STEM Professional of the week

Michael A. Cacheiro      
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Michael A. Cacheiro is currently the Deputy Program Director for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Program, with the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. He manages approximately 300 employees on an $4.8 billion program and interacts with customer personnel from the United States Air Force.

As a first generation Cuban-American, born to parents who emigrated from Cuba in resistance to the Castro regime, Michael was deeply influenced and motivated by his parents’ resilient response to challenges in order to live in a free society. Having grown up in the 1960s, Michael’s passion for space exploration, particularly the NASA Apollo missions and space-race, were the foundation of his pursuit of an Aeronautical Engineering degree from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. While this achievement was the product of overcoming insurmountable odds, maintaining focus, self-funding – working nights and student loans, it was only the beginning of a truly remarkable career and an outstanding example of success for the Hispanic community.

In his 26 years of professional experience, Michael has made invaluable contributions not only to Lockheed Martin, but also to the aerospace and defense industry. Michael began his career as a Structural Design Engineer working for Sikorsky Aircraft, where he led retrofit and modification activities for the Royal Australian Helicopter. Despite a young age, Michael assumed a tremendous amount of responsibility in that he oversaw a budget of $35M. In 1988 Michael accepted a role with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), as a lead structural engineer. Through progressive program, subcontract and engineering budget and management responsibilities, Michael has been instrumental in developing complex systems for a multi-billion dollar missile, as well as military and commercial space contracts. This includes his support of the Next Generation Broadband Satellite program as a Satellite Engineering Manager, in what is the largest commercial satellite space vehicle to date. He has accomplished all of this while building long lasting relationships with customers and exhibiting all aspects of full spectrum leadership.

Through his exceptional career, superior leadership, mentoring skills, and compassionate attitude, Michael Cacheiro has established himself as a true role model. Within Lockheed Martin, Michael mentors several upcoming professionals and supports the Hispanic Leadership Council. At the university level, he supports the MESA chapter at San Jose State University where he mentors Science and Engineering students. He is also extremely proactive in supporting local organizations such as POP-Warner and the Sunnyvale Youth Basketball League. These volunteer opportunities allow Michael to mentor Hispanic youth, and provide them with motivational guidance and resources.

Michael’s ability to lead teams and excel in technical environments has allowed him to be recognized with very prestigious awards such as the Technical Excellence Award, Leadership Excellence Award, and NOVA Award amongst others. For his extraordinary accomplishments and achievements symbolizing exploration, innovation and vision, Michael received the 2012 Aviation Week Laureate Award. Most recently during the 2012 HENAAC Conference, he was recognized by GMiS as Luminary Honoree.

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