Rich Choppa

Program Director, Missile and Weapon Systems, Defense, Space & Security, Boeing

Rich Choppa is program director for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Sustainment Programs, overseeing a portfolio of sustainment programs for the nation’s strategic deterrence systems.

As the original equipment manufacturer of the Minuteman ICBM, Boeing performs sustaining engineering and depot level maintenance on guidance, ground, propulsion and reentry systems and provides the ICBM Flight Test, Telemetry and Termination (FT3) system. The team also provides avionics sustainment, supply and repair for military aircraft, including B-52 and B-2 bombers, Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), KC-10 and KC-46 tankers, A-10 and F-15 fighters, and the AC-130 gunship. Dispersed across sites in Huntington Beach, Calif., Heath, Ohio, and Ogden, Utah, teams support U.S. Air Force missile wings nationwide.

Choppa joined Boeing in 2003 as program manager for Missile Defense International Programs. He has served in domestic and international business development roles for a number of programs, including Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Directed Energy Systems and Regional Missile Defense Systems. Most recently, he served as senior director for Global Sales & Marketing for Missile and Weapon Systems.

Prior to joining Boeing, Choppa served 21 years in the U.S. Army, starting as a private and retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He served as a forward observer, fire support officer and commander in Ranger and Airborne units with multiple worldwide deployments. As a Eurasian Foreign Area Officer, he served as Defense and Army Attaché in Moldova and Belarus, START/INF Deputy Team Chief at On-Site Inspection Agency, and Russian Brigade Liaison Team Chief in Bosnia. He also served in the Pentagon as Russia Country Director, Caspian Manager, and finally as director of Caucasus/Central Asia Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. A combat veteran of the Panama, Iraq and Balkan conflicts, he is also a veteran of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

Choppa has a bachelor’s degree in European History from the State University of New York and a master’s degree in Russian Area Studies from Indiana University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.