Rick Petito, Director of the Office of Facilities Management and Reliability, is responsible for the day-to-day Smithsonian facilities operations and maintenance services, ensuring they are safe and orderly for the collections, visitors, and staff. Rick oversees a budget of over $100 million and manages a staff of over 800 employees.
Rick came to the Smithsonian in October 2018 with an extensive background in facility management and leadership. Before joining the Smithsonian, he served as Plant Senior Maintenance and Facilities Manager at Sealed Air Corp., following similar roles at Nissan and Georgia-Pacific. Rick spent nearly 25 years in the U.S. Air Force achieving the rank of Colonel. During his last assignment at Arnold Air Force Base, Rick led a large and diverse group of military and civilian staff and managed a reliability-centered maintenance program for 48 plants. His team oversaw the refurbishment, procurement, and acquisitions in those plants. Rick’s decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. He retired from active duty in 2014.
Rick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from DeVry University, a Master’s degree of Aeronautical Science and Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Master of Science in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University. He and his wife, Shannon, have one son, Thomas.