Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Senior Vice President, Government Strategy & Policy

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch serves as Senior Vice President for Government Strategy & Policy for Global Affairs, Viasat, Inc. She brings more than 30 years of defense, aerospace, and executive leadership experience to Viasat, including her previous role leading government strategy and policy for Inmarsat.

In her current role, Ms. Cowen-Hirsch is responsible for establishing Viasat policy and direction in the space and communications domains across a wide range of topics including space sustainability, commercial integration, abd national security. She also provides strategic support to the company’s government and commercial business sectors.

Previously, as a decorated member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) in the U.S. Department of Defense. Ms. Cowen-Hirsch served as the Program Executive Officer for SATCOM, Teleport, and Services at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). She served in several other key SES executive positions including as the first Vice Component Acquisition Executive for DISA, with executive management responsibility for the acquisition oversight and horizontal integration of DISA’s products, services and programs. Ms. Cowen-Hirsch established the Defense Spectrum Office, serving as its first Director where her responsibilities included the development of national security spectrum strategic plans and policy, and national and international negotiation of defense spectrum issues.

Her broad national security career ranged from systems engineering, experimental flight test, program management, spectrum management and a wide range of executive leadership positions. Ms. Cowen-Hirsch was a rated experimental flight test engineer; was the first female civilian Mission Commander for the Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft (ARIA) mission; and was the recipient of an Exemplary Service Medal for her years of dedicated service to the Department of Defense.

Ms. Cowen-Hirsch is a recipient of numerous awards from prestigious organizations such as the Mobile Satellite Users Association, AFCEA, Women in Technology, Potomac Officers Club Top 5 GovCon Space Mission Leaders to Know, and WashingtonExec Top 30 Space Execs to Watch.

Mrs. Cowen-Hirsch serves as Viasat representative for key industry associations including the Space Foundation, Satellite Industry Association (SIA) and is the Vice Chairman of the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA). She also serves on the Advisory Board for Slingshot Aerospace. Additionally, she is a sought-after resource for her insights, representing Viasat as a speaker at industry events and in trade publications, and is a respected source of pragmatic, thoughtful commentary on a variety of top ics.

Ms. Cowen-Hirsch received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. She serves on the College of Engineering advisory board and is a member of the Alumni Hall of Distinction. Having conducted her post-graduate studies in Engineering Management at the University of Dayton, she is also a graduate of the University of Tennessee Space Institute Experimental Flight Test Program; the DoD’s Acquisition Management Program; and the Cambridge Senior Executive Leadership Program. 

Related Sessions

Commercial Protection

Thursday, April 11, 2024

11:20 am - 12:00 pm