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Tim Hughes joined SpaceX as its first in house counsel in 2005

Meet Tim Hughes, SpaceX's General Counsel and Senior Vice President

Elon Musk is the public face of SpaceX, and for many people, he is all they know at SpaceX. SpaceX is a collection of brilliant minds, and it is a testament to Musk’s ability to attract and spot talented individuals that he always brings on board. Here, at Tesla-News, we have profiled a few of these individuals in the past few weeks.

We have done profiles on current SpaceX COO and President, Gwynne Shotwell and former head of Propulsion, Tom Mueller, who was a founding employee. We continue these series with Tim Hughes.

Tim Hughes is the current General Counsel and a Senior Vice President at SpaceX. He joined the company in 2005 when he was approached by Musk. He has defined the legal and government affairs functions from the ground up at SpaceX and is based at the company’s office in Washington DC.

Tim Hughes is a graduate of William and Mary Law School and the Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, graduating in 1994. As a student, Hughes wanted to work in national politics but after graduation, he worked for the United States Secret Service in the office of the chief counsel.

Soon thereafter, he joined Drinker Biddle and Reath, LLP as a senior associate with the communications and litigation groups. It was after this that he got his opportunity to work in national politics in the House of Representatives.

Following the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster in 2003, Hughes joined the committee on Science and Technology in the House of Representatives as its Majority Counsel. This committee focused on the shuttle accident and its causes. He was the primary professional staffer writing the bill that led to the passing of the Commercial Human Spaceflight Legislation, H. R 3752 and H.R 5382.

He was also Principal Attorney to the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 which was enacted into law as P.L 108-492. This established the legal and regulatory framework for commercial human spaceflight in the United States.

After his work on the 2004 Act, he joined SpaceX. Hughes is mainly responsible for the company’s corporate, contracting, export control, insurance, litigation, launch licensing portfolios and SpaceX’s federal and government affairs agenda. His job is international and national in nature.

In an interview with his alma mater, he spoke about his job saying that’ Our commercial space launch business has a customer base that is truly international. We negotiate deals overseas, work closely with the federal government and interact with Capitol Hill.”

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