Director, Office of Aerospace, Governor’s Aerospace Sector Lead
John Thornquist serves as the Director of the Office of Aerospace, appointed to the role by Governor Jay Inslee in April of 2016. As the director, John serves as the principal adviser on aerospace related issues and coordinates activities that promote growth of the industry throughout the state. John directs the Washington State Space Coalition, an industry group which includes large and small businesses, Universities and government focused on the growth of the Space subsector in Washington State. Mr. Thornquist also participates on the board of the Washington Aerospace Partnership, a collaboration between Government and business working to protect and grow the aerospace sector in Washington State. John will be directing the creation of the Unmanned Systems Industry Council. Similar to the Washington State Space Coalition, this council will be comprised of government, business and academia with the goal of growing the business ecosystem around unmanned systems. John brings 28 years of aerospace business and engineering experience to the Department of Commerce. He was the managing director and CEO of Carbon Aerospace, an Everett-based engineering and manufacturing consulting firm specializing in carbon fiber composite structures. Prior to Carbon Aerospace, John co-founded Global Aerosystems in 2006, an engineering services firm specializing in the design and certification of aircraft structures. Global Aerosystems was a leading engineering services supplier to The Boeing Company. In 2010, Global Aerosystems was acquired by Kaman and became Kaman Engineering Services. In 2013, KES received the Boeing Supplier of the Year award with John as the Director of Boeing Programs. Mr. Thornquist is a graduate of Arizona State University in Mechanical Engineering and earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.