Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer for the River Advisers. River Advisersis the world’s largest commercial provider of satellite spectrum and offers bespoke consultancy services in spectrum regulatory matters.
Before joining ManSat, Katherine worked with U.S. defense contractors to bring commercial satellite and terrestrial communication technologies to austere environments in support of military, diplomatic, first responder, and commercial initiatives.
Katherine serves on the Board of Directors for Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) and mentors entrepreneurs through Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator. Katherine is a graduate of the International Space University’s Executive Space program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia.Dr. Brian Barritt
Brian Barritt is CTO at Aalyria, an early-stage Google spinout, where he supports the backend infrastructure for orchestrating networks across land, sea, air, and space. Prior to joining Aalyria, he established a new industry consortium for 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks and supported open source connectivity at Meta. Brian was a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google and the founding engineer of the Temporospatial SDN infrastructure that powered several terrestrial, high-attitude, and satellite networks at Alphabet and its partners, including Loon.
Brian has more than 15 years of experience in advanced wireless networks. Prior to his tenure at Google he led engineering programs at Cisco and space communications programs at NASA.
Brian earned an MBA in Management of Technology & Innovation and BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.Debra Facktor
Debra Facktor is the Head of U.S. Space Systems for AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., reporting to the Chairman and CEO of Airbus U.S. She joined the company in March 2020 and is responsible for managing the two businesses within U.S. Space Systems: National Security Space and Space Exploration. She also represents Airbus on the board of Airbus OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb operating a high-volume, high-speed satellite production facility in Florida, leveraging Airbus’ long standing heritage in satellite manufacturing.
Prior to joining Airbus U.S., Debra was Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Operations for Ball Aerospace, leading the company’s Washington DC operations, strategic development, and marketing and communications. Her extensive business experience includes serving as President and Owner of AirLaunch LLC, a small business that won funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Kistler Aerospace Corporation, a company that was developing a privately-funded reusable launch vehicle for the telecommunications satellite and International Space Station commercial resupply markets. Earlier in her career, Debra was Chief of Moscow Operations for ANSER’s Center for International Aerospace Cooperation.
Debra is actively engaged as a board member, advisor and mentor in the aerospace community, with organizations such as the Intelligence and National Security Association (INSA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Future Space Leaders Foundation, Brooke Owens Fellowship Program, Women in Aerospace and the International Women’s Forum. She serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Michigan aerospace engineering department and as an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University systems engineering department. She is a fellow of AIAA and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
Debra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, and is an alumna of the International Space University summer session program in Strasbourg, France.Dr. Rajeev Gopal
Dr. Rajeev Gopal, vice president, at Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), leads the company’s advanced engineering programs, developing innovative solutions for resilient and protected communications in defense applications. Dr. Gopal’s work spans Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) technologies, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud, and cyber security innovations.
In more than 25 years at Hughes, Dr. Gopal has held a variety of leadership roles in satellite network systems engineering and software development. Most recently, he has focused on AI/ML, software-defined networking, 5G, and enterprise management architectures. Prior to joining Hughes, Dr. Gopal led automation projects for clinical and cancer research and development at CTIS.
Dr. Gopal holds several patents and has published more than 40 technical papers. A member of the IEEE 5G World Forum, he serves on the editorial board of Wiley’s International Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking (IJSCN). Dr. Gopal earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) in Pilani, India.
Consumers, businesses, governments and communities around the world benefit from the connected experiences enabled by Hughes technologies and services.
Mr. Todd Gossett joined SES Government Solutions (SES GS) in September 2015 and serves as the Vice President for Space & National Security Initiatives. Mr. Gossett is responsible for developing, pursuing, and securing opportunities to support U.S. Government missions around the world by leveraging SES’s space infrastructure for missions ranging from space relay to hosted payloads. He is also responsible for integrating U.S. Government COMSATCOM requirements into the SES corporate processes for satellite fleet development and strategic third part capacity procurements. His office also works with U.S. government and industry partners to strengthen the cyber security of the SES fleet. He also oversees SES GS’ innovation strategy, looking at non-traditional and market adjacent products and services to expand SES GS’ addressable market.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the SES GS Senior Director, Hosted Payloads, where he developed new hosted payload opportunities for U.S. Government customers. He also served as program manager for NASA’s Global-Scale Observations of the Limb & Disk (GOLD) hosted payload program which launched on SES-14 in 2018 and is currently delivering unique observations of the sun’s impact on the upper atmosphere for NASA and research institutions worldwide.
Prior to joining SES GS, Mr. Gossett served twenty-six years in the United States Air Force, retiring in September 2015 at the rank of colonel. In his last assignment, he served as the Deputy Director of Space Operations, Headquarters United States Air Force, at the Pentagon, where he led a diverse team of over a forty personnel responsible for the formulation of Air Force space operations policy, development of space operations and maintenance budgets, conducting space operations international engagements, coordinating approval of sensitive space operations, and overseeing the Air Force’s space operations personnel development & training programs. Prior to his final Pentagon assignment, he served as commander of the USAF’s western launch range at Vandenberg AFB, CA. He also served in several other assignments, including nuclear missile operations, satellite operations, and space electronic warfare operations, as well as in various staff positions at Headquarters United States Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mr. Gossett grew up in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, and Master’s degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College, and the U.S. Naval War College.Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols is the Deputy Director, Commercial Satellite Communications Office (CSCO), Space Systems Command (SSC), United States Space Force (USSF). Located at Fort Meade, Maryland, Mike manages a portfolio of commercial satellite services and capabilities with a lifecycle value of $6B (USD). His responsibilities include facilitating the delivery of operationally responsive, customer-focused, cost-effective commercial satellite communications solutions meeting DoD, Federal Agency, and International Partner requirements. Mike has accomplished this through the implementation of focused program strategies in acquisition, engineering, cybersecurity, operations, and service deleivery across a multitude of mission platforms.
Mike has managed Information Technology programs as a Department of Defense Civilian for 38 years, implementing enterprise solutions leveraging space, terrestrial, and cloud domain services, network operations, cyber defense, and transformative business strategies.
During the span of his career, Mike has deployed and resided abroad managing communication services for the United States Navy (Naples, Italy); enterprise architecture programs for the Defense Information Systems Agency (Stuttgart, Germany); Telecommunication programs in Southwest Asia for DISA Headquarters (National Capital Region); and has deployed as a Senior Telecommunications Advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kabul, Afghanistan).
Prior to his current position, Mr. Nichols was the Program Manager, Commercial Satellite Solutions Program, United States Space Force, Fort Meade, Maryland, implementing a number of transformative strategies across service delivery and business operation disciplines and platforms.
A U.S. Navy Veteran, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (University of Maryland), Mike is proud to serve the Department of Defense; providing critical enterprise telecommunication solutions enabling Military, Government, and Coalition Partner capabilities.