Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Announces New Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives


James Grimsley
James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives

DURANT, Okla., (June 26, 2019) — The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is proud to announce James Grimsley as Choctaw Nation's new Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives. In his role he will manage strategic advanced technology programs, such as the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("drone") Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP) and similar initiatives and support economic development and growth for the Choctaw Nation.

"James is a wonderful addition to our team," states Tammye Gwin Senior Executive Officer of the Division of Strategic Development. "We see an opportunity for James to have a big influence on our aerospace and aviation initiatives as well as spur not only growth but knowledge within our communities on the topic."

For more than 29 years Grimsley has been heavily involved in aerospace and aviation. He has been active in the development of technical policy at all levels of government, a nationally recognized expert on technology related to unmanned aircraft (drones) and autonomous systems and an acknowledged speaker in the topic of technology policy issues since 2007.

Grimsley led the proposal development and capture team for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for the FAA's UAS IPP. The Choctaw Nation was selected as one of ten sites in the nation for the UAS IPP by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L Chao and the Choctaw Nation is the only tribal government selected for the program.

Grimsley is the founder of successful technology company startups and is also a former Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma – Norman Campus (OU). Grimsley was also the founding director of the OU Center for Applied Research and Development. Grimsley graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a Master in Science. in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Grimsley was a division chief engineer and later an assistant vice president with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Prior to SAIC, Grimsley was a civilian electronics engineer with the United States Air Force.

About the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Indian Nation in the United States with close to 200,000 tribal members and 9,000 employees. The Division of Commerce manages an array of businesses including 20 gaming sites, three resorts, six hotels, a KOA RV park, six restaurant franchises, a country market, a printing company, 17 travel plazas, 12 ranches and farms encompassing 65,000 acres where they manage 3,000 cattle and harvest 130,000 pounds of pecans. For more information visit, www.choctawnation.com.