David R. Alexander
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
David Alexander is currently President of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI). GA-ASI manufactures, supports, and operates a variety of combat proven, highly reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems, as well as cutting-edge radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems for military and commercial applications worldwide.
Prior to assuming the role of GA-ASI’s President in 2019, Mr. Alexander served as President of its Aircraft Systems business unit. He previously was Senior Vice President of Engineering, where he was responsible for the hands-on management of programs, technical activities, planning, budgeting and proposal definition/preparation activities for the company’s RPA and ground control systems. In addition, he directed all product development, system analysis, mechanical engineering, electro/mechanical engineering, software design, technical data and user training.
Mr. Alexander began his career with GA-ASI in 1996 as Manager of Mechanical, Specialty Engineering and Configuration Management, where his first task was to productionize the company’s Predator®RPA. Following that, his duties grew to encompass all disciplines of engineering, with both production and pre-production engineering under one roof.
Among his achievements, Mr. Alexander has led all six block upgrades on Predator and initiated five different (fielded) weaponization programs. He has developed nine different aircraft models for series production, including Predator, Predator B turbo prop, Predator C Avenger® turbofan and Gray Eagle with heavy-fuel engine. He also has led the development and successful deployment of the company’s first auto takeoff and landing system. In addition, he developed and implemented GA-ASI’s first engineering operations procedures and manuals, as well as established a company-wide configuration management system. He successfully qualified Design Control to ISO 9001/AS9100, and more recently to CMMI Maturity Level 5 Rating.
Prior to GA-ASI, Mr. Alexander spent 16 years at Brunswick Defense. In his final role as Manager of Engineering he was responsible for all design and development of unmanned air launched targets and decoys, including Tactical Air Launched Decoy, Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy and AQM-37 high-speed high-altitude target.
Mr. Alexander is a strong proponent of supporting college student interest in things that fly given the decreasing engineering work force in the RPA/aerospace industry. He is actively involved with several universities in preparing the industry’s next generation of engineers through American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Design/Build/
Fly competitions, aerospace course teams, and technical paper presentations. A Professional Engineer, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.