The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has appointed Robert Beletic as Director of Aerospace and Defense Industry. This position is key to helping Colorado maintain its position as a top economy and a leader in the aerospace industry.
Beletic, who is a retired Air Force general and a highly decorated and combat-tested commander and fighter pilot, has over 25 years of senior executive experience in all aspects of strategy, operations and financial management for government and private organizations. This has included a wide range of strategic military and defense roles, including strategist for the UAE Ministry of Defense, director of operations for the Canadian Air Force and commander of a USAF fighter wing.
“I am thrilled to join OEDIT’s global business development team and have the opportunity to support Colorado’s aerospace industry. Cutting-edge research and new discoveries are changing global concepts of what is possible in aerospace and defense. We will work to ensure Colorado remains a leader in this space,” Beletic said.
After spending half his career overseas and retiring from the Air Force in 2013, Beletic and his family chose Colorado as their permanent home. In Denver, Robert served as vice president of financial services, taught physics and robotics at Regis Jesuit High School, and spent a year in defense consulting in the Middle East.
Beletic most recently served as the ATP’s Executive Director of Defense Relations, a United States Air Force and United States Space Force assistant professor, and a certified kiteboarding instructor. Beletic is also a board member and runner of the Air and Space Force Cycling Team and is one step closer to his quest to run a marathon on every continent. Only Antarctica remains.
“In addition to being at the forefront of space travel, exploration and groundbreaking research, Colorado is number one in the nation for aerospace employment per capita and number two for total aerospace jobs. Robert’s experience makes him the ideal person to propel the growth of the aerospace and defense economic ecosystem, and his outdoor accomplishments make it clear he understands the Colorado way of life, too. We are delighted to have him join OEDIT’s Global Business Development division,” said Michelle Hadwiger, Director of Global Business Development at OEDIT.
As a leader in the aerospace and defense industry, Beletic will connect, convene and build trust between all sectors of the ecosystem, including federal, state and local governments, research and development institutions, investors, trade associations and the general public. He will also support Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera in her role as national chair of the Aerospace States Association and co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition. Beletic’s work will be vital for Colorado to meet the industry’s unique and complex need to integrate national security, civil and commercial space infrastructure and actors into our business-focused economic development efforts. aerospace and defence.
Beletic graduated from the Air Force Academy with a BS Aeronautical Engineering. He has since added a master’s degree in public administration, a master’s degree in aeronautical science and, most recently in 2015, a master’s degree in finance from the University of Denver. He and his wife Anne have three children and are expecting their first grandchild in August.