Gwynne Shotwell

Benjamin Wachenje

Title: President and chief operating officer, SpaceX

Born: November 23, 1963, Libertyville, Illinois

Education: BS and MS, mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, Northwestern University

Early Marker: While researching how materials change with temperature for Aerospace Corp. in 1990s, wrote technical papers on various aspects of launch, reentry and reusable space vehicles.

Big Idea: Fulfilling a desire to build spaceships as No. 2 to Elon Musk at the company that makes commercial rockets that can launch satellites, as well as cargo-carrying space capsules that resupply the International Space Station for NASA.

Wave of the Future: Space

Latest Special Reports

  • Piggybanks navigating a maze

    Americans are still shaken by the pandemic and the volatility of the markets. Many are working to manage the impact on their retirement and savings. The implications of the pandemic and economic volatility and changes in tax laws bring new considerations for individuals and especially those retirees planning for and managing future finances.

  • Financial advisors stress that now is the time for investors to get serious about year-end financial planning checkup.

  • More than ever, the hope for a sustainable world has gained real traction among the next generation, businesses, governments — and investors. There’s a long way to go. But technology, entrepreneurship and smart policymaking hold hope for turning green abstractions into tangible reality. CNBC’s Sustainable Future is the premier destination for tracking how smart investments, new ideas and tech innovation can generate commerce — and a world — with staying power.

CNBC25: Rebels, Icons and Leaders