HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The U.S. Space and Rocket Center announced Monday that they’ve named a new Vice President of External Affairs.

Robert La Branche previously served in a part-time role as Special Assistant to the CEO at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, but he will now assume a full-time role as VP of External Affairs.

“It is a high honor to have the privilege to take this leadership position at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, an icon for the State of Alabama and a beacon for STEM education. I am passionate about the Rocket Center’s mission and look forward to serving in this capacity,” La Branche said.

La Branche’s prior experience in Huntsville includes work as an aerospace and defense consultant at ReaL Strategies LLC, a company he founded in 2014. He also worked with a strategic communications team at the Space Launch System program office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center from 2014-2021.

The External Affairs VP engages with local, state and federal leaders on behalf of the Space and Rocket Center and its programs to build awareness and partnerships.

“We are so excited to have Robert join the Rocket Center team full-time. He has already proven to be a valuable asset in engaging government and industry leaders with our mission of education and inspiration, ” Dr. Kimberly Robinson, CEO and Executive Director said.

Before moving to Huntsville, La Branche attended Huntingdon College and also served in Washington, D.C. for eight years as a congressional staffer for Sen. Jeff Sessions and Representative Parker Griffith, as well as two other representatives from Florida and Texas.