Mr. John Celli – 2016

As a young student of engineering, John Celli was so fascinated by watching the landing of Neil Armstrong on the moon and so touched by listening to the cheers and applause emanating from the Eternal City of Rome, that he decided right there to study space technology. His determined pursuit led to his eventual migration to the U.S.A. Mr. Celli’s meteoric rise through the ranks to President of SSL, a leading manufacturer of commercial satellites, is what the American Dream is made of. Today, as its top executive, Mr. Celli is responsible for SSL’s strategic and business directions.

Previously, Mr. Celli held a variety of engineering and management positions within SSL with increasing management responsibility. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, he guided SSL through bankruptcy and turned it into the leading and most successful manufacturer of complex geosynchronous commercial satellites. Mr. Celli has championed a culture of cooperation with customers to dramatically improve the quality and reliability of SSL. Recognizing that the future of the satellite industry lies in the passion of the younger generation for science and technology, Mr. Celli has led SSL in promoting the training of students, seeking to attract the best engineering talent from around the globe, and relentlessly supporting STEM education and the CTEq organization.

Before joining SSL, Mr. Celli held design and management positions for space products and ground systems at Alenia S.P.A. in Rome. Mr. Celli has a Dr.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy.