The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC announced today that Rich Burchfield is joining the organization as its new Chief Defense Development Officer.
In this role, Burchfield will lead military relations and community outreach efforts, as well as support economic development and government affairs activities as they relate to the defense sector. In the context of the Chamber & EDC, the defense sector comprises military bases and missions, private sector companies and organizations, and the organizations that support them.
Burchfield will share responsibility for cultivating, recruiting and maintaining relationships with members and investors, with his primary focus on military installations and defense companies in the Pikes Peak Region.
“Rich’s military and defense experience, as well as his ability to cultivate strategic relationships, will be a valuable asset for the Chamber & EDC and our community at large. His knowledge of these sectors on local, state and national levels will enhance and strengthen the defense industry in our region,” said Dirk Draper, President and CEO of the Chamber & EDC.
“It’s an honor to serve our local community, military installations and defense industry sector,” said Burchfield. “We are very fortunate to have such a tight-knit relationship between those elements in our city and to have such tremendous support from our senior leadership across the board. I look forward to working closely with the Chamber & EDC team to continue to strengthen those bonds and ensure our community continues to thrive together.”
Burchfield (Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Retired) served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, splitting that time between active duty and the Air Force Reserves. He moved to Colorado Springs in March 1995 through an assignment to the Air Force Academy and went on to serve at Peterson Air Force Base (HQ Air Force Space Command), Schriever Air Force Base (310th Space Wing) and back to Peterson (21st Space Wing). In parallel to his Air Force Reserve time, Burchfield worked full time for 17 years in the defense industry sector (Millennium Engineering and Integration, and Booz Allen Hamilton) supporting USSTRATCOM, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Missile Defense Agency and HQ NORAD and USNORTHCOM.
Burchfield’s final assignment was with the 21st Space Wing, serving as the Wing Commander’s (PAFB Installation Commander) senior reserve advisor. A key element of that role was helping enhance civic outreach, which included involvement in the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Military Affairs Council, Area Chiefs of Staff forums and helping stand up the El Paso County Military Task Force. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado.
Burchfield holds a master’s degree and project management professional certification. During his career, he received multiple Office of the Secretary of Defense team and leadership awards.