VP and General Manager - Space Systems Payload and Ground Division
Northrop Grumman Space SystemsChris Adams, VP and General Manager - Space Systems Payload and Ground Division, Northrop Grumman Space Systems
Christopher Adams is the sector vice president and general manager for the Payload & Ground Systems Division of Northrop Grumman Space Systems.
In this role, Adams has executive responsibility for the overall growth and performance of the division’s business portfolio, which includes a wide range of space technology and mission solutions for national security, defense, and civil space customers.
Previously, Adams served as vice president for the Advanced Responsive Integrated Systems (ARIS) business unit within the Strategic Space Systems Division (SSSD) as well as the lead of the National Security Space (NSS) corporate campaign. Prior to that, he was chief engineer and director of systems engineering across a variety of programs and mission areas.
Adams has more than 20 years of experience with Northrop Grumman in the areas of program management, mission systems engineering, and advanced concept development across multiple restricted mission areas, missile warning and missile defense, and high energy lasers.
Adams holds a master’s degree in aeronautics from Caltech and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also holds an engineer’s degree in controls from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has completed the Executive Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICESDan Adams, CEO, KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICES
Dan Adams is Head of Business Development and Sales for KSAT Inc. at Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT). Prior to joining KSAT, Dan previously led business development for civil space programs at United Launch Alliance (ULA). A space enthusiast, Dan is energized by the mission and the positive impacts space enables in our everyday lives.
KSAT is a world-leading provider of ground station services for satellites, rocket launchers, and experimental spacecraft. With over 50 years of experience, KSAT’s network today spans over 180 antennas at over 20 ground station locations across the globe (including Pole to Pole coverage from Antarctica to the Arctic) and is constantly expanding. KSAT is proud to be the behind-the-scenes bridge back to earth, supporting the vast majority of space companies, agencies, and start-ups.
Acting Director, NGA Commercial Operations Group
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)Frank Avila, Acting Director, NGA Commercial Operations Group, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)
Mr. Avila is the acting Director of the NGA Commercial Operations Group, where he leads a group in solving national security mission challenges with innovative commercial GEOINT solutions while leveraging the power of commercial capabilities to achieve GEOINT supremacy, diplomacy, and sustainability. He is also the NGA representative to the IC Commercial Space Council (ICCSC) and the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). Mr. Avila is a member of the Senior Intelligence Service (SIS).
He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Source Commercial and Business Operations Group, leading the discovery, assessment, and acquisition of trusted commercial GEOINT solutions for the NSG, and managing all business functions for the NGA Source Directorate; the Director of the Commercial GEOINT Discovery & Assessments Office, leading the coordination, and managing the discovery and assessment of commercial geospatial solutions; the Senior Scientist for the Office of Sciences and Methodologies in the Analysis Directorate, providing scientific and technical leadership in aspects of Imagery Science, and led the Analysis Directorate’s effort in developing its technical workforce to broaden and deepen analytic expertise; the National GEOINT Officer (NGO) for Imagery Science, the principal subject matter expert to the NGA Director on all aspects of GEOINT collection and analysis related to areas of Imagery Science.
In February 2012, Mr. Avila completed a Joint Duty Assignment with the National Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) Office at DIA as the Vice Chairman of the National MASINT Committee (MASCOM). During his years with the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and NGA he has led technical teams in Information Services and the Production Directorates, as well as serving as a Project Scientist in NIMA’s Science and Technology Directorate managing research and development projects related to spectral remote sensing technologies.
Mr. Avila has been with the U.S. Government as an Image Scientist for most of the last thirty plus years. He began his career in the Intelligence Community at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) as an Image Scientist working on the processing and exploitation of spectral imagery.
Currently, he is a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), a Federal Committee sponsored by the Department of Interior and the Chair of the Landsat Advisory Group (LAG), an NGAC sub-committee. He is the NGA representative to the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO).
Vice President of Technology
Kratos Space, Training and Cybersecurity DivisionChris Badgett, Vice President of Technology, Kratos Space, Training and Cybersecurity Division
Chris Badgett is Vice President of Technology for the Kratos Space, Training and Cybersecurity Division. In this role, Chris sets the vision, technology strategy, and direction for the portfolio of Kratos Space products. He is driving strategic solutions for secure and protected, virtualized satellite ground for military and commercial applications.
Chris is also responsible for developing strategies to provide Communications Superiority for our Warfighters. This includes secure tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems for Department of Defense, Civil, Intelligence Community, and commercial customers with a focus on protected waveforms, Common Data Link (CDL) waveforms, and ISR ground systems.
Prior to joining Kratos, Chris served in the Air Force as a Weapons Engineer in the Air Force Research Lab. He also worked in the Space Development and Test Wing as a Program Manager for a satellite system developed by Ball Aerospace.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in Space Systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
AalyriaDr. Brian Barritt, CTO, Aalyria
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.
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder
Terran OrbitalMarc Bell, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Terran Orbital
Marc Bell is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a leading manufacturer of satellites primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and on-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers.
Bell is an accomplished entrepreneur with a wide-spanning career. In 2008, Bell took a $250 million SPAC public, acquiring startup Armour Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR). Armour today holds over $8 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities in its portfolio. Before Armour, Bell began his career in 1989 as the founder of Globix: The Global Internet Exchange. Globix was an Internet Infrastructure company with over 28,000 miles of fiber and over 1 million square feet of Data Center Space globally.
Bell is an avid Broadway producer with two Tony Award-winning Broadway shows: Grammy Award-winning Jersey Boys (Tony for Best Musical) and Pulitzer Prize-winning August Osage County (Tony for Best Play). His most recent Tony Award-nominated Broadway show was Beetlejuice (Best Musical).
In addition, Bell is a member of the NYU Board of Trustees, NYU Langone Health Board of Overseers, NYU Stern Center for Real Estate Finance Research Advisory Board, NYU Schack Advisory Board, and the NYU College of Arts and Science Dean’s Advisory Council. He is also Chairman and Founder of the Boca Raton Police Foundation and serves on the board of SOS Children’s Villages Florida.
Bell holds a Master of Science degree in Real Estate Development and Investment from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Babson College.
Senior Materiel Leader, Resilient Missile Warning, Tracking, Defense Acquisition Delta
US Space Force - Space Systems CommandCol. Heather Bogstie, Senior Materiel Leader, Resilient Missile Warning, Tracking, Defense Acquisition Delta , US Space Force - Space Systems Command
Colonel Heather B. Bogstie is the Senior Materiel Leader for the Resilient Missile Warning, Tracking, and Defense Acquisition Delta at Space Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Her responsibilities include managing the new $2B MEO Missile Track constellation and the integration of the system into the overall Missile Warning architecture, rapidly responding to evolving and emerging threats.
Col Bogstie was commissioned in 1998 through the ROTC program at Auburn University. Her first assignment was a Minuteman III missile operator/ instructor/ flight chief at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. She then moved to the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida as a Systems Engineer for the Nuclear Treaty Monitoring Directorate, upgrading and installing 15 seismic stations spanning all seven continents. Afterwards, she became the Chief of Payload Products, Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California delivering the critical SBIRS GEO-2 missile detection and warning payload for spacecraft integration. After attending Air Command and Staff College, she was a Political Military Planner in the Western Hemisphere Directorate of J5, The Joint Staff, Pentagon, and coordinating Defense Support of Civil Authorities and Pandemic Influenza/Infectious Disease policies with interagency partners. She followed that assignment as Chief, Space Vehicle Engineering Branch at the National Reconnaissance Office where she led a 1,500-member joint team for $4.3B+ SIGINT space vehicle development. She then became Materiel Leader for Space Operations with Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Advanced Systems and Development Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico and led the $152M RDT&E Support Complex, operating $672M in DoD and NASA missions. While there, she was dual-hatted as Program Manager for the $94M ORS-5 space situational awareness pathfinder program. Following that tour, she became Chief of the SMC Commander’s Action Group, where she then lead the SMC 2.0 effort–the largest re-organization in the Center’s 60 years. Afterwards, she was Senior Materiel Leader of the Rapid Development Division, where she managed an $800M portfolio critical to developing innovative on-orbit technologies that enabled numerous missions across the space enterprise
Entrepreneur in Residence
U.S. GovernmentDevin Brande, Entrepreneur in Residence, U.S. Government
Vice President - Solutions Development
Scientific SystemsDr. Owen Brown, Vice President - Solutions Development, Scientific Systems
Dr. Owen Brown is the Vice President of Solutions Development at Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI). SSCI develops artificial intelligence software that is deployed at the vehicle edge in all domains for the US military. Owen received a B.S. in Engineering Science from Loyola University in Baltimore and then entered the US Navy’s Nuclear Power program. He served onboard the fast attack submarines USS Flying Fish (SSN 673) and USS Sturgeon (SSN 637). After leaving active duty Owen spent over a decade in Palo Alto. There, he received both a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University, with his PhD work performed at the NASA Ames Research Center. Owen also served as a spacecraft engineer at Space Systems/Loral (now Maxar) for seven years. He returned to the east coast in 2001. From 2001 to 2003 he provided technical support to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/Tactical Technology Office (TTO) and then served as a DARPA/TTO program manager from 2003 to 2009. While in this job he managed the highly successful Microsatellite Technology Experiment (MiTEx) program. He created the fractionated spacecraft paradigm – which many acknowledge was a prime catalyst for today’s proliferated satellite architectures. This DARPA activity led to the System F6 program that he began and managed. Upon leaving DARPA he became the CTO of KTSi, a defense technical consulting organization. There he served as a member of independent review teams for advanced classified Air Force space programs. KTSi later became part of SAIC. Owen led the congressionally mandated Orbital Traffic Management study in 2016-2017 and was a member of the National Academy of Science’s Space Defense and Protection Committee. He has been a frequent speaker and panel chair on space topics and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the AIAA from 1996 to 2001.
Vice President, Digital & Mission Solutions, Space Systems
RaytheonSandra Brown, Vice President, Digital & Mission Solutions, Space Systems, Raytheon
Sandra “Sandy” Brown is a Raytheon vice president and president of RGNext, a Raytheon
majority owned joint venture with General Dynamics Information Technology. She leads a
business of 3500 employees and is responsible for a broad portfolio, including space launch
and range services, space protection, tracking and object identification, missile warning and
defense, and cyber and software solutions.
Prior to her current role, Brown was a senior director on the Corporate Program
Management Excellence team, reporting to the Corporate Program Management Excellence
vice president of Raytheon Company. She was previously director of the Combat Training
Center and Support Mission program area of Global Training & Logistics (GTL) Mission Area
within the former Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) business.
Since joining Raytheon in 2000, Brown has held numerous challenging positions in program
management, engineering, business transformation, and operations management. Brown
was recognized in 2015 with the Raytheon Corporate Program Leadership award and the IIS
Leadership Award. For her career contributions, Brown was also formally recognized by The
White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, as part of the Joining
Director of Strategic Development
AvL TechnologiesTodd Brown, Director of Strategic Development, AvL Technologies
Todd Brown is AvL Technologies’ Director of Strategic Development. Mr. Brown joined AvL after a successful career with the U.S. Department of Defense as a proven leader in AvL’s key markets and the communications industry as a whole, and his sustained performance was awarded the Special Operations Command Civilian Communicator of the Year for 2020.
Mr. Brown’s background includes managing future satellite and terminal architecture for the premier unit in the Department of Defense, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Previous positions included program management of satellite systems for the Joint Communications Unit (JCU); during this tenure he was awarded Civilian of the Quarter during three consecutive years culminating in the award for Civilian of the Year for 2012. After being named Civilian of the Year, Mr. Brown accepted the position of Telecommunications Manager and was promoted to JSOC headquarters to manage the Satellite Architecture and associated Terminal Development Program within the JSOC J6 Development Transmissions Division, a position held since 2013.
At JSOC, Mr. Brown was successful in implementing some of the newest satellite architectures with the highest data throughput in the Department of Defense. Some of his accomplishments include the upgrade of en-route communication onboard the Air Force C-17 platform to the benefit of the Army, Air Force, JSOC and many U.S. Coalition partners. Mr. Brown’s tireless devotion to terminal performance and capability led to the development of many of the smallest, lightest and highest performing ground, maritime and airborne communications systems used within the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Director, Space Portfolio
Defense Innovation Unit - DIUBrig. Gen. Steven J. Butow, Director, Space Portfolio, Defense Innovation Unit - DIU
Steve “Bucky” Butow is the Director of the Space Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). He joined the team in 2015 as an early plank owner when DIU was known as the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) and helped establish the organization’s operating locations in Silicon Valley, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Austin, Texas.
In his reserve capacity, Butow is a Brigadier General serving as the Commander of the California Air National Guard where he leads 4,900 Airmen assigned to five wings and a headquarters staff. Prior to this assignment, he was a Special Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard.
Butow is a former Commander of the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield, CA, where his responsibilities included organizing, training, equipping, and maintaining 970 combat-ready forces and $1 Billion dollars of special mission aircraft and equipment supporting the U.S. Air Force’s combat rescue and personnel recovery missions. He has previously served as the Deputy Director of the Joint Search and Rescue Center for U.S. Central Command in 2005, and as Chief of Personnel Recovery for U.S. Air Forces Central in 2007 supporting Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. Prior to joining DIU, Butow was the Vice Chief of the Joint Staff, California Military Department with responsibilities including cybersecurity, incident awareness and innovation. He has more than 3,500 flying hours in T-37, T-38, C-130, HC-130 and MC-130P aircraft.
As a researcher with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, Butow worked on instrument concepts for Mars surface soil analysis at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. He later served as co-principal investigator for a series of airborne science missions for which he was recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the Space Science Division in 1999 and received an Ames Honor Award as a member of an Astrobiology Mission Project Team in 2000.
Butow graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Physics & Astronomy and earned a M.S. in Management with specialization in Air and Space Strategic Studies from the University of Maryland. He has also completed executive courses at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and was a member of the National Leadership Preparedness Initiative (NPLI) Cohort 16. Butow is a lifetime member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for academic achievement.
Exec Director for Space
Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies CompanyJoe Cassady, Exec Director for Space, Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies Company
Mr. Cassady is the Executive Director of Space Programs in the Washington DC Operations for Aerojet Rocketdyne where he helps oversee strategy development and architectures for future space and launch systems. He obtained his BS (1981) and MS (1983) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University in 2005. His current interest areas include architectures for human missions to Mars, Space Mobility and Logistics (SML) and space debris remediation. Mr. Cassady holds five U.S. Patents for Electric Propulsion (EP) technology.
He has four decades of experience in propulsion development, flight operations, mission architecture and systems analysis. He has authored more than 70 technical papers dealing with EP, power and attitude control systems and mission analysis and recently co-authored a textbook, Rocket Propulsion, with Professors Heister, Anderson, and Pourpoint of Purdue University. Prior to joining the Aerojet Rocketdyne Washington office, Mr. Cassady led flight project teams for the 26 kWe ESEX arcjet system (which still holds the record as the highest power EP system flown) and the EO-1 Pulsed Plasma Thruster system.
In addition, he has served on a number of advisory groups for NASA and the DoD. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, is vice-president of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society and serves as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Directors for ExploreMars, a 501c(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting STEM and human Mars exploration. In 2021, he was named as an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue and he was elected as a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 2022. It is his lifelong goal to see humans join their robotic precursors on the surface of the Red Planet.
Elara NovaKimberly Crider (Maj. Gen. Retired), Founding Partner, Elara Nova
Kim Crider is a Founding Partner of Elara Nova. She brings more than 35 years of experience managing multibillion-dollar global operations and technology programs in space, aerospace, cybersecurity, IT, data, and AI.
A recently retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major General, Crider was the first Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the newly established U. S.Space Force (USSF) where she oversaw a $2.5B Space Science & Technology portfolio and directed a $750M digital services and cybersecurity portfolio to advance the $15B global military space enterprise for 16,000 personnel. Prior to that, Crider was the Air Force Chief Data Officer, a first in the DoD, where she led the implementation of a $100M enterprise data management portfolio to assure availability of operational and business data to over 850,000 military, civilian and contract users across the Department of the Air Force’s $126B enterprise, and established a strategy for enterprise data management that has seminally influenced other DoD level data strategies and initiatives.
Cognitive SpaceGuy de Carufel, CEO, Cognitive Space
Guy de Carufel is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cognitive Space, a Houston, TX – based startup which is pushing the boundaries in AI-driven constellation management for commercial and government purposes.
Since its founding in 2018 under Guy’s leadership Cognitive Space has grown to 35 staff and successfully executed over $7M in US Government and commercial contracts. The company’s clients include USSF, USAF, SDA, DARPA, the US Intelligence
Community as well as Terran Orbital and other commercial constellation manufacturers and operators. To date the company has raised over $10M in venture capital.
Guy’s technical expertise is in simulation and modeling, flight software development, command and data handling, and optimization software.
Prior to this venture, he was a consultant for the NASA Johnson Space Center developing safety critical flight software for the Orion Spacecraft, a guidance navigation and controls engineer for Firefly Space Systems, and an aerospace engineer for a NASA contractor. He was awarded the NASA JSC Exceptional Software of the Year Award in 2016. During his graduate studies, he contributed to 5 nanosatellite missions at the UTIAS Space Flight Lab, all of which were launched and operated successfully.
Vice President and General Manager of National Security Space
Lockheed Martin SpaceMaria Demaree, Vice President and General Manager of National Security Space, Lockheed Martin Space
Arkenstone VenturesPreston Dunlap, CEO, Arkenstone Ventures
Preston Dunlap has over 20 years of executive leadership experience across technology, national security, and private investment. He is the founder of Arkenstone Ventures, serves on Boards and as Lead Independent Director of Pixxel Space Technologies, advises Fortune 100 and growth companies, private equity, venture capital, and institutions such as RAND, Stanford, and MIT and is a Senior External Advisor to Bain & Company.
He led the Defense Department’s Investment Committee strategy, analysis, and diligence for the Secretary of Defense to allocate and deploy $750B+ annually in industry sectors supporting national security, such as infrastructure, services, space, cybersecurity and software, AI, communications, transportation and logistics, ships, aircraft, vehicles, and weapons.
Mr. Dunlap started $250B+ of new programs with 4 Secretaries of Defense, including the newly unveiled B-21 bomber, Hypersonic Prompt Strike, classified space and intelligence, and Joint All- Domain Command and Control programs.
He led initiatives with the Vice President of the United States and Cabinet on the future of commercial, civil, and national security space, transformed federal Venture Capital investment, was the first Chief Technology Officer of the Space Force and Air Force with $75B of products, and served on the ground floor of successful software and infrastructure companies.
He holds a Master of Science in Operations Research and Management Science from George Mason University, a Bachelor’s degree in both Computer Science and Political Science from Duke University, and was a Harvard National Security Executive Fellow.
Mr. Dunlap is frequently cited as an authority in international media and as an expert witness for the United States Congress. His awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, Secretary of the Air Force Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, and Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service.
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
The Aerospace CorporationDr. Debra L. Emmons, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, The Aerospace Corporation
Dr. Debra L. Emmons is vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) at The Aerospace Corporation. Inthis role, she is responsible for providing vital leadership for determining and executing the company’stechnology strategy and investments. Emmons leads four offices: eLab, responsible for setting the technicalinvestment strategy and priorities; iLab, responsible for bringing transformational, game-changing concepts tofruition; xLab, responsible for developing, building, and operating prototypes; and the newest CommercialSpace Futures (CSF) office, responsible for driving the harnessing of commercial solutions for governmentmissions to advance U.S. space. She also manages the company’s $60M+ internal research and developmentprogram and the Aerospace Technical Fellows program, with the company’s top engineers and scientists.Emmons serves as chairperson of the Office of the CTO Roundtable with federally funded research anddevelopment centers (FFRDCs) and university affiliated research centers (UARCs) to develop and maintainrelationships with government and other defense-related research laboratories to identify technology priorities,future requirements, and emerging opportunities.
Previously, Emmons was vice president of special studies at Aerospace, responsible for promoting the use ofcorporate and government resources through horizontal and cross-program integrated planning and engineering.Prior to that, she served as general manager of Aerospace’s Communication Technologies and EngineeringDivision, where she oversaw the communications studies, analysis, and testing products of the division to servethe full range of corporate national security space, civil, and commercial customers, and managed ageographically distributed team of engineers and laboratories.
Earlier in her career, Emmons was integral in the establishment and growth of the NASA and civil spacecustomer lines of business and held various leadership roles. Emmons held the role of principal director, NASAand Civil Programs, serving all science and technology customers. Before joining Aerospace in 2003 as a projectengineer, Emmons worked at Hughes Space and Communications Company as a system engineering projectmanager on commercial telecommunications satellite development.
An experienced aerospace leader with technical, management, and industry experience in the acquisition anddevelopment of advanced technology space systems, Emmons has more than 25 years of experience in systemsengineering, technical and risk analysis, program management, and communications systems. She was aprincipal contributor on several key high level studies and assessments that have informed strategicdecisionmaking within the government.
Emmons earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University with aconcentration in signal processing and communications theory. She was awarded an MBA from Imperial College
Management School, London, UK, with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance. Emmons earned aPh.D. in systems engineering from the George Washington University.
Awards and Honors
Emmons was awarded two Aerospace President’s Awards and named Aerospace Woman of the Year (2007). In2006, she was honored for her contributions to the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Analysis of Alternatives. In2010, she was honored for providing technical studies critical to the Augustine Commission’s recommendationsfor future U.S. human spaceflight.
Past and present affiliations include the California State University Autonomy Research Center for STEAHMExternal Research Advisory Committee; Advanced Space Communications and Navigation Systems Session,International Astronautical Federation; a subcommittee of the National Science Foundation Business andOperations Advisory Committee; and National Space Club and Foundation, Washington, D.C.
VentureScopeVan Espahbodi, Investment Advisor, VentureScope
Van is dedicated to empowering and investing in frontier and industrial-focused founders. With over 20 years’ experience in aerospace and defense, Van advises both early-stage businesses and government to be bolder! Prior to working in both defense and commercial markets, Van started his career as a congressional aide before joining Raytheon and later UK NATS, the British airspace operator. Following graduate studies at George Mason University, Van participated in executive programs at Thunderbird School of Management in AZ and Cranfield School of Management in the UK. He has served as EIR and economic advisor to both Mayors of Los Angeles and the City of El Segundo, the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation, and the MIT Enterprise Forum.
Head of AIRBUS U.S. Space Systems
Airbus US Space SystemsDebra Facktor, Head of AIRBUS U.S. Space Systems, Airbus US Space Systems
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.
TMF AssociatesDr. Tim Farrar, President, TMF Associates
In-Q-TelTom Gillespie, Managing Partner, In-Q-Tel
Tom Gillespie serves as a Partner on In-Q-Tel’s Investment Team and as Investment Lead for In-Q-Tel’s Field Technologies Practice, where he is responsible for identifying technologies that address challenges faced by the Intelligence Community. He is the Investment Team partner associated with IQT’s commercial space initiative, CosmiQ Works, and he has led a number of IQT’s investments in commercial space ventures, including launch vehicles, small satellite constellations, and space situational awareness. In addition, he has led IQT investments in the areas of robotics, materials, power sources, and autonomous systems, as well as several analytics investments.
Prior to IQT, Gillespie was a Strategy Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, serving clients in the financial services, aerospace, and government (national security and defense) sectors. Previously, he co-founded LaunchFuel, a venture commercialization firm that created, developed, and advised early-stage technology businesses; Gillespie also directed numerous business and technology strategy projects with Global 2000 clients for AT&T Solutions. Earlier experience includes positions in international privatization and the United States Congress, where he focused on financial services, telecommunications, space, and foreign affairs issue areas.
Gillespie earned a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Executive Officer
ManSat GroupKatherine Gizinski, Chief Executive Officer, ManSat Group
Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer for the ManSat Group. ManSat is 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.
Founder and CEO
MagnestarJacqueline Good, Founder and CEO , Magnestar
Jacqueline Good is the Founder and CEO of Magnestar Inc. Founded in December 2021, the company focuses on building a clearing house of interference vectors to establish clear paths of communications for all existing and new satellite operators.
Jacqueline leverages her diverse educational background, performance in enterprise technical sales and vast network, to lead the Magnestar world class team. Within her career, she has built data architecture for over four dozen organizations across Canada, the US and China, led the development of six software applications and she recently left a senior leadership role at one of Canada’s largest pension funds to pursue her passion for space, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Jacqueline enjoys running, yoga, competitive hockey and is an executive committee member at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Senior Director of Radio Frequency Geolocation (RFGL) Products
Spire GlobalIain Goodridge, Senior Director of Radio Frequency Geolocation (RFGL) Products, Spire Global
Iain Goodridge is a seasoned professional and currently the Senior Director of Radio Frequency Geolocation Products at Spire Global. With a focus on the development and marketing of cutting-edge radio frequency geolocation solutions, Iain brings over a decade of expertise in the industry. Known for his strategic mindset and innovative approach, he has successfully launched groundbreaking products into existing markets, solidifying his reputation as a leader in the field. Iain’s dedication, outside-the-box thinking, and relentless pursuit of the next big move make him an invaluable asset to the team.
Vice President, Advanced Programs Defense Division
Hughes Network SystemsDr. Rajeev Gopal, Vice President, Advanced Programs Defense Division, Hughes Network Systems
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.
Space Enterprise Integration Corporate Chief Engineer’s Office
The Aerospace CorporationLori Gordon, Space Enterprise Integration Corporate Chief Engineer’s Office, The Aerospace Corporation
Lori Gordon, MPA, PMP is a Systems Director in the Corporate Chief Engineer’s Office at The Aerospace Corporation, leading national security, cybersecurity, and infrastructure protection and resilience enterprise integration initiatives for the space enterprise. With almost two decades of experience in the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) and private sector communities, she has advised a range of federal agencies in initiatives to accelerate technology innovation in complex systems while mitigating national security and civil space enterprise risk. Ms. Gordon is a Partner with Aerospace’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) and a Fellow at the National Security Institute (NSI), and has served on several curriculum advisory boards in cybersecurity and information technology, law and government, and resilient design. Ms. Gordon holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Vice President, Space & National Security Initiatives
SES Space & DefenseTodd Gossett, Vice President, Space & National Security Initiatives, SES Space & Defense
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.
Commander, Space Systems Command
US Space ForceLt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, Commander, Space Systems Command, US Space Force
Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein is Commander, Space Systems Command, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. He is responsible for approximately 15,000 employees nationwide and an annual budget of $11 billion, managing the research, design, development, acquisition, launch and sustainment of satellites and their associated command and control systems across 20+ geographically dispersed units. His extensive portfolio includes military satellite communication, missile warning, navigation and timing, space-based weather, space launch and test ranges, space superiority, responsive space and other emerging domestic and international evolutionary space programs
Lt. Gen. Guetlein was commissioned through the ROTC program at Oklahoma State University in 1991. His acquisition experience spans air and space capabilities and systems across special operations, global power projection, missile warning and detection, and counterspace mission areas. The general has commanded and led at the flight, squadron, division, directorate, Program Executive Officer, and field command levels. Notable assignments include serving as the Director, Remote Sensing Systems; Commander, Rapid Reaction Squadron; the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition; a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow; and the Program Executive for Programs and Integration at the Missile Defense Agency.
Prior to his current position, Lt. Gen. Guetlein was the Deputy Director, National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, Virginia, where he acted as the Senior Advisor to the Director on all military matters, and in managing strategic and tactical operations of the NRO. In this position, he was dual-hatted as the Commander of the Space Force Element, responsible for managing all Air Force personnel and resources assigned to the NRO.
Hyperspectral Mission Director
PlanetJeffrey Guido, Hyperspectral Mission Director, Planet
Chief, Commercial Satellite Communications Office
US Space ForceClare Hopper (Grason), Chief, Commercial Satellite Communications Office, US Space Force
Clare A. Hopper is Chief, Commercial Satellite Communications (COMSATCOM) Office, assigned to Headquarters United States Space Force, Washington, D.C. She is responsible for delivering COMSATCOM capabilities to support the joint warfighter, federal agencies and international partners. Her portfolio includes the Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) Program Office, the EMSS Gateway and Capabilities Office and the Department of Defense COMSATCOM Solutions Office.
EMSS is an $800 million global satellite program that provides the Department of Defense, federal and coalition partners with unlimited access to the commercial Iridium constellation, a mesh-network of 66 on-orbit cross-linked satellites, through a dedicated, EMSS controlled gateway.
The COMSATCOM Solutions Office acquires any commercial satellite capability for any customer, anywhere, and has $4.6 billion under management.
Prior to this role, Ms. Hopper was the SATCOM Division Chief, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In this role she managed the Department of Defense Enterprise Gateways Program Office, the SATCOM Operations Integration Branch, and the COMSATCOM portfolio described above, prior to its Congressionally-directed transfer to the AFSPC. Other assignments include Program Manager, EMSS and Program Manager for a classified telecommunications system within DISA’s National Leadership Command Capabilities Center (NLCC). Ms. Grason began her career in government with DISA as a contracting officer, and served as the Chief, Special Projects Contracting Branch, which held a contracts portfolio valued at over $2 billion.
Prior to joining the government, Ms. Hopper was a retirement funds analyst for T. Rowe Price.
Ms. Hopper received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from West Virginia University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Ms. Hopper is DAWIA Level 3 certified in contracting.
Senior Materiel Leader, Launch Execution Acquisition Delta
Space Systems CommandCol. James Horne, Senior Materiel Leader, Launch Execution Acquisition Delta, Space Systems Command
Col James T. Horne, III is the Senior Materiel Leader, Launch Execution Acquisition Delta, Space Systems Command, Assured Access to Space. He leads a 350+ member team executing the $12.3B National Security Space Launch program that directs production, integration and launch of the Falcon, Vulcan, Atlas and Delta systems.
Col Horne recently served as the Deputy Director, Assured Access to Space Directorate, and Deputy Director, Operations, Space Systems Command. He facilitated the integration space mobility plans, policy, requirements and capabilities to rapidly launch, sustain and reconstitute national security space assets.
Col Horne received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 2000 and earned a
Masters of Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in 2007. He transferred to the United States Space Force in June 2021. He has commanded the 30th Range Management Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, CA; served as Materiel Leader and Chief Engineer, Atlas V, at Los Angeles AFB, CA; and the Chief of ICBM Standardization and Evaluation, and as a Minuteman III Missile Combat Crew Commander, Evaluator and Assistant Director of Operations. His acquisitions experience includes work with Tactical Data Link systems in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle, as well as space launch supporting the design, development, qualification and first flights of the Atlas V rocket program. In the deployed environment he has served as a Personal Representative to Enemy Non-Combatant Detainees from the Global War on Terror, at the Joint Detention Group, Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His staff assignments include Headquarters Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Director, Intelligence and Defense Programs
United Launch Alliance - ULAClint Hunt, Col., USAF (Ret.), Director, Intelligence and Defense Programs, United Launch Alliance - ULA
Clint Hunt, Colonel, USAF (Retired), is the director of intelligence and defense programs for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this role, Clint is responsible for engagement with the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community to ensure the missions need are met.
Clint previously served 27 years as an operator and acquisition officer in the United States Air Force, focusing largely on space control, intelligence and space launch systems. In his final assignment, he was the director, Office of Space Launch at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). In this role, Clint led several hundred government and industry team members at five locations, executing a multi-billion dollar budget across the future year’s defense plan. He was also responsible for the technical and operational planning and execution of the NRO’s launch requirements.
Prior to this assignment, Clint served as the chief, Space Control and Advanced Technology Division at headquarters Air Force, representing an eight-billion dollar portfolio that encompassed 28 space control-related programs, and advocating for Space Control requirements with the other services, Congress, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Intelligence Community and the White House. He held numerous other leadership assignments during his career, serving as the chief of the Space Professional Management Office at Headquarters Air Force Space Command and commanded the 1st Air and Space Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He also held positions in the NRO’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, as the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program Element Monitor and duties at the Squadron and program office level.
Clint holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Master of Science degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology and Lesley University and is Level III certified program manager.
Program Manager and Chief Systems Engineer
US Naval Research LaboratoryMike Katrivanos, Program Manager and Chief Systems Engineer, US Naval Research Laboratory
Mr. Michael Katrivanos is the Program Manager and Chief Systems Engineer for the Tactical Network Modeling effort in the National Center for Space Technology (NCST) at the Naval Research Laboratory. This revolutionary capability, conceived and developed under his leadership, was successfully used to test and evaluate the Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 0 proliferated Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. Mr. Katrivanos was responsible for evaluating the SDA satellite vendors for space network interoperability, a key functionality for deploying the missile warning system in future LEO Tranches for the tactical grid. While working at NRL, Mr. Katrivanos has reached across multiple organizations to bridge gaps between agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), US Space Force, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and established memoranda of agreement with the National Security Agency (NSA).
CEO and Co-Founder
Orbital SidekickDan Katz, CEO and Co-Founder, Orbital Sidekick
Dan Katz is the CEO and Co-Founder of Orbital Sidekick, whose proprietary analytics platform and satellite payload architecture provides persistent monitoring solutions powered by Hyperspectral Imaging. This unique chemical speciation and change detection capability enables unparalleled target monitoring services for the Energy and Defense sectors on a global scale. Prior to starting Orbital Sidekick in 2016, Dan spent 5 years at SSL (now Maxar) and previously worked on multi-billion dollar civil infrastructure programs. His educational background is in Physics and Aerospace Engineering.
Hogan LovellsSteve Kaufman, Partner , Hogan Lovells
A corporate partner and satellite practice co-head, Steve Kaufman uses industry knowledge and versatility to negotiate and close many types of deals globally.
For 18 of his 30 years at the firm, Steve served as outside general counsel for satellite clients, leading strategic joint ventures, “bet-the-company” contracts, financings, and M&A.
What Steve does best: understanding complex business issues and translating them into legal documents. If a client can describe something, Steve can draft it. Working from complicated to simple, he has many times reduced a lengthy contract into a few pages of bullet points, showing the client what it needs and how to obtain it. He has even written a business and financing model for parties in the form of an agreement. Many clients comment that the business guidance from Steve is as valuable as the legal advice.
Steve relies on his familiarity with issues common to satellite and communications companies to give him an edge in negotiations. This experience produces extra benefits when Steve deals with specialized satellite contract terms, targeted warranties, creative covenants, use of insurance to close gaps, license and spectrum issues, and even finance and accounting matters. According to Chambers Steve Kaufman is “a real authority and somebody who will always know the answer.”
In advising clients, Steve emphasizes practicality, striving to achieve the client’s business objectives for the transaction, whether economic, risk reduction, regulatory/compliance, or transaction speed. This carries over into deal management as well as negotiations, where he willingly takes the lead. Steve and satellite practice co-head Randy Segal are regulars at the satellite conferences, making connections among clients and even adverse parties. He is listed in Chambers, Super Lawyers, and Legal 500.
Affiliate Principal Advisor
Euroconsult CanadaAdam Keith, Affiliate Principal Advisor, Euroconsult Canada
Adam is an Affiliate Principal Advisor at Euroconsult with specialization in Earth observation (EO) and disruptive technologies. In over 20 years in the industry, Adam has advised a wide range of clients including government organizations, investors and commercial actors along the EO and space value chain. He has managed over 200 consulting and market intelligence projects focusing on EO markets and industry, satellite imaging and operations, and government space programs. He Initiated Euroconsult’s research and consulting activity in the EO sector including the Satellite-Based Earth Observation: Market Prospects report; now in its 15th edition (2022), the first annual research report focused on evolutions within the EO sector. He has held various positions in the company, including director of the company’s Space Practice and Managing Director of Euroconsult North America. Previously he worked for the European Space Agency within the Directorate of Earth Observation on developing new applications utilizing EO data, and the UK National Remote Sensing Center (now Airbus).
The Aerospace CorporationDr. Josef Koller, Systems Director, The Aerospace Corporation
Dr. Josef Koller is a Systems Director for the Center for Space Policy and Strategy, serving as a senior analyst and team leader on topics that cut across policy, technology, and economics. Prior to joining Aerospace, Dr. Koller served as a Senior Advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Space Policy where he directly supported key national and international strategy efforts for space-related U.S. Government and DoD policy matters including commercial remote sensing, space traffic management, and related congressional affairs. Prior to that assignment, Dr. Koller managed and co-lead over 40 scientists in the “Space Science and Applications Group” at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Koller also established and led the Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School to promote graduate student research and outreach at the Laboratory.
Dr. Koller has over 17 years of experience with global security and space science programs. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications with 700 citations. Dr. Koller has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Rice University.
Northrop GrummanProf. Andy Kwas, NG Fellow, Northrop Grumman
Andy has 41 years with NGC/TRW working in advanced space programs specializing in space, advanced manufacturing, astrophysics projects and in-space manufacturing. As a NG Fellow, he supports NGC’s key space customers including NASA, AFRL, NRO, DARPA, Army/SMDC, Space RCO, USMC, and the Navy. He is considered one of the prominent additive manufacturing (AM) experts in the country and has produced numerous papers in AM, as well as advanced satellite technology, in-space manufacturing using advanced additive manufacturing techniques, unique logistics solutions, and miniaturization of spacecraft components. Andy brings his innovative approach to problems and has won several awards in innovation. His leadership of applying advanced space concepts to a transitional operational phase has been critical to NGC’s success.
Andy is an appointed Research Scholar at the University of New Mexico and is on their staff in the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department, supporting satellite and space research. He is on the Technical Advisory Boards for Virginia Tech, U of Michigan, Cornell, and U of New Mexico. Andy Kwas graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with two Bachelor degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and received a Masters degree in 1980 from the University of Missouri Science and Technology in Astrophysics.
Director, Space Systems Integration Office
Space Systems Command, US Space ForceDr. Claire Leon, Director, Space Systems Integration Office, Space Systems Command, US Space Force
Dr. Claire Leon leads the Space Systems Integration Office (SSIO) for the Space Systems Command within the United States Space Force. She leads the SSIO team in uniting the Systems-of-Systems integration effort across all SSC PEO portfolios and with mission partners in the National Security Space enterprise. Prior to joining the Space Force, she led the Graduate Systems Engineering programs at Loyola Marymount University. She previously worked for the US Air Force as a member of the Senior Executive Service, as the Director of the Launch Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles, Air Force Base, California. She was responsible for leading the acquisition, integration, development, production, operation and sustainment of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program.
Dr. Leon held a variety of leadership positions in industry, government and academia. She started her career at Hughes, Space and Communications Group in 1979, in the Propulsion Department. She gained experience across the company, in Systems Test, Systems Engineering, Line Management, and Program Management through positions of increasing responsibility. In 2008, she was promoted to Vice President of Navigation and Communications Systems within Boeing, Space and Intelligence Systems, responsible for the Wideband Global SATCOM System, the Transformational Satellite Communications System and Global Positioning System IIF satellite systems, as well as a number of classified programs. She retired from Boeing, in 2013, as the Vice President of National Programs after 34 years in the aerospace industry.
Senior Corporate Counsel
BAE SystemsJanna Lewis, Senior Corporate Counsel, BAE Systems
Janna is a senior attorney and technology strategist focused on national defense, intelligence, and commercial space sectors. She has unique, cross-sector expertise in guiding programs and technology development for U.S. government and commercial initiatives, including engagements directed to launch services, satellite communications, unmanned vehicles, C5ISR sensors and network architectures, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining BAE Systems, Janna was with Northrop Grumman, where she facilitated innovation and strategic collaborations for their Missions Systems Sector to advance defense and intelligence capabilities. Prior to that, Janna worked for Facebook, where she supported Facebook’s mission to enable global internet connectivity. She helped to frame industry partnerships to catalyze delivery of space-based and high-altitude global connectivity solutions. Before Facebook, Janna was in private legal practice, where she served as legal counsel to U.S. and international clients in the aerospace and defense, commercial space, and telecommunications industries.
Janna is a volunteer with the Space Foundation, served on the Defense Innovation Board, Space Advisory Committee, and is a registered patent attorney. She frequently speaks about the rapidly evolving laws and policies affecting the defense, intelligence, and commercial space industries. Janna is committed to diversity in the space industry, and is a strong advocate for new space professionals.
TESAT GovernmentJustin Luczyk, General Manager, TESAT Government
Justin Luczyk has two decades of space and military communications experience focused on meeting the needs of the DOD and US Government customers. His wide-ranging expertise encompasses both ground and space RF and optical communications technologies. Prior to his current role, Mr. Luczyk led the optical communications business at Space Micro. Previously, Mr. Luczyk served in a wide variety of business development and program management roles at Viasat, focused on protected communications and high throughput satellite services. Before joining industry, Mr. Luczyk served as a Marine Corps Infantry Officer, completing three combat tours. He holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, and an MBA from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.
Vice President of Public Sector
PixxelSkip Maselli, Vice President of Public Sector, Pixxel
Skip is Vice President, Public Sector for Pixxel Space Technologies, Inc., a commercial satellite company working in the hyperspectral imaging technology space. He has over 35 years of experience as an executive, strategist, business growth leader, program manager, and technologist within the public sector and defense and intelligence community. Skip’s senior leadership and corporate officer roles include those at Leidos, Maxar, Raytheon, Textron, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics predecessor organizations among others. He is also a member of the Janes Defense National Intelligence Advisory Board.
He is a former Army intelligence officer, conducting military operations, instructing imagery intelligence analysts and collection managers, space imaging research and development, and defense systems fielding. He was assistant principal investigator on two Space Shuttle missions (Army Man in Space) developing optical and hyperspectral sensors and analysis of complex data. M.S. in remote sensing and image processing (Civil and Environmental Engineering) from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and a B.S. in geology and philosophy from Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). He participates in triathlons; is a single dad to his college age son, Aidan, and daughter, Camerin. He is a published poet with several books and awarded submissions. Skip lives in Ashburn, Virginia just outside Washington, D.C.
Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology
US Naval Research LaboratoryDr. Steven Meier, Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology, US Naval Research Laboratory
Dr. Steven Meier is the director of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST). NCST’s core mission is to develop innovative basic and applied research through advanced development of spacecraft technology and ground command and control stations. Dr. Meier provides executive leadership and direction to the NCST and is responsible for all personnel, finances, programs, and facilities. He serves as a national authority on matters related to space technology to top Navy, Department of Defense, aerospace industry, and allied foreign government leaders.
Dr. Meier held executive level positions at NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. He has also led the creation of organization-wide technology roadmaps to guide investment strategies for seamless transition of technologies from research and development to operations. He served on several independent evaluation teams and study panels that strengthened federal acquisition regulations, enhanced technology management practices, and developed organizational cost-effectiveness guidelines.
He is a senior aerospace executive with more than 25 years of federal and private industry experience in the defense, intelligence, and civil space communities. Dr. Meier was first appointed to the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) in January 2011 at NASA, departed to private industry, and returned to the SES cadre in July 2020. He has led highly diversified program portfolios focused on delivering innovative technologies from concept to operations for air and space platforms.
Dr. Meier is a recognized thought leader and sought-after keynote speaker with more than 40 peer reviewed publications and presentations in the areas of leadership, technology management, organizational change, federal acquisition, project management, systems engineering, and in several technology areas, including optical physics, materials science, spectroscopy, and astrophysics. He earned a Bachelor of Science in physics from George Mason University, a master’s in physics from the University of Southern California, a master’s in electrical engineering with a concentration in applied physics from the University of California at San Diego, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a concentration in optical physics from the Johns Hopkins University. He also has graduate certificates in Executive Leadership and Business Administration from Georgetown University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Government Aviation Market Development
Intelsat Government and Business AviationCatherine Melquist, Government Aviation Market Development, Intelsat Government and Business Aviation
Catherine Melquist holds the position of Government Aero Market Development at Intelsat, where she works closely with Channel and Ecosystem Partners to provide aeronautical satellite communication solutions to government users worldwide. This includes catering to various mission sets such as VVIP, transport, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). With an investment of over $2 billion, Intelsat has constructed the world’s first truly global and unified 5G network, delivering on the security and diverse connectivity requirements of its government, business, and commercial aviation customers.
Previously serving as the president of the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA), Catherine has held a variety of leadership positions in product and market development within the satellite industry. Catherine’s additional mission is to champion support for women in the telecom industry, and she currently serves as the co-founder and chair of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at Intelsat.
BlackSkyNick Merski, COO, BlackSky
Nick Merski is chief operations officer at BlackSky, where he leads the engineering and product operations unit responsible for executing the company’s vision for its constellation, platform, and analytic product suite. Previously, Nick played a pivotal role in overseeing the strategy, development, launch, and operations of the company’s constellation program as its director.
Prior to joining BlackSky, Nick served in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and civil servant. He held multiple program management and system engineering leadership roles for the Air Force’s operational and advanced technology programs, including the Operationally Responsive Space-1 program and the Department of Defense Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle.
Nick holds a Master of Science Degree in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Nick also serves on the Board of Managers for LeoStella, a joint venture between BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space.
Viasat Government SystemsCraig Miller, President, Viasat Government Systems
Craig Miller serves as President, Government Systems at Viasat, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for leading the Company’s global defense business, which exceeds $1 billion in annual revenues by delivering cost-effective, innovative solutions to challenging defense requirements in satellite networks, tactical data links, information assurance, and cyber security.
Craig joined Viasat in 1995, and has held numerous technology, business and strategic leadership roles. Prior to serving as President of Government Systems, he was the segment’s Chief Technology Officer where he was responsible for establishing and communicating the technical strategy and roadmaps for a diverse portfolio of defense products and services: including satellite communications, tactical networks, information assurance, cyber/network security and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
Craig also launched the Viasat Government Systems Space Business, which created XVI, the first Link 16-enabled LEO satellite; Viasat’s mobile satellite communications gateway systems; and Viasat’s Hybrid Adaptive Network capabilities. In addition to his role within Viasat’s Government Systems business, Craig also worked with the design team of Viasat’s Space and Commercial Networks group, which developed the ViaSat-3 satellite constellation. In this role, he contributed to the design of Viasat’s next-generation satellite communications constellation and served as a liaison between Viasat’s commercial and government business segments.
Prior to Viasat, Craig worked at Hughes Missile Systems Group in Tucson, Arizona, where he was responsible for implementation of Electronic Counter Measures for the AAMRAM Missile System.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with emphasis on Communications and Signal Processing from the University of Arizona.
Chairman and CTO
ThinKom SolutionsBill Milroy, Chairman and CTO, ThinKom Solutions
Prior to co-founding ThinKom (www.thinkom.com), William (Bill) Milroy held the position of Senior Engineering Fellow within the Electromagnetic Systems Department of Raytheon’s Electronic Systems (ES) Segment. During his 20 year tenure at Raytheon (Hughes Aircraft), Mr. Milroy managed and lead the RF antenna design, development, and production of a wide range of antenna array implementations for radar and communication applications in both the commercial and military marketplaces including 1-D and 2-D Electronically-Scanned Arrays (ESA’s). These efforts have included the creation and invention of a number of innovative EM modeling and RF design improvements, including the invention of the Continuous Transverse Stub (CTS) Array and its variants. He left Raytheon in May of 2000 in order to co-found and incorporate ThinKom Solutions, where he currently holds the titles of Chairman and CTO. Located in Hawthorne, California, ThinKom Solutions is focused on the design and development of innovative antenna access solutions and products for the Broadband Wireless Communication market.
Mr. Milroy is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, earning BSEE, MSEE, and Engineer (Ph.D. course, field, and examination requirements) degrees and is a graduate of the Hughes (Raytheon) Corporate Program Manager Development Course (PMDC) and Engineering of Systems Course (EOSC) curricula and the Executive Marketing Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business Management. He is the author or co-author of nine journal and symposia papers in the fields of Network Analysis, Circuits, Antennas, and Microwaves. He is the inventor or co-inventor of over forty-five awarded and pending patents in the fields of Electromagnetic Scattering, Materials, Microwave Devices, and Antennas. Mr. Milroy is a past Chairman of the Los Angeles Chapter of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (IEEE-APS.)
Director of Defense Portfolio
ICEYEMatthew Morris, Director of Defense Portfolio, ICEYE
Matthew Morris is the ICEYE US Director for Defense and Civil. He has a long tenure working in the intelligence field, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and served in civilian roles at the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Joint Special Operations Command, and U.S. Space Command.
Deputy Director, Commercial Satellite Communications Office
US Space ForceMike Nichols, Deputy Director, Commercial Satellite Communications Office , US Space Force
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.
Data Collective Venture Capital - DCVCMatt O’Connell, Operating Partner, Data Collective Venture Capital - DCVC
Matt O’Connell is an Operating Partner with DCVC (Data Collective Venture Capital) (Palo Alto). He sits on the Board of one portfolio company, Capella, and is an observer to another, Fortem.
Prior to joining DCVC, Matt was a Managing Partner at Seraphim, a London-based, publicly traded venture capital firm focused exclusively on space. From October 2015 to July 2016, he was CEO of OneWeb.
Matt founded GeoEye (NASDAQ: GEOY), a leading global provider of satellite and aerial imagery and digital mapping information, in 2003. GeoEye grew from 60 employees producing $9 million of revenue per year, with an equity value of zero and enterprise value of $33 million, to 760 employees producing $360 million, with an enterprise value $1.3 billion and an equity value of approximately $850 million. In January 2013, he concluded its sale to DigitalGlobe.
Matt began his career on Wall Street as a mergers and acquisitions attorney.
Matt has been recognized as a thought leader in the satellite, digital mapping and intelligence industries. He has served on many Government and industry advisory panels.
Capstone PartnersDr. Tess Oxenstierna, Managing Director , Capstone Partners
Tess Oxenstierna, Managing Director at Capstone Partners, has over 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, government policy arena and financial services sector. Tess holds deep domain knowledge and transaction advisory skills, especially in the high growth markets of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Air / Land / Sea / Space Systems, Electronic Warfare, Unmanned Autonomous Systems / Robotics. Prior to joining Capstone Partners, Tess founded the Aerospace and Defense practice at a middle market boutique investment bank, focusing on private and public corporate clients with diverse products such as command and control software for aerial drones, satellite-based force tracking systems and electronic warfare devices used in Afghanistan and Iraq. She was Global Head of Equities Strategy at Lehman Brothers, responsible for strategy development leveraging competitive intelligence, market analysis, and acquisitions across Americas, Europe, and Asia. Transactions included investments in stock exchanges, a NYSE specialist market-maker, and international broker-dealers. Tess was also Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Raytheon, with deal team transactions valued at over $3.4 billion in sensor automation/ information synthesis, geospatial mission support, network forensics, interoperable communications for homeland security, and commercial aviation/life cycle support. Prior to these transactional roles, Tess worked in the Reagan White House, U.S. Departments of State and Energy, and NATO Headquarters, complementing her combat operational experience as a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
A recognized industry expert, she was honored with deal awards, such as 2021 Top Women Dealmaker & Leader Award Winner by Global M&A Network, 2021 M&A’s Most Influential Women, 2020 USA Top Woman Dealmaker, 2019 M&A Atlas Awards for Industrials, and 2018 M&A Advisor, Corporate / Strategic Deal of the Year. She has also spoken at Thompson Reuters A&D Summit, Int’l AUVSI Conferences, New York Capital Roundtable and on a tv interview on ABC’s Government Matters. She serves on the Board of the U.S. Navy League – CT Council. In addition, she holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London; M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard; and B.A. in International Relations from UCLA. In addition to her degrees, Tess studied Corporate Finance at Harvard Business School and British Political Thought, Perspectives on European Union at Cambridge University.
Milbank LLPDara Panahy, Partner, Milbank LLP
As leader of the firm’s Transportation and Space Group in Washington, D.C., Dara Panahy’s practice involves representation of satellite and space infrastructure operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications and data services companies, banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and other investors in debt and equity offerings, project, structured and vendor financings, corporate matters, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructurings, and in negotiating commercial contracts. He also advises on regulatory, risk management, sanctions, anti-corruption, national security and export control matters.
SkyloomCatharine Parnell, Counsel, Skyloom
Catharine Parnell is Skyloom’s Counsel. She is responsible for the company’s legal affairs and strategy, including the management of its contracts, intellectual property, and export control compliance.
Catharine joined Skyloom after serving two years in the National Courts Section of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, where she represented the U.S. government in litigation for monetary settlements on a variety of claims. Prior to working in the DOJ, Catharine worked for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction as its Associate General Counsel.
From 2011-2019, Catharine served on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, primarily as a trial and appellate level prosecutor.
Catharine is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. She graduated cum laude from Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 2010) and with Honors from Swarthmore College, majoring in political theory and history (B.A., 2006).
Leader of the Hybrid Space Architecture Program
Microsoft Azure SpaceLora Randolph, Leader of the Hybrid Space Architecture Program, Microsoft Azure Space
Lora is a Principal Program Manager for Cyber in the Strategic Missions & Technology at Microsoft, responsible for building innovative security solutions into next generation technology solutions and the Microsoft lead for Hybrid Space Architecture.
Lora Randolph is an innovative and outcome-focused strategic and technical cyber security leader with over 30 years of experience in cyber security operations, security engineering, and strategy development. Previously, Lora was a senior principal cyber security engineer at the MITRE Corporation where she led numerous cyber security projects and enterprise initiatives for the DNI, big five IC agencies, DoJ, and DARPA. Lora also created a security organization for MicroStrategy and began her security career at Naval Research Laboratory as a Computer Scientist.
Boeing Satellite Systems InternationalRyan Reid, President , Boeing Satellite Systems International
Ryan Reid is President of Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems International, Inc. (BSSI), which oversees the strategy, integration and execution of Boeing’s commercial satellite business. Reid is responsible for general management of all Boeing commercial satellite, ground system and services contracts. Reid also leads the team that is designing and building the next generation of spacecraft in the Boeing satellite factory.
Prior to his current position, Reid was the director of the O3b mPOWER satellite program where he led the Boeing team responsible for the development and execution of an advanced 11-satellite constellation for SES.
Previously Reid was the director of Space System Architectures, where he led the engineering team responsible for cybersecurity implementation in space applications, architecture modeling, simulation, analysis, system development and deployment. Since joining Boeing in 1999 as a payload systems engineer supporting commercial satellite programs, Reid has held engineering, management and program leadership roles across both commercial and government businesses.
Reid received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from University of California Riverside and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.
GH PartnersNoel Rimalovski, Managing Director, GH Partners
Noel Rimalovski is a Managing Director at GH Partners, an independent New York-based investment banking firm. Mr. Rimalovski leads the firm’s representation of mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, debt financings, and strategic advisory services to domestic and international clients. At GH, Mr. Rimalovski specializes in the telecom, media, technology, space and defense sectors.
Prior to joining GH, Mr. Rimalovski was with Macquarie Capital, Wasserstein Perella, and Lazard Frères.
Mr. Rimalovski graduated from Tufts College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Lead Space Experimentalist
Air Force Research LabDr. Lawrence Robertson, Lead Space Experimentalist, Air Force Research Lab
Dr. Lawrence M. “Robbie” Robertson, III, is a member of the scientific and technical cadre of senior executives, and the Lead Space Experimentalist, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico. Dr. Robertson serves as the principal scientific authority and independent researcher in the field of space satellite systems, integrates state-of-the-art scientific advances with military technology requirements and guides space experimentation research and development efforts across the AFRL enterprise.
Dr. Robertson began his career as a consultant to Teledesic Corporation and worked as a Member of Technical Staff at SVS Inc and Nichols Research – both small high-tech companies – before joining the AFRL.
He joined the AFRL in 1998 and has contributed to a wide range of technologies in space and directed energy. Robbie’s first position was the Beam Control Lead for the highly successful Airborne Laser Advanced Concept Testbed highlighted in the September 5, 2000 front-page article in the Wall Street Journal. He has been a leader in science and technology transition supporting Space Control, Space Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Space Command and Control.
Dr. Robertson has published over 40 papers in national and international journals or conferences and has one US patent. He has also served as an advisor to several national committees including one AF Scientific Advisory Board position.
Global Government Launch Services Director
Rocket LabBrian Rogers, Global Government Launch Services Director, Rocket Lab
As Government Launch Services Director, Brian is responsible for Rocket Lab’s global defense and civil launch portfolios. With a career spanning space and launch segments, Brian brings a transformative perspective to U.S. Government and Allies’ developmental and operational systems.
Before joining Rocket Lab, Brian was Advanced Systems Manager at Ball Aerospace, leading technology development programs for Defense and Intelligence customers across spacecraft and remote sensing payloads. Brian’s aerospace career includes leadership roles in launch vehicle design, manufacturing, and launch support of the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Vulcan-Centaur launch vehicles with United Launch Alliance, and systems engineering of the Ares launch vehicles at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, a Master of Science in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Denver, a Master of Business Administration from Colorado State University, and was awarded a US Utility Patent in 2014.
Chief Partnership Officer
US Air Force - Space Systems CommandDeanna Ryals, Chief Partnership Officer, US Air Force - Space Systems Command
Ms. Deanna L. Ryals is the Director, International Affairs, Space Systems Command, Los Angeles AFB, CA. In this role, she is responsible for driving innovative partnerships with Allies, Inter-Agencies, and Industry to build a joint robust and resilient military space enterprise that is “Allied by Design”. Ms. Ryals is the USSF lead in developing and executing space FMS and shapes the use of armaments cooperation to set the conditions for an allied inclusive space architecture in accordance with Department and Service strategic guidance.
Ms. Ryals entered federal government service in 1988, and for more than 25 years, she supported the DoD in both civil service and industry in financial management and acquisition. In 2000, Ms. Ryals moved to the Secretary of the Air Force staff in the Space Acquisition Directorate and managed a MILSATCOM terminal portfolio worth $10B, then took over as the single SAF/AQS focal point for international activities. In 2012, Ms. Ryals moved to the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space Launch (AFPEO/SL) as the PM for Acquisition Strategy development and secured DoD Acquisition Executive approval of a new acquisition strategy for future DoD NSS launches that introduced a competitive environment for all certified U.S. launch service providers. Ms. Ryals rejoined MILSATCOM in January 2013 with her transition to Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). After being named SMC’s Chief Partnership Officer in 2018, Ms. Ryals ascended to her current role as Director, Int’l Affairs with the stand up of Space Systems Command in August of 2021.
Voyager SpacePaul Schauer, EVP, Voyager Space
Paul Schauer is the Executive Vice President of Integrated Operations at Voyager Space, responsible for aligning systems, processes, and people to the company’s strategic goals. Prior to Voyager, he spent 25 years supporting the DoD and Intelligence Community in civil service and industry roles. Mr. Schauer built and executed government acquisition strategies for systems ranging from the FAR 12 Part competitions for commercial aircraft to unprecedented fixed price satellite buys. Paul then served many of the agencies as a supplier on the industry side, where he helped scale a small business through multiple acquisitions culminating as Vice President of Tactical Systems at CACI. Paul is also co-creator and co-host of the Contracting Officer Podcast, where for over 9 years (and over 1.5 million listens) he has used his background to help professionals from both government and industry understand a little more about how the other side thinks.
Hogan LovellsRandy Segal, Partner, Hogan Lovells
With 20 years of in-house general counsel experience, Randy Segal brings an individual perspective to every matter she handles, both as your outside counsel and as someone who has walked in your shoes. With a focus on satellite, wireless, drone, and technology transactions, Randy provides commercially practical solutions in industries where technological change is ever-present. Randy’s practice often involves multi-level chess games, where every move needs to be considered from a multitude of angles to be successful.
As a result, Randy’s practice is reflected in three segments. First, as co-leader of the Space and Satellite practice, Randy has handled many types of transactions, from day-to-day matters to the most complex international transactions for industry operators, investors, and technology providers. She has been involved in taking companies public, advising on acquisitions, divestitures, and complex cross-border joint ventures, as well as large satellite system development, deployments and funding.
Second, as an advisor to technology investors and their portfolio companies, Randy has advised on transactions focused on big data analytics, IT, wireless systems, spectrum licenses, environmental analytics, wireless proximity analysis, drone technology, terrestrial positioning, and other innovative technologies.
Third, Randy provides “strand of pearls” advice to global clients, working seamlessly with our international offices to develop familiar, comfortable and “right-sized” solutions. Randy’s extensive cross-border experience has resulted in an extensive tool-kit of resolutions for the most complex of legal regimes. Randy’s transactional and advisory experience is both deep and broad, working throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and on the most complex of international programs and legal issues.
Ramon SpaceAvi Shabtai, CEO, Ramon Space
Avi Shabtai is the CEO of Ramon.Space, a leader in Space-resilient computing infrastructure.
With extensive background in business and technology leadership from startups to publicly traded companies, his career spans various industries including wireless, data centers, networking, and space. Avi has pursued his passion for deep technology innovation via his leadership of several companies around the globe, including his most recent position as CEO of MultiPhy Inc., specializing in high-speed integrated circuits for the data center market. Prior to MultiPhy, he held several executive positions as VP and GM at Alvarion Technologies (ALVRQ), VP R&D at Tiaris, Director of Engineering at Metalink (MTLK), and various roles in the Intelligence Unit of the Israeli Defense Force. Avi holds an MSc and BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and is an SMP graduate of the Technion Institute of Management.
Arrasar PartnersDr. Paul Struhsaker, CEO, Arrasar Partners
Experienced innovation and engineering executive across multiple industries including wireless networking (cellular and WiFi), consumer electronics, silicon platforms, and large-scale cloud client computing. Currently CTO of Carnegie Technologies. Other roles included SVP Software Engineering at Comcast NBC Universal, VP of Engineering at Cable Vision Systems, VP Silicon Platform at Motorola PCS, CTO of Dell’s Client Solutions Group, and CTO Broadband at Texas Instruments. He was a founder and CTO of two successful startups: Wi-Fi innovation leader Aironet Wireless (acquired by Cisco) and 4G wireless innovator Raze Technologies. He started his career at the National Security Agency.
USSPACECOMSpeaker to be Announced, Deputy Commander, USSPACECOM
Space Development Agency (SDA)Dr. Derek Tournear, Director , Space Development Agency (SDA)
r. Derek Tournear is the Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA). Established in March 2019, SDA is recognized as the Department of Defense’s constructive disruptor for space acquisition. SDA will quickly deliver much needed space-based capabilities to the joint warfighter to support terrestrial missions through development, fielding, and operation of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture.
Before leading SDA, Dr. Tournear most recently served as Assistant Director of Research and Development for Space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering where he was responsible for coordinating all DoD efforts in space and initiating programs to address critical gaps.
Dr. Tournear previously held leadership roles in industry, most recently the director for Harris Corporation Space & Intelligence research & development. Prior to industry, Dr. Tournear held program management positions at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and defense programs.
Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University. In 2010 he received an Outstanding Alumnus award from Purdue University and a 2008 DARPA award for Outstanding Accomplishments in a Systems Technology Area. Dr. Tournear is a 2011, and 2020 recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and a 2012 recipient of the Office of Director of National Intelligence Award for Exceptional Public Service. Additionally, Dr. Tournear is the recipient of a 2021 Space News award, 2021 Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership award, 2021 Wash 100 award, as well as the 2022 Aviation Week Laureate. He was selected for the Senior Executive Service in 2019.
VP Military and Government Sales
KymetaRobert Weitendorf, VP Military and Government Sales, Kymeta
Rob, a satellite an industry veteran who began his VSAT career in the early days of aeroplatforms, co-founded Lepton Global Solutionsnearly eight years ago as he was looking foways to provide flexible turnkey satellite services to government and military customers. During his time at Lepton, Rob gained significant
expertise not only in managing a small business, but also, in the technical understanding of how
to successfully manage global TDMA networks and support various types of terminals. He also developed relationships across the satellite industry ecosystem from capacity suppliers to teleport operators.
Since the acquisition of Lepton Global by Kymeta Corporation in August of 2020, Rob has transitioned to a new role as a Vice President of Business Development. With close SOCOM relationships and customer understanding, Rob’s primary focus is developing government and custom satellite solutions oriented toward mission critical customers. In August of 2023 Rob took over leading the US military and government sales team.
Before founding Lepton Global Solutions, Rob led the MTNGS sales team, where his knowledge of communications-on-the-move (COTM) technologies resulted in several big contract wins in airborne and maritime sectors.
Rob began his career in the satellite industry with Tachyon Networks, where he was responsible for all global government business and was an early adapter in Airborne (COTM) satellite communications. During his time at Tachyon, he gained expert knowledge on multiple platforms, including iDirect, ViaSat, and Comtech.
President of Space Sector
L3Harris TechnologiesKelle Wendling, President of Space Sector, L3Harris Technologies
Kelle Wendling is President of the Space Systems sector within L3Harris’s Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) segment. The Space Systems organization covers an extensive portfolio of exquisite and responsive satellite capabilities across electro-optical, infrared, and Radio Frequency (RF) technologies to address civil, science, weather, space domain awareness, missile warning, navigation/timing, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Wendling took over this role in January 2022. She oversees strategy, capture, execution, and delivery of integrated space capabilities including payloads, antennas, and ground systems for a wide array of government, international, and commercial customers and reports directly to SAS’s President.
Wendling most recently served as the President of the Mission Networks sector. Mission Networks provides modern, secure, reliable, and resilient telecommunications networks for air-to-ground and voice/data communications for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international air traffic management providers. Prior to this assignment, Wendling held several leadership positions for L3Harris including Vice President, Strategy and Business Development and Sector leadership for Department of Defense, International, and Intelligence & Cyber customers.
Wendling is a member of the National Space Security Association, the Air Traffic Control Association, and is active with the central Florida chapter of the National MS Society.
Wendling earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics/computer science and an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology. She is a graduate of the Harris Leadership Directions Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and completed the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Product Design and Development program.
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has more than $17 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than
Senior Director, Anuvu Government Solutions
Anuvu Government SolutionsPhil Whitacre, Senior Director, Anuvu Government Solutions, Anuvu Government Solutions
Atlas Space OperationsJohn Williams, CEO, Atlas Space Operations
As the Chief Executive Officer, John Williams plays a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of ATLAS Space Operations. His extensive and diverse industry knowledge is instrumental in driving company growth, fostering innovation, and ensuring exceptional service to clients across the space industry. Prior to joining ATLAS, John served as the Vice President of Real-Time Earth at Viasat, where he spearheaded the development of the Ground-Station-as-a-Service business line.
With a steadfast commitment to innovation and a forward-thinking vision, Williams has effectively held leadership positions at other renowned organizations, including Booz Allen Hamilton, ATK Space Systems, and Universal Space Network (now SSC). John also had a diverse 21-year United States Air Force career as an officer, encompassing various roles in operations, acquisition, budgeting, strategic planning, and command. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Science and Computer Science from Texas A&M University and earned his Master’s degree in Science and Space Operations from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology.
iDirect GovernmentTim Winter, President, iDirect Government
Winter overseas the corporate strategy and leads the iDirectGov team to bring solutions to the military satcom (MILSATCOM) arena.
Winter brings more than 20 years of experience in the satellite communications arena. Prior to joining iDirect Government, Winter served as vice president of global accounts and global government & defense at parent company ST Engineering iDirect. Winter managed all strategic global account engagements and capture pursuits for International Defense opportunities.
Previously, he managed the satellite networks division at L-3 Communications where he led all sales and business development efforts for managed satellite communication, data networks and operational field services.
Winter served in the U.S. Navy and flew P-3 Orion aircraft as a Naval flight officer on active duty for eight years. He continued his service in the United States Navy Reserves, flying P-3 aircraft and the BAMS-D UAV through 2022. He retired in 2022 from the U.S. Navy with the rank of commander.
He has a Master’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Science degree as a Trident Scholar from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. He is chairman of the board for the Minerallac Company.