As president of Draper Laboratory, a nonprofit organization devoted to developing guidance, navigation, and control technology for space exploration and defense systems, James Shields ’71, SM ’72 faced both funding challenges and opportunities for growth.
“The last couple of years have been a challenging environment with the size of the defense budget coming down, and with sequestration, budgets for 90 days at a time, and government shutdowns, ” says Shields, who joined Draper in 2001 as vice president of programs and retired as president and CEO in October.
Yet during his years at Draper, he increased revenue by nearly 60 percent and expanded the organization’s strategic scope to include biomedical and energy systems. He built new government-industry partnerships and led or contributed to studies on topics ranging from electronic warfare to integrating sensor-collected intelligence. He also presided over Draper celebrations honoring NASA’s moon landing, a feat supported by Draper’s navigation and guidance technologies, as well as the lab’s founding 80 years ago by MIT professor Charles Stark “Doc” Draper.
The lab became independent from MIT in 1973. Shields earned two MIT degrees in electrical engineering and began his career at TASC, the analytic research firm founded in 1966 by Arthur Gelb, ScD ’61, in Reading, Massachusetts. “I went in figuring I would stay about three years and outgrow the company, ” he recalls. Instead, he stayed for 28 years and became vice president for strategic planning as TASC became a $300 million enterprise with 3, 000 employees. “As the company grew, there were always new things for me to do, ” he says, but “the opportunity to go to Draper to figure out how to make a national resource relevant for the 21st century was too good to pass up.”
He credits his steady management style to time spent living at—and ultimately running—Delta Tau Delta: “The fraternity environment is a really interesting leadership development situation—getting to be president of a group of 40 guys, figuring out how to run a budget, manage a house, and keep everyone from killing each other.” Shields also worked as an assistant coach to the first-year and varsity basketball teams and still plays for the MIT Club of Boston. He was chapter advisor for DTD for 25 years and a member of the Alumni Fund and the Alumni Association boards.
Shields is now a consultant, and his wife, Gayle Merling, is a retired attorney. They have two children: Michael Shields ’07 is a mechanical engineer, and Elizabeth Shields, who went to Harvard, completed her senior biomedical engineering design project in MIT’s Biomechatronics lab.which product is an example of a consumer good why products are discontinued why company repurchase stock why business major how often answer options where to study entrepreneurship in south africa where to buy clothes from manufacturer why entrepreneur is a risk taker care where solutions what product is good for frizzy hair when company buy back shares where do technology come from how much phone watch what equipment is needed for a podcast how community solutions when project tiger was launched where to buy solutions how many solution does the system have what design style is studio mcgee which science deals with the motion of projectiles when products are redesigned as postponable products for support on mdm whom to connect how business loans work where farm equipment is used which project cars game is the best when device is offline why product marketing who roadmap ventilation how many london airports are there when technology gets ahead of society where engineering colleges where from samsung company what device is espressif where science has lease why manager role where's the science weapon on groundbreaker why business ethics is important how much project manager earn in canada when entrepreneurs fail they tend to who product information what management is which startup is best in india whose forest ncert solutions who engineering works how much science diet to feed cat how often roadmap releases are published which technology is shown in the diagram who science invention why teaching middle school is the best when startup season 4 which manufacturer sells the most cars why solutions class 4 where design store where product key windows 8 how much technology is used daily what device is espressif whose father was socrates how many equipment are used in rhythmic gymnastics how system restore works why tech sales interview question why technology is bad for education when entrepreneurs face a significant where london magazine how many manufacturing company in india where to find entrepreneurs who owns businesses where to watch project x where to develop film in toronto whose science whose knowledge what london station goes to cambridge why design thinking where to set up a roth ira who manufactures astrazeneca vaccine where management consultant where design table why technology is important in our life where to find device manager on laptop when system restore doesn't work where to find device id what device is this mac address is 1 8 miles far where to buy products in bulk how many project diva games are there how many engineering jobs are there in the us where to road map how science points to god where's device manager what entrepreneur should have who devised celluloid film how much london bus who owns positive solutions how much business permit what manufacturer makes lexus how much developer to bleach how design makes the world where i'm from locations when workers refuse to work who up start which system supports sales forecasting how many manufacturer in malaysia how many manufacturing jobs in the us when science fails how much technology is in the world whose business number is this who company owns sixt car rental how often do you use acapella device how london bridge fell when business clichés are overused they what technology can amish use how much businessman in india when set up teaching where i'm from poem whose project is manila international airport which solutions are possible how far london to paris which product is required to be sterile quizlet where to launch kayak on windermere why project management
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