Brigadier General Steven J. Butow

USD(R&E)
Space Portfolio Director, Defense Innovation Unit


Brigadier General Steven J. Butow is the Space Portfolio Director for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, located in Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining DIU, he was the Vice Chief of the Joint Staff, California Military Department. Colonel Butow is a former Commander of the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield, California, where his responsibilities included organizing, training, equipping, and maintaining 970 combat-ready forces and $1 Billion dollars of MC-130P aircraft, HH-60G helicopters and special mission equipment supporting the U.S. Air Force’s combat rescue and personnel recovery missions. Brig Gen Butow has additionally served as the U.S. Central Command Deputy Director of the Joint Search and Rescue Center in 2005, and U.S. Air Forces Central Chief of Personnel Recovery in 2007 supporting Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. He graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Physics & Astronomy and earned a M.S. in Management with specialization in Air and Space Strategic Studies from the University of Maryland.

As a researcher with the SETI Institute, Brig Gen Butow worked on instrument concepts for Mars surface soil analysis at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. He later served as co- principal investigator for a series of airborne science missions for which he was recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the Space Science Division in 1999 and received an Ames Honor Award as a member of an Astrobiology Mission Project Team in 2000. Brig Gen Butow has more than 3,500 flying hours in T-37, T-38, C-130, HC-130 and MC-130P aircraft.