Professor Roberto Battiston
Roberto Battiston is President of the Italian Space Agency. He is the Chair of General Physics in the Physics Department at the University of Trento, Trento and Rovereto, Trentino, Italy. Battiston is a member of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the governmental committee advising the Minister of Research and University. He has worked for over 30 years in international collaborations in experimental physics and fundamental interactions. Battiston is a devoted researcher in the fields of frontier detectors and technologies and the characterization of materials and devices to be used in space conditions. He is the author of more than 420 papers published on international scientific journals, and has organized several workshops devoted to space science and advanced technologies. Battiston holds a Bachelor's Degree at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy; a Doctorate (Troiseime Cycle) at University Paris-Dauphine (Paris IX), Orsay; and an Honorary Bachelor's Degree from the University of Bucharest, Romania.
Charles “Chuck” Beames serves as the Director at Spaceflight Industries, Inc., and he is the Executive Director of Stratolaunch at Vulcan Inc. His long legacy with the Department of Defense has led to a unique combination of leadership and expertise in military and space systems, legislative affairs, engineering and business. Prior to joining Vulcan, Beames was a Member of the Senior Executive Service and last served as the Principal Director, Space and Intelligence, to the Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. In his early career, Beames was designated as one of the “Top 100 Young Engineers in the U.S.” by the National Academy of Engineering. Beames is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with degrees in Material Science and Engineering Mechanics. He also holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College. Beames retired as a Colonel from the United States Air Force and has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2011.
Trevor Beattie, founding partner of BMB and former chairman and Creative Director of TBWA London, is an advertising executive responsible for a number of high-profile and often controversial advertising campaigns. As one of the very first paying customers, he is slated to fly on the second flight for Virgin Galactic (after Richard Branson's debut.) Also working in the movie industry, Beattie produced the BAFTA-winning movie Moon, directed by Duncan Jones in 2008. He is also devising a marketing campaign for the Virgin Galactic Space Tourism Programme. In 2011 he set up The Jack And Ada Beattie Foundation in memory and honour of his parents. The Foundation supports victims of social injustice, and helped send hundreds of D-Day Veterans back to the Normandy beaches for the 70th commemorations in 2014.
Peter Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2007 following almost a decade and a half of propulsion research and market development in the international space community. Peter has since established Rocket Lab both in New Zealand and the United States as a premier institute for innovative space systems. As comfortable on a CNC mill as he is in a board room, Peter is both the head visionary and technical adviser for the Electron program.
Peter is an acclaimed scientist and engineer, having been awarded a Meritorious Medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society for service of an exceptional nature in New Zealand aviation, and the Cooper Medal, presented by the Royal Society bi-annually to those deemed to have published the best single account of research in physics and engineering.
Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr., is the 12th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he began his duties on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency's missions and goals. Prior to his nomination for the NASA administrator's job, he was employed as the chief executive officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC. His 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions. Bolden's NASA astronaut career included technical assignments as lead astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center, and assistant deputy administrator at NASA Headquarters.
James Frederick "Jim" Bridenstine (R-OK)
Congressman Jim Bridenstine represents Oklahoma’s First District and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee, where he is the current chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment. He has been widely recognized in the House for his integrity, commitment to principles, and willingness to uphold the rule of law. Bridenstine has become an effective member of Congress by focusing on three specific areas: national security, economic freedom, and constitutional integrity. He holds a triple major from Rice University, a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University, and served nine years active duty in the United States Navy as a pilot. After leaving active duty, Bridenstine went on to be the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Salvatore T. "Tory" Bruno
Salvatore T. “Tory” Bruno is the president and chief executive officer for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Bruno serves as the principal strategic leader of the organization and oversees all business management and operations. Prior to joining ULA, he served as the vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, a leading provider of ballistic missile and ballistic missile defense systems supporting U.S. Department of Defense customers, as well as the U.K. Royal Navy and Ministry of Defense. Bruno joined Lockheed Martin in 1984, and his earlier positions there included leadership of FBM, ICBM, THAAD and Strategic Missiles Programs, as well as engineering positions involving FBM Rocket Propulsion, design and analysis for control systems, rockets and hypersonic reentry vehicles. He holds several patents. Bruno has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, and has completed graduate courses and management programs at Harvard University, Santa Clara University, the Wye River Institute, San Jose State University and the Defense Acquisition University.
Lt. Gen. David J. Buck
Lt. Gen. David J. Buck is Commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command; and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. As the U.S. Air Force's operational space component to USSTRATCOM, Buck leads more than 19,500 personnel responsible for providing missile warning, space superiority, space situational awareness, satellite operations, space launch and range operations. As Commander, JFCC SPACE, he directs all assigned and attached USSTRATCOM space forces providing tailored, responsive, local and global space effects in support of national, USSTRATCOM and combatant commander objectives. Buck received his commission in 1986 as a distinguished graduate of Officer Training School. His career spans a wide variety of command, operations, test and evaluation, and staff assignments. He has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. His operational experience includes missile operations, space launch and range operations, satellite command and control, space force enhancement, and space control. Buck served on The Joint Staff as principal military advisor to The Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff for Coalition Management. In 2010, he deployed to Southwest Asia as the Director of Space Forces for U.S. Air Forces Central. Prior to assuming his current position, Buck was the Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command. Buck’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Masters of Business degree in Administration, a Master of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies, a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, and he is a Distinguished Graduate from the Squadron Officer School.
Dr. Gwang-Rae CHO
Dr. Gwang-Rae Cho is the President of Korea Aerospace Research Institute, a government-funded institute responsible for the development of aerospace technology in the Republic of Korea. Prior to his appointment, Cho was executive director, where he developed the Korean Sounding Rocket-III and led the research and development program for the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I, which was successfully launched in 2013. Cho holds a doctorate in electronic engineering from Dongguk University. He was awarded with Science & Technology Laurels and the Presidential Award.
Susan Chodakewitz is the Chief Executive Officer for Nathan Associates, Inc. since April 2015. She is a dynamic and client-focused executive whose expertise spans a full range of business services in the public and private sectors. She has a record of accomplishment in aviation, information technology, infrastructure and international relations. Before becoming Nathan’s chief executive officer, Chodakewitz served eight years as President of Tetra Tech AMT, an aviation management and IT subsidiary of Tetra Tech Inc., a multibillion-dollar consulting firm. She positioned the subsidiary as a premiere provider of aerospace and technology services, and broadened the client base in U.S. federal, commercial and international markets. In 2010 the firm was named “FAA Large Business of the Year.” Previously she spent more than a decade at SAIC, a major defense and national security contractor, where she advanced to senior vice president, almost doubled revenue at SAIC’s business consulting program, and directed a unit that reached nearly $200 million in annual revenue. Chodakewitz began her career in consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she did a significant amount of work for the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Chodakewitz has been publicly recognized for her achievements, receiving the “Leadership in Business” award at the Women’s Center Leadership Conference in 2014, the Brava Award from SmartCEO Magazine in 2012, and the “Women Who Mean Business” award from the Washington Business Journal in 2011. Chodakewitz has a bachelor’s degree in international relations/Russian studies from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in Russian studies from Columbia University (Harriman Institute).
Sarah Cruddas is a space journalist and broadcaster with an academic background in astrophysics. Cruddas specializes in space exploration, but has reported on all aspects of science, technology and engineering. Cruddas is currently writing and presenting a documentary series on space exploration. She appears on screen across national UK channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and also appears as an expert on shows on The Discovery Channel Europe and National Geographic. She writes about space for various publications including BBC News, The Sunday Times, BBC Focus, BBC Futures, New Scientist, CNN and The Royal Aeronautical Society and has presented and reported across BBC radio. Her other work includes corporate presenting, event hosting and educational outreach for various high profile clients including The European Union, Samsung & Red Bull. As well as consulting for start ups in science and technology. Cruddas is an experienced foreign presenter and reporter, passionate about telling stories from the developing world, especially if there is a science angle. Recent credits include reporting from Rwanda, Moldova, Transnistria, Tibet, China, North Korea, Australia and various US and Western Europe locations. She is interested in broadcast, corporate presenting and outreach work in space science, technology and engineering.
Hoyt Davidson is the Founder and Managing Member of Near Earth LLC. Previously, he was a Managing Director in the Telecomm Group at Credit Suisse First Boston. Davidson’s investment banking career began in 1987 as an associate and one of only approximately 100 bankers at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ). He was part of the phenomenal growth and success of DLJ to over 1,000 bankers by the time of its acquisition by CSFB in 2000. Prior to investment banking, Davidson was a Senior Research Engineer in the Space Systems Division of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company before leaving to get his Master of Business Administration at MIT’s Sloan School. Davidson also earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT.
Laura Delgado López
Laura Delgado López is a Project Manager for Secure World Foundation. In this role she assists and manages the overall planning, direction, administration and coordination of project activities and goals. Prior to joining the Secure World Foundation, Delgado López was the Earth Observations Associate at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, a Virginia-based nonprofit promoting science education and collaboration in Earth observations. Delgado López holds a Master of Arts in international science and technology with a focus on space policy from the George Washington University. She was a 2009 Truman Scholar and a Northrop Grumman Fellow (2009-2010) at GWU’s Space Policy Institute. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Puerto Rico.
Eileen P. Drake is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. She served as Chief Operating Officer of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. from March 2, 2015 to June 2015. She served as Vice President of Aeropower, Vice President of Health and Safety, and General Manager of Aeropower of Pratt & Whitney Company, Inc. Drake served as Vice President and General Manager of Auxiliary Power Systems at Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems. She served as Vice President of Operations at United Technologies Corp. since May 2009 and was responsible for providing strategic leadership to UTC’s manufacturing and quality disciplines and led the core supply management functions including logistics, procurement, and supplier development. She joined UTC in 2003 and served as Vice President of Quality and Achieving Competitive Excellence at Pratt & Whitney Company Inc. since November 2006. She serves as an executive committee member on the board of directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association and for the United Way of San Diego. Drake holds her commercial and private pilot’s license in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. She served on active duty as a US Army Aviator and Airfield Commander of Davidson Army Airfield in Virginia. Drake is a distinguished military graduate of the U.S. Army Aviation Officer School. She received her masters of business Administration from Butler University, and her Bachelor’s of arts in political science from the College of New Rochelle.
Dr. Pascale Erhenfreund
Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund is the current Chair of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Executive board as of August 17, 2015. She previously was a Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, and Lead Investigator at the NASA Astrobiology Institute. In 2005, Ehrenfreund was a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and she held a professorship in Astrobiology at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Leiden before that. Ehrenfreund holds degrees in Astronomy and Biology at the University of Vienna, where she also earned her doctorate, and she has a Masters of Arts in Management and Leadership. Ehrenfreund accepted the honorary position of President of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) in 2013, from which she stepped down upon her appointment at DLR.
Gen. John E. Hyten, USAF
General John E. Hyten, USAF, is Commander, Air Force Space Command. He is responsible for organizing, equipping, training and maintaining mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command and other combatant commands around the world. Before assuming his current position, Gen Hyten was the vice commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo; director, Space Acquisition, Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.; director, Cyber and Space Operations, Directorate of Operations, deputy chief of staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters USAF, Washington, D.C.; director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo; commander, 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo; and director, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Hyten earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied sciences from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University, Montgomery, Ala.
Stéphane Israël is the Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, the world's leading satellite launch services company. His mission is to define the company's strategy, and to develop and maintain a close relationship with the company's private and government customers from around the world. Israël moved to the aerospace industry in 2007, first as advisor to Louis Gallois, chief executive officer of EADS, then in various operational management positions in the defense branch of Astrium Space Transportation and the geo-information services division of Astrium Services. From May 2012 to April 2013, he was chief of staff in the Cabinet of the French Minister for Industry, which includes the Ministry for Digital Economy, SMEs and Innovation. A professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Paris I La Sorbonne from 2005 to 2007, Stéphane Israël was also a teaching assistant at Harvard University in the United States from 1994 to 1995. He holds degrees from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA).
R. Dan Jones
Space Foundation Special Advisor – Latin American Affairs R. Dan Jones is a retired military space professional with 20 years of service through the United States Air Force. He led or organized more than 30 space partnership events to create initial space partnership foundations between the U.S., Brazilian, Chilean and Colombian militaries. He is the CEO of Beyond Horizons Space Consulting, LLC, an international consulting firm providing advisory, business development and strategic planning services for clients within commercial, academic and government organizations. He is also the co-founder and CEO of SparkConnect, Inc., an Arizona-based company that provides collaborative environments for global markets. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in space physics from the United States Air Force Academy, and two Master of Science degrees in space operations and operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Jean-Yves Le Gall
Jean-Yves Le Gall is President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe. In this capacity, he is also interministerial coordinator for satellite navigation programs. Le Gall has devoted his entire career to the European space program. He joined Arianespace in 2001, heading up the company until his appointment as President of CNES. A trained engineer and scientist, he is Vice-President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Vice-President of the "Space Circle", a French think-tank. He also chairs the France-Japan business council of MEDEF International, the international arm of the French business confederation. He has received multiple awards and accolades over the course of his career. Le Gall holds the rank of officer in both the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit in France, and was awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian Federation.
Thomas E. Markusic
Dr. Thomas E. Markusic is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Firefly Space Systems (Firefly). Prior to co-founding Firefly, Markusic served in a variety of technical and leadership roles in new-space companies. He was Vice President of Propulsion at Virgin Galactic, Senior Systems Engineer at Blue Origin, Director of the Texas Test Site and Principle Propulsion Engineer at SpaceX. Prior to his new-space work, Markusic was a civil servant at NASA and the USAF, where he worked as research scientist and propulsion engineer. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.
Samantha Marquart Brainard
Samantha Marquart is the Fusion Forum Manager for the Space Generation Advisory Council and is a Ph.D. student in the Systems Engineering Department at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In addition to her academic pursuits, Marquart has held several positions in the aerospace industry. Most recently, she worked for Alliant Techsystems (ATK) as a Program Manager. Prior to her work with ATK, Marquart worked for the Aerospace Industries Association and Virgin Galactic. Marquart holds a Master of Arts degree in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University's Space Policy Institute and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Outside of her space interests, Marquart spends her free time volunteering with Girl Scouts, 10,000 Girls Educational Support Program in Senegal, West Africa, and is on the national board of Women in Aerospace.
David F. Melcher is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Melcher joined AIA from Exelis Inc., where he served as Chief Executive Officer and President. In this role, he served four years as a member of AIA’s Executive and Finance Committees.
Following a 32-year career in the U.S. Army, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Melcher joined ITT Corporation, first as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, and then as President, ITT Defense and Information Solutions, before becoming the inaugural chief executive at Exelis following its spinoff from ITT in October 2011.
His Army career highlights include battalion and brigade command in Infantry and Armored divisions, and high-level military leadership and staff positions. As a general officer he served in the Pentagon as the Army’s Military Deputy for Budget, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs.
Melcher holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and two masters’ degrees, one in business administration from Harvard University and another in public administration from Shippensburg University. He is a registered professional engineer in New Hampshire, and a former White House Fellow who served as the Executive Assistant for the Director, Office of Management and Budget in the White House.
Dr. Francisco Javier Mendieta Jiménez
Francisco Javier Mendieta-Jimenez is the General Director of the Mexican Space Agency. Prior to his appointment, he was involved in development projects on applications of optical fibers to electrical power systems at the Institute for Electrical Research, Mexico. Mendieta-Jiminez previously served as Director of the Applied Physics Division and General Director of the Center for Scientific Research and High Education of Ensenada, Baja, California (CICESE), where he formed the optical communications group and laboratory and lead diverse research and development projects on optical telecommunications, free space optical satellite communications and detection. He was a candidate astronaut for the Space Shuttle program, and leader in CICESE of the SATEX 1 Project, which was a coordinated national effort to develop human resources in space sciences around a microsatellite project. Mendieta-Jiminez has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from National University of Mexico and his Certificate of Higher Studies and Doctor of Engineering degree from the National Superior School of Telecommunications, France, in the field of Optical Telecommunications.
Clayton Mowry is President of Arianespace, Inc., where he is responsible for managing customer, industry and governmental relations at the company's U.S. affiliate. The Washington, D.C.-based company was established in 1982, and is a key element of international presence. Approximately one-fourth of the more than 340 launch services contracts signed by Arianespace since its creation in 1980 are with U.S. customers, and over half involve U.S.-built spacecraft. Prior to joining Arianespace, Mowry was executive director at Satellite Industry Association, a nonprofit alliance that represents leading U.S. satellite manufacturers, service providers and equipment suppliers. He has held positions as a satellite industry analyst and senior international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Telecommunications, and was a Presidential Management Intern and trade policy analyst covering the space launch industry for the Department of Commerce. Mowry holds degrees in political science and economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
Dava Newman, Ph.D.
Dr. Newman is responsible for providing overall leadership, planning and policy direction for NASA. She assists the administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the administrator in his absence. Prior to her tenure with NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering.
As a student at MIT, Newman earned her Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering and a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering and technology and policy. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Ger Nieuwpoort, Ph.D.
Since 2009, Dr. Nieuwpoort has been Director of the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), which is responsible for developing and managing the space program of the Netherlands. Previously, he was director of the Netherlands Agency of Aerospace Programmes, which, due to government restructuring, became the NSO. After writing his thesis in chemistry, Nieuwpoort started working for the national government as a policy maker, head of a division for the ministry of Education and Sciences in the areas of research infrastructure and science and technology policy, and was head of a division responsible for the development of economic and safety policy for maritime transport.
David Parker, Ph.D.
Dr. David Parker was appointed Chief Executive of the United Kingdom (UK) Space Agency in January 2013. He is currently the UK’s Head of Delegation to the European Space Agency and was previously the Chair of ESA’s Programme Board for Microgravity and Exploration. Parker worked for fourteen years in the UK space industry. He was seconded to the British National Space Centre between 1997 and 1999 to manage space technology innovation projects for the UK government. From 2004 to 2011 Parker led the UK’s involvement with the ESA space science and robotic exploration programmes as well as its national space science programme. Parker earned an undergraduate degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Southampton University, UK, in 1984 and a doctorate in wind tunnel magnetic suspension technology from Southampton University, UK, in 1989.
Rupert Pearce joined Inmarsat in January 2005 as Group General Counsel and, from January 2009, additionally held the position of Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. He became CEO in January 2012. Previously, Pearce worked for Atlas Venture, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and U.S. investment teams. He was previously also a partner at the international law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, M&A and private equity transactions. Pearce received a Masters of Arts (First Class) in Modern History from Oxford University, and won the 1995 Fullbright Fellowship in U.S. securities law, studying at the Georgetown Law Center. He has been a visiting fellow of the Imperial College Business School, London, lecturing on the school’s Entrepreneurship programme, and is the co-author of Raising Venture Capital (Wiley).
Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso
Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA). Previously, he worked as the executive secretary and was its first executive director. Prior to joining ROSA Piso served as a research scientist in the Institute for Electrical Engineering (ICPE); a research professor at the Institute of Atomic Physics; and joined the Centre for Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Bucharest to establish the Institute for Space Sciences. He earned a degree in physics and general relativity theory from the Babes-Bolyai University and a doctorate from University Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Iasi with a thesis on space-time structure.
Elliot H. Pulham
Elliot H. Pulham was named Chief Executive Officer of the Space Foundation in 2001, Pulham is widely quoted by national, international and trade media in coverage of space-related issues. Before joining the Space Foundation, he was senior manager of public relations, employee communication and advertising for all space programs of Boeing, serving as spokesperson at the Kennedy Space Center for the Magellan, Galileo and Ulysses interplanetary missions, among others. He is a recipient of the coveted Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America - the profession's highest honor. Rotary National Awards for Space Achievement Foundation presented him with the coveted Space Communicator Award, an honor he shares with the late legendary CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite. Pulham is chairman of the Hawaii Aerospace Advisory Committee, a former Air Force Civic Leader and advisor to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force and a recipient of the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Public Service Medal. He serves on the editorial board of NewSpace Journal.
Minoo Rathnasabapathy is the Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), an non-governmental association which acts in support of the United Nations Programme on space applications, based in Vienna, Austria. Rathnasabapathy earned her undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering in Australia, and has worked on several projects including structural design improvements for the Ariane 5 launch system. Rathnasabapathy is currently completing her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, researching the impact dynamics of novel materials used in aerospace structures. Besides her interest in the space sector, Rathnasabapathy has a black belt in Shotokan Karate.
In 2012, Betty J. Sapp was appointed the 18th Director of the National Reconnaissance Office. She began her government career as a United States Air Force officer in a variety of acquisition and financial management positions, including: business management in the NRO; program element monitor at the Pentagon for the MILSTAR system; program manager for FLTSATCOM; manager of a joint-service development effort for the A-10 engine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. In 1997, Sapp joined the Central Intelligence Agency. She was assigned to the NRO where she served in a variety of senior management positions. Sapp earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Business Administration degree in management, both from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General, is responsible for implementing the company’s strategic and operational plans and for the overall mission of providing a range of sustainable, cost-effective and secure communications solutions to government and commercial customers. She has worked more than 25 years in the satellite communications industry, including extensive experience in rapid-response solutions for both military and civil agencies of the US government. Sears has spoken widely on how commercial satellites can be utilized by the military to solve mission-critical needs and she has worked over the past several years to advance the commercial and Department of Defense partnership. In 2009, Sears was appointed to the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) to provide information, technical expertise, advice and guidance regarding issues that may affect national security telecommunications capabilities. Before joining Intelsat, Sears helped launch government services business units at both G2 Satellite Solutions and Verestar. Sears has also held sales and product development positions with Intelsat and Comsat World Systems. Sears has a Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Richmond. Sears is currently serving on the Board of the Space Foundation, an international non-profit organization and the foremost industry advocate for all sectors of the space community, and she is a board member of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, serving at the request of Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Gwynne Shotwell is the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX and is a member of the Board of Directors. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as vice president of business development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 50 launches. In 2013, Shotwell was elected to AIAA’s honorable grade of Fellow and in 2014, Shotwell was appointed to the EXIM Bank's Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Federal Aviation Administration Management Advisory Council. Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.
Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan
Dr. Katheryn D. Sullivan is the NOAA Administrator and Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer. Prior to her appointment as Acting Administrator, Sullivan held the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator. She also performed the duties of NOAA’s Chief Scientist. Sullivan holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space, and she flew three missions during her 15-year tenure. Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.
Dr. Stephen Volz
Dr. Stephen Volz is the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services. In this role he leads the acquisition and operation of the nation’s civil operational environmental satellite system. Volz is a leader in the international Earth observation community, serving as the NOAA Principal to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. In addition, Volz serves as the Co-Chair of the NOAA Observing Systems Council, a group that coordinates observing systems requirements and provides resource recommendations for NOAA’s observation platforms. He is also a member of the NOAA Executive Council, NOAA’s executive decision-making body. Volz previously served as the Associate Director for Flight Programs in the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Volz has a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Master of Science in Physics, a Doctorate in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, and 26 years of professional experience in the aerospace industry.
Stephanie Wan is the Chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). She has been part of SGAC since 2008 in various positions, including: co-founder of Youth for GNSS Project Group, Regional Coordinator for the North, Central America and Caribbean, and supporting and participating events in her previous Space Generation Congress, Fusion Forums, and the Strategic Partnership Team. In addition, Wan is a Systems Analyst at Overlook Systems Technologies Inc. where she provides support to NASA's Space Communication and Navigation Office in Washington, D.C. During her time supporting NASA SCaN, Wan also detailed to the State Department, and NOAA. Wan has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the American University, a Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy with a focus in Space Policy from George Washington University.
George Whitesides is the Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company and is responsible for guiding all aspects of building the world’s first commercial spaceline including the spaceflight program and small satellite launch capability. His responsibilities include oversight of Virgin Galactic's sister company, The Spaceship Company, to manufacture a fleet of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo space vehicles. Previously, Whitesides was chief of staff for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he provided policy and staff support to the agency’s administrator. Prior to his role at NASA, he served as executive director of the National Space Society, a space policy and advocacy group that was founded by Apollo program leader Wernher von Braun and the journalist Hugh Downs. An honors graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, Whitesides earned his undergraduate degree in public and international affairs. He later earned a master's degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge in England, and was a Fulbright Scholar to Tunisia. Whitesides is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.
Dr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner became the European Space Agency (ESA) Director General on July 1st 2015. Previously from March 2007 to June 2015 he served as chairman of the executive board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In 1995, he was elected president of Darmstadt Technological University where he previously was technical director of the Institute for Glass Construction, dean of the civil engineering faculty and head of the Testing and Research Institute. Wörner earned a degree in civil engineering from Darmstadt Technological University and has received honorary doctorates from State University New York (USA), the technological universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, St. Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia) and from École Centrale Lyon (France).