Spaceport America names New Mexico local as executive director


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Economic Development Department has announced that New Mexico native and engineering and business professional Scott McLaughlin has been selected as the new executive director of Spaceport America. A press release from NMEDD reports McLaughlin graduated from New Mexico State University with a B.S. in electrical engineering and has worked for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and in the private sector with engineering and tech companies.

After graduating from NMSU, McLaughlin lived in Colorado where he established a radar design and manufacturing business. A press release states he traveled the world installing, maintaining, and marketing specialized wind radar systems.

According to the NMEDD, his designs support space launch, test ranges, aviation operations, weather service networks, atmospheric research pollution studies and shipboard wind measurements. Research and defense agencies such as NASA, NOAA, DOE, the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, universities, and other customers worldwide have used the radar systems.

McLaughlin returned to New Mexico in 2018 and was hired as an engineer at Spaceport America the next year. He was promoted to director of business development at Spaceport America before being named interim executive director of Spaceport America in July 2020.

“The important next step for Spaceport America is to increase our efforts and to find aerospace companies with activities that benefit New Mexico with higher paying jobs and the Spaceport with new revenue,” said McLaughlin in the press release. “As a third generation New Mexican, and a ‘boomerang’ that left the state for 25 years, I can tell you the Spaceport brings something special and unique to the state.”

McLaughlin replaces Dan Hick who was fired following accusations that he pressured the former CFO to bend the rules on internal financial controls.

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