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Alan Parker was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and from Pennsylvania State University with a M.A. in Economics and Statistics.
Parker joined the Ford Motor Company in 1962 where he became an analyst in the Ford’s overseas marketing operations. In 1967 Parker moved to Ford’s marketing staff and then to international car product planning. In 1970 he was transferred to Ford Europe as a director of car and powertrain product planning. Returning to the U.S. in 1973 he represented Ford Europe on a world car development program and then served as a manager of powertrain planning with the corporate planning organization.
In 1976, Parker joined Ford’s aerospace and communications division where he became a vice president of marketing and business planning for communication and meteorological satellites and government defense programs. He also headed the company’s domestic communications satellite business enterprise as President and Chairman until 1986.
From 1987 to 1990 Parker consulted to Arianespace, the European launch services company, and to Orbital Sciences Corporation for satellites services and international radio regulatory affairs.
After leaving Ford, Parker co-founded and was president of the low-Earth orbit communications satellite company, ORBCOMM, until his retirement in 1999.