Brings Over 40 Years of Experience at NASA in Aeronautics to The Collective’s Mobility Solutions

“We are absolutely ecstatic to welcome one of the world’s pre-eminent aeronautical innovation experts, Bill Van Dalsem, to our ever-expanding Experts in Residence team!”

– Todd Spain, Executive Director


The Collective integrates its network of advanced vehicles, operations, and systems to provide holistic mobility solutions in support of disaster management and mitigation, with an emphasis on wildland firefighting, and healthcare delivery. It leverages the talent of volunteer Experts in Residence, who lend their combined decades of experience and expertise, to help bring these mobility concepts to fruition for private and government organizations across the nation. William Van Dalsem, the former Chief Strategy Officer, Aeronautics Directorate at the NASA Ames Research Center, recently joined forces with The Collective as part of this expert team.

Van Dalsem brings his more than 40 years working at the NASA Ames Research Center, in positions such as program manager, engineer, and Senior Executive Service leader, to bear on the difficult issues The Collective aims to address. NASA's Ames, one of ten NASA field centers and located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, has led world-class research and development in aeronautics, exploration technology, and science since 1939.

Throughout his illustrious career at NASA, “Bill” (as he prefers to be called) managed over $200M in NASA programs and organizations of 600+ world-class researchers, computer scientists, and engineers. He also provided technical oversight and assistance to NASA’s largest and most scientifically fruitful programs, including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, the Kepler exo-planet discovery mission, fully autonomous spacecraft swarms, rovers, and unmanned aerial vehicles. 

His credentials include not only first-hand experience with the most advanced information, aeronautics, and space technologies but also the high-level training, degrees, and peer-reviewed publications in forward-thinking aerospace design that helped forge his proven track record of excellence.

In 2020, NASA recognized Van Dalsem’s unparalleled service by bestowing upon him its highest recognition, the highly prestigious NASA Distinguished Service Medal. NASA only awards this medal to civilian members of NASA and military astronauts who display distinguished service, ability, or courage, and have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate. To underscore its prestige, all branches of the military services have authorized its display on active duty military uniforms as an official military decoration.

“Bill Van Dalsem just completed a highly successful 40+ year career with NASA tackling major technical and management challenges with innovation and inclusive teaming across a tremendous range of engineering and science disciplines. We welcome his leadership to help The Collective address some of the tough challenges we face relating to disasters, wildfires, and healthcare delivery, through comprehensive and networked advanced mobility solutions.”
- Todd Spain, Executive Director

About The Collective: The Collective is a nonprofit global community of business, technology, government, and research partners bringing new mobility services to life by acting as a catalyst for innovation and economic development for connected and autonomous vehicles in the air and on the ground. Consistent with its purpose, to grow and shape the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem, AMC frames real-world challenges and links companies, partners, services, Federal, State, and Local bodies to solve them collaboratively. Committed to these purposes, our Experts in Residence add their diverse perspectives to the mix to convert challenges into impactful solutions.

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