Policy Chief & Legislative Affairs Director
Space Development Agency (SDA)
Ms. Paula Trimble is Policy Chief and Director of Legislative Affairs at the Space Development Agency in the U.S. Department of Defense. Now two years old, the Space Development Agency (SDA) is building a space-based architecture to provide next-generation space capabilities to meet the needs of the joint warfighter, leveraging spiral development of a proliferated satellite constellation in low-Earth orbit. At SDA, Ms. Trimble is driving policy solutions to reduce barriers in the acquisition process and enable small businesses and start-ups to work more easily with the federal government.
Ms. Trimble has always been attracted to disruptive organizations at the nexus of policy and technology. She started her career in the Washington, DC-area as a reporter at Space News and Federal Computer Week. She served in the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Space Commercialization, helping promote the expansion of commercial markets for GPS, satellite communications, and satellite imagery. Following that, she was an industry analyst at the Office of Commercial Space Transportation in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, helping shepherd a new reusable launch sector and supporting the agency during the historic 2004 SpaceShipOne X-Prize flights. Ms. Trimble spent more than eight years overseeing prototyping and experimentation efforts in the DoD’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office. Most recently, she was Senior Principal at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, leading the lobbying firm’s national security practice in support of university researchers, scientific societies, and national research institutes, including facilitating the significant growth of a DoD Manufacturing Innovation Institute and engaging with policymakers on issues of interest to small businesses across the research enterprise.
Ms. Trimble and her family live in Springfield, VA, where she seems to collect hobbies. When she’s not cycling, running, or practicing yoga, she’s a wine hobbyist and foodie always ready with a wine or restaurant recommendation. In her spare time, Ms. Trimble chairs the judging committee for the annual Gerald R. Ford Prize for Reporting on National Defense and volunteers with The Holiday Project, organizing holiday visits with residents of nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers. Ms. Trimble is also the Communications Director for the Information Professionals Association, which provides a forum for the advancement of cognitive security and information operations.