 students through Dr. Ghaffarian’s Emerging Light Foundation.
To further impact civilization, Kam is the Chairman and founder of the Limitless Space Institute (LSI), a research and educational non-profit organization formed to inspire and educate the next generation to travel beyond our solar system. LSI supports the research and development of enabling technologies that will allow for interstellar human space exploration.
Kam serves on the Innovation Board for X-Prize, a non-profit organization that designs and hosts public competitions intended to encourage technological development to benefit humanity.
Kam is an expert in the fields of aerospace systems and information technology and an accomplished business strategist. After nearly 23 years of leading his first company, SGT, Kam sold it in 2018. As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of SGT, Kam was an integral part of the company’s notable growth and success. He received various awards for his leadership, including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Before SGT, Kam held numerous technical and management positions with companies that included Lockheed Martin, Ford Aerospace, and Loral Aerosys. In these positions, he quickly established a reputation for his ability to solve complex and technically challenging problems as well as develop new business opportunities.
Kam, a lifelong learner, has obtained several degrees, including a B.S. in computer science and another in electronics engineering, and an M.Sc. in information management.
Kam is an American citizen born in Iran. He first came to the United States at the age of 18 to pursue higher education. He remained in the United States to continue his studies and follow career opportunities. Since then, he has lived the American Dream and has worked hard to help others around the globe. He is a proud father and grandfather.