The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has named Robert Beletic as Aerospace and Defense Industry Manager. This position is instrumental in helping Colorado maintain its standing as a top tier economy and a leader in the aerospace industry.
Beletic, who is a retired Air Force general and highly-decorated, combat-proven commander and fighter pilot, has over 25 years of senior executive experience in all aspects of strategy, operations, and financial management for governmental and private organizations. That 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 the Global Business Development team at OEDIT and have the opportunity to support Colorado’s aerospace industry. Cutting-edge research and new discoveries are changing the world’s concepts of what’s possible in aerospace and defense. We will work to ensure that Colorado remains a leader in this space,” said Beletic.
After serving half his career overseas and retiring from the Air Force in 2013, Beletic and his family selected Colorado as their permanent home. In Denver, Robert served as a vice president in financial services, taught physics and coached robotics at Regis Jesuit High School, and spent a year in defense consulting in the Middle East.
Beletic most recently served as ATP’s Executive Director of Defense Relationships, a United States Air Force and United States Space Force adjunct professor and a certified kitesurfing instructor. Beletic is also a board member and rider on the Air and Space Forces Cycling Team and is closing in on 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 in per-capita aerospace employment and number two in total aerospace jobs. Robert’s experience makes him the perfect fit to propel growth for the aerospace and defense economic ecosystem. His outdoor accomplishments make it clear that he also understands the Colorado way of life. We’re thrilled to have him join OEDIT’s Global Business Development Division,” said Michelle Hadwiger, OEDIT’s Global Business Development Director.
As Aerospace and Defense Industry Manger, Beletic will connect, convene, and build trusting relationships 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 Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera in her role as the National Chair of the Aerospace States Association and the co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition. Beletic’s work will be vital for Colorado to address the industry’s unique and complex need to integrate national security, civil, and commercial space infrastructure and actors into our aerospace and defense-focused economic development efforts.
Beletic graduated from the Air Force Academy with a BS Aeronautical Engineering. He has since added a Master of Public Administration, Master of Aeronautical Science, and most recently in 2015, a Master of Finance from University of Denver. He and his wife Anne have three children and are expecting their first grandchild in August.