McKinsey & CompanyBharath Aiyer, Partner, McKinsey & Company
Bharath Aiyer is a Partner in McKinsey’s San Francisco Office and has almost a decade of consulting experience. Bharath serves technology investors broadly and has a deep focus on cyber-security topics. He recently led the Firm’s thinking on the evolution of corporate cybersecurity paradigms and the adoption of multi-layered strategies, assessing how companies are responding to both architectural evolution and evolving threat landscapes.
And One TechnologiesDr. Eric Anderson, President, And One Technologies
Eric Anderson is President of And One Technologies and an angel investor in emerging space and IoT. He has contributed to dozens of space products, missions, and programs within small and large companies, government and academia. He currently supports technology and business aspects of several space, near-space, and air system developments with an emphasis on the delivery of data and services via new technologies, channels, and business models.
As Chief Technologist for Space at Moog, he helped lead the company’s space business and collaborated with worldwide colleagues on business strategy, technology and innovation across multiple markets. Eric was part of the leadership team at the nationally-recognized small company CSA Engineering, serving several years as President. He earned BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, was on the technical staff at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, worked at Sikorsky Aircraft and serves as board chair for the Kenya-focused non-profit The Kilgoris Project.
Vice President of Operations and Business Development
Northrop Grumman - SpaceLogisticsJoseph Anderson, Vice President of Operations and Business Development, Northrop Grumman - SpaceLogistics
Joseph Anderson is the Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Space Logistics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. He has more than 30 years of satellite engineering, management and leadership experience including eight years with Northrop Grumman and 20 years at Intelsat. In his current role, Mr. Anderson is responsible for managing the technical, operational, licensing and insurance aspects of Space Logistics’ satellite servicing fleet, as well as business development for commercial and government satellite servicing. Mr. Anderson earned an MBA from George Washington University, an MS in Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
President and CEO
Noosphere VenturesArtiom Anisimov, President and CEO, Noosphere Ventures
Artiom is President and CEO at Noosphere Ventures, a prominent U.S. investment firm founded by Dr. Max Polyakov, focused on financing, and cultivating promising space technology companies. Noosphere’s space portfolio includes orbital launch and in-space transportation provider Firefly Aerospace, in-space electric propulsion firm SETS, synthetic aperture radar satellites venture EOSSAR and remote sensing data analytics platform EOS among others.
Artiom is a licensed attorney (NY) with a graduate degree in Space Law and a life-long passion for commercial exploration and use of outer space.
Vice President of Technology
Kratos SpaceChris Badgett, Vice President of Technology, Kratos Space
Mr. Chris Badgett is vice president of technology for Kratos Space. Prior to Kratos, Mr. Badgett served in the Air Force as a weapons engineer in the Air Force Research Lab. Chris has also worked in the Space Development and Test Wing as a program manager for a satellite system developed by Ball Aerospace. Mr. Badgett holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Tennessee and an MS in Space Systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
CTO and co-founder
Accion Systems,Dr. Natalya Bailey, CTO and co-founder, Accion Systems,
Natalya Bailey is the CTO and co-founder of Accion Systems, a company providing in-space propulsion for spacecraft. An Oregon native, Natalya moved to Cambridge to complete her doctorate in space propulsion at MIT with a focus on a novel ion engine technology. Prior to MIT, she researched a new chemical rocket technology during her MS at Duke University. She is a partner at XFactor Ventures, investing in female-founded companies, and is on the board of Youth CITIES, a non-profit that teaches entrepreneurship and STEM skills to diverse youth cohorts. In her free time she enjoys traveling to Maine with her husband and three children and completing Python katas on Codewars.
President and Founder
Northern Sky Research (NSR)Chris Baugh, President and Founder, Northern Sky Research (NSR)
Mr. Baugh serves as the President and Founder of Northern Sky Research (NSR), which he created in 2000 to provide independent, actionable market research and consulting services to the satellite industry. Mr. Baugh directs all NSR multi-client research reports and single-client consulting projects and manages a global team of analysts that stand at the forefront of satellite industry expertise.
Before forming NSR, Mr. Baugh served as Senior Analyst for Pioneer Consulting where he covered all aspects of the satellite market. Prior to Pioneer, Mr. Baugh was an International Trade Specialist and Economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. While at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Baugh was a recipient of the Charles F. Meissner Memorial Award for his work on trade negotiations in the International Trade Administration.
Mr. Baugh also has extensive legislative and analytical experience from his work for the Committee on International Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, both in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Baugh holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Westminster College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
World Teleport Association and Space & Satellite Professionals InternationalRobert Bell, Executive Director, World Teleport Association and Space & Satellite Professionals International
Robert is executive director of the World Teleport Association and of Space & Satellite Professionals International. WTA is the only trade association that focuses on all aspects of the business of satellite communications from the ground up. At the core of its membership are the world’s most innovative operators of teleports, from independents to multinationals, niche service providers to global hybrid carriers. SSPI is the largest membership organization in the industry, which connects the people of the invisible, indispensable industry called space and satellite to fuel the engine of growth and make the case for space technology as a vital contributor to the world. Robert is responsible for the programs, finances and governance of the associations. He is a frequent speaker and writer for industry events and publications.
Senior Director of Innovation & Spacecraft Programs
SES Government SolutionsDr. Bryan Benedict, Senior Director of Innovation & Spacecraft Programs, SES Government Solutions
Dr. Bryan Benedict serves as Senior Director of Innovation & Spacecraft Programs at SES Government Solutions. During his career he has worked extensively within both the DoD and US Civil Agencies to socialize the advantages of hosting imaging payloads on commercial spacecraft. Additionally, Dr. Benedict has been a key advocate in the commercial industry for the use of space robotics for both recovery and life extension of geosynchronous satellites.
Prior to his current position Dr. Benedict served as the Product Line Manager for Commercial and Civil Hosted Payloads at Intelsat General Corporation, Director of Hosted Payloads at Intelsat, Director of Engineering for Satellite Bus & Launch Service Acquisitions at PanAmSat and was a System Engineering Manager at Hughes for the BSS601HP product line.
Dr. Benedict started his career as a chemical engineer in the petroleum industry – inventing and patenting several catalysts still used for stabilization of jet fuels. Dr. Benedict earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1986, where he conducted research on the stabilization of high energy materials within crystalline lattices.
Dr. Benedict has been awarded a number of patents throughout his career – the latest for delivery of microsatellites to orbit piggybacking on the nadir deck of geosynchronous communication satellites.
Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing
Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems International, Inc.Josef (Joe) Bogosian, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems International, Inc.
Josef (Joe) Bogosian is Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, for Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems International (BSSI). In this role, he leads a team working with customers to provide satellite connectivity solutions and ensure alignment of Boeing’s capabilities with long-term market needs.
Prior to his current position, Joe was Senior Manager for Global Sales & Marketing at Boeing Phantom Works Space Systems, where he engaged customers, performed market and competitive assessments, and developed solutions for emerging small satellite applications; including close collaboration with subsidiary Millennium Space Systems.
Since joining Boeing in 2008, he has held roles in systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and satellite operations. His experience spans mission areas including military satellite communications; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; missile defense; and space situational awareness.
Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Vice President of Business Development
Relativity SpaceJosh Brost, Vice President of Business Development, Relativity Space
Josh is the Vice President of Business Development at Relativity Space. In this role, he leads all of Relativity’s Business Development and Customer Mission Management efforts. Prior to joining Relativity, Josh spent 9 years at SpaceX where he was the Senior Director of Government Business development in charge of all new US Government Business. Earlier is his career Josh also worked as a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and as an Aerospace Engineer at Boeing. Josh earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University and The University of Washington respectively and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
VP for Engineering and Technology
Sierra SpaceGregg Burgess, VP for Engineering and Technology, Sierra Space
Mr. Burgess is the Vice President of Technology and Engineering for Sierra Space (SNC’s Space Systems) located in Louisville, Colorado. Space System’s technology portfolio spans the Dream Chaser lifting body space station Commercial Resupply Services 2 program, advanced spaceflight systems, commercial and US government satellite programs, electromechanical, solar power, environmental life support subsystems, and liquid rocket engines. Mr. Burgess has worked in the Space Community for 34 years, with a particular focus on Space Superiority and unmanned space proximity operations.
Director of the Space Portfolio
Defense Innovation Unit - DIUBrig Gen. Steve “Bucky” Butow, Director of the 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; Boston, Massachusetts; and Austin, Texas.
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 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 MC-130P aircraft, HH-60G
helicopters and special mission equipment supporting the U.S. Air Force’s combat rescue and personnel recovery missions. He has additionally 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. He has more than 3,500 flying hours in T-37, T-38, C-130, HC-130 and MC-130P aircraft. In his reserve capacity, Butow is a Brigadier General serving part time as a Special Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard in a federal status.
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.
Kratos Space, Training and CybersecurityPhil Carrai, President, Kratos Space, Training and Cybersecurity
Phil Carrai is President of the Space, Training and Cybersecurity division of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc, where he is responsible for all aspects of business operations, sales, mergers and acquisitions. Kratos Defense is an approximately $650 million public company focusing in Aerospace and Defense products and services.
Expert Associate Partner
McKinsey & CompanyJeffrey Caso, Expert Associate Partner , McKinsey & Company
Jeffrey Caso is an Expert Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Cybersecurity Practice, based out of Washington, DC
Jeffrey focuses on market growth strategy, and is passionate about bringing to market next-generation cybersecurity offerings and moonshots. He serves clients on digital risk and technology strategy with an emphasis on cybersecurity, working with enterprises, private equity firms and investors, and cybersecurity providers
Jeffrey is also the co-leader of Cyber Threat Snapshot, McKinsey’s flagship deep web threat intelligence offering, and one of the leaders of the Provider Strategy cyber hub.
Jeffrey holds a B.S.F.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Science, Technology, and International Affairs
Jeffrey is published on cyberwarfare, privacy regulation, and COVID-19 impact on cyber markets, and is an active speaker at roundtables and conferences
Founder & CEO
LeoLabsDr. Dan Ceperley, Founder & CEO, LeoLabs
Dan cofounded LeoLabs to accelerate the new commercial economy in LEO, protect satellite assets, and preserve the space environment. LeoLabs is the first commercial data source for tracking satellites and mapping LEO. Prior to co-founding LeoLabs Dan was a Program Director at SRI International where he supervised the Allen Telescope Array and developed advanced radar imaging technologies. Dan holds a Ph. D. from U. C. Berkeley in electrical engineering.
CEO and Founder
Bryce Space and TechnologyCarissa Christensen, CEO and Founder, Bryce Space and Technology
Carissa Christensen is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Bryce. She previously co-founded defense company The Tauri Group, acquired by LMI in 2019, and quantum computing software company QxBranch, acquired by Rigetti Computing in 2019. She is an active investor who serves on several early stage boards.
Ms. Christensen is an internationally recognized expert on R&D processes, technology forecasting, and the space industry. She is currently a member of the National Research Council Space Technology Industry-Government-University Roundtable, which advises NASA. She has served on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council since 2018. She is a Senior Advisor to the annual US Air Force Schriever Wargame. She serves on the Advisory Council of the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy.
She guest lectures at universities internationally, has testified before Congress on space markets, and speaks regularly at events, including the White House Frontiers Conference, and the Harvard Business School Dialogue. She publishes extensively and is often cited in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, Fortune, and Le Temps. She has also appeared in space documentaries by The Financial Times and Bloomberg.
Ms. Christensen is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where she specialized in science and technology policy. She attended the London School of Economics and was a Douglass Scholar at Rutgers University. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
SESSteve Collar, CEO, SES
Steve Collar is the CEO at SES, and has been the CEO of SES Networks since May 2017. SES Networks provides end-to-end network solutions to some of the world’s largest Telecommunications, Maritime, Aeronautical and Energy companies as well as to Governments around the world. Prior to SES Networks, Steve was CEO of O3b Networks and guided the company through the successful build and launch of its constellation of state-of-the-art satellites. In 2015, O3b Networks became the fastest growing satellite operator in history. In 2016, O3b was fully acquired by SES and now forms an integral part of SES Networks.
Mr. Collar is a satellite industry veteran, having previously worked in a variety of commercial, business development and technical roles at SES WORLD SKIES, New Skies Satellites, Astrium and Matra Marconi Space (now Airbus).
Mr. Collar is a British national.
Founder and Managing Partner
Promus VenturesMike Collett, Founder and Managing Partner, Promus Ventures
Mike Collett is Founder and Managing Partner of Promus Ventures in Chicago. Mike previously was Founder and Managing Partner of Masters Capital Nanotechnology Fund and also on the Technology Equity team with Masters Capital, a hedge fund. Mike was Vice President at Merrill Lynch in the M&A Group as well as an Associate in M&A Division with Duff & Phelps. Mike has invested in over 60 software/hardware startups and is currently on the board of Spire, Layer, Kurbo Health, Gauss Surgical, Dispatch, Enview, FirstLine, and Daylight Solutions. Mike received his BS in Math and a BA in English from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Mike and his wife Paige have four children and live in Chicago.
Chairman and CTO
Orbital InsightDr. James Crawford, Chairman and CTO, Orbital Insight
After leading software research and development for over two decades, Jimi is the founder & CTO of Orbital Insight. Orbital Insight helps business and policy decision-makers understand economic and societal trends through geospatial analytics. His corporate focus is to develop artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision, creating a new source of market data for diverse industries.
Before a successful $1B Monsanto acquisition, Jimi was the SVP of Science and Engineering at the Climate Corporation. Prior to that, he was CTO and Software Architect at Moon Express whose goal was putting the first commercial robot on the moon. As the Engineering Director for Google Book Search, he was in charge of
Google’s project to scan, index, and make searchable all the world’s books. As EVP of Engineering at Composite Software, he led product development around data visualization. At Nasa Ames Research Center, Jimi led Autonomy and Robotics projects and authored over 15 peer-reviewed publications, resulting in five patents. Jimi earned his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, and BA in Math and Computer Science from Rice University.
He has a long-term interest in photography which led him, most recently, to eastern Idaho to photograph the August total eclipse.
Co-founder and CEO
GapSatGregg Daffner, Co-founder and CEO, GapSat
Gregg Daffner is co-founder and CEO of GapSat, which leases in-orbit, operational satellites to satellite operators for use in their orbital slots for interim periods of time, generally until the operator launches its own satellite. Gregg is also president of G3 Global Communications, an international satellite venture incubation and consulting firm.
Previously Gregg co-founded and was president of Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS). He headed satellite services for Hong Kong Telecom, was VP for PanAmSat and Lockheed Martin, and Director of International Policy for the US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Gregg is a founding member and current President of the Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC), Chairman of the AVIA (formerly CASBAA) Satellite Wireless Action Group, and a member of the Board of Governors and Secretary of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC).
Gregg is an attorney who began his career as a New York-based filmmaker and video artist.
ViasatMark Dankberg, Chairman, Viasat
Mark Dankberg co-founded ViaSat Inc. in 1986, and has held the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. Under his leadership, ViaSat has consistently been recognized as one of America’s fastest growing technology companies.
Mark is an acknowledged industry expert in communications technology, satellite, aerospace and defense, and is the leading visionary for a new generation of high-capacity satellite systems that are poised to deliver worldwide broadband coverage by 2021. He has co-authored several military standards on satellite networking, and holds a number of patents in communications and satellite networking technologies. He has participated on Department of Defense advisory panels and has testified before a Congressional committee on high technology growth companies and IPOs as well as before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications regarding communications technologies for rural broadband.
Co-Founder and COO
Lynk GlobalMargo Deckard, Co-Founder and COO, Lynk Global
Margo Deckard is a Co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Lynk Global, Inc. Her work analyzing BGAN usage data from the 2014 Ebola Pandemic Crisis Response drove the Lynk team to design a global connectivity solution that uses the unmodified phone in everyone’s pocket. Margo leads Public Safety and Government Programs for Lynk. Previously, Margo served as VP of Programs for NexGen Space LLC, where she was the Project Manager for the Ultra-Low-Cost Access to Space Study for the United States Air Force. This study focused on how the United States Government could leverage free enterprise to achieve low cost access to space to meet U.S. National Security needs in the next 5 years. She was the PI for NASA-funded research on the environmental impacts of space solar power (SSP), and co-authored a study for the National Security Space Office on SSP. Margo wrote a web data connector for NetHope to connect data from the United Nations Humanitarian Crisis Response Syrian Refugee Crisis REST APIs and populate Tableau. This product will guide over 43 NGOs in their efforts to meet the needs of the Syrian Refugees. She has a BS in Genetic Engineering from Purdue University and an MS in Systems Engineering from Wright State University.
Co-Founder, President and CSO
Umbra LabGabe Dominocielo, Co-Founder, President and CSO, Umbra Lab
Gabe Dominocielo is the co-founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Umbra Lab, Inc. (“Umbra”). Umbra is a technology company that builds next-generation space and earth-based sensors to deliver raw intelligence – via an integrated web platform or application programming interface (API) — as a service to commercial and government customers.
Dominocielo is responsible for the company’s growth and corporate strategy on transactions valued greater than $1 billion. He serves on various private boards and the USGIF’s NRO and NGA working groups.
Dominocielo is an outspoken contrarian on the existing satellite industry business models and a critic of data partners selling competitive in-house analytics. He is an advocate of strong partnerships with GEOINT firms that are free of channel conflicts. At Umbra, he has implemented transparent, self-service scheduling and tasking; permissive licensing (creative commons); and clear universal pricing.
Prior to Umbra, Dominocielo co-founded a legal services company in 2007 that is still regarded as one of the top legal services of its type in the United States.
Dominocielo specializes in customer acquisition and has extensive experience bringing new products to market. He was credited with “money balling” the selection and marketing of class action lawsuits. This method is now pro-forma in the legal industry. The firm’s attorneys generated over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements, and was certified by the State Bar.
Department of the Air Force and Space ForcePreston Dunlap, Chief Architect , Department of the Air Force and Space Force
Mr. Preston C. Dunlap is the Chief Architect of the Department of the Air Force. First to hold this position, Mr. Dunlap is charged with working across the Air and Space Force, and in partnership with the Department of the Navy and Army, to transform technology development and acquisition so the Air Force not only designs, develops, and buys the right mix of future capability but does so more rapidly and with the power of interoperability. Key family of systems initiatives include Multi-domain Operations, Advanced Battle Management System, and Next Generation Air Dominance.
Prior to this position, Mr. Dunlap was the Executive for National Security Analysis of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center.
There he oversaw national security defense and intelligence programs at all levels of classification and managed an extensive and diverse organization of program managers, technologists, analysts, and operators. He led programs in support of the Vice President of the United States, Cabinet Secretaries, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Dunlap served on the corporate Executive Leadership Team of the Laboratory. At the request of Congress, he also testified before the full House Armed Services Committee.
Before joining the Laboratory in 2014, Mr. Dunlap was a career member of the Senior Executive Service and served four Secretaries of Defense. He held the roles of Director of Program Analysis, Chief of Staff to the Senate-confirmed Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Senior Analyst for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Space Programs, and Deputy Director of the Simulation and Analysis Center. He shaped the Department of Defense five-year multi-billion dollar budget plans as well as associated Intelligence Community and National Nuclear Security Administration plans.
Mr. Dunlap led the Long Range Strike Front End Assessment and started the B-21 bomber program as well as future weapons, hypersonics, intelligence, electronic warfare, and communications capabilities for Secretary Gates and Secretary Panetta. He served in a lead role of the Strategic Choices and Management Review for Secretary Hagel where he identified options and risks required to meet the Budget Control Act that would reduce the budget by over $50 billion per year. He also participated in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Reviews.
Prior to government, Mr. Dunlap held various roles in the private sector as an early member of a rapidly growing technology startup company as well as an agile software development firm.
He earned a Master of Science degree with honors in Operations Research and Management Science from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Computer Science and Political Science from Duke University. Mr. Dunlap is Lean Six Sigma certified and is a graduate of the Harvard University National Security Senior Executive program and the Federal Executive Institute and served on the Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI program. Mr. Dunlap’s awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service and multiple citations of both the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence.
General Manager of the Communication Technologies and Engineering Division
The Aerospace CorporationDr. Debra L. Emmons, General Manager of the Communication Technologies and Engineering Division, The Aerospace Corporation
Dr. Debra L. Emmons is the General Manager of the Communication Technologies and Engineering Division at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, she is responsible for leading a geographically distributed division of 200+ engineers and 30+ laboratories supplying expertise across the full range of communications and networking programs, technologies, and system architectures to Aerospace’s many customers. She also leads the strategy development for the Optical communications center, SPIDER providing solutions to customers across the space enterprise.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Emmons served as Associate General Manager of the Strategic Assessments & Studies Division in the Civil Systems Group, leading the line of business serving customers across all the NASA Science & Technology focused centers, universities, and non-profit entities. Within this line of business, she led strategic planning, new business development, and program development and execution.
Dr. Emmons is a skilled aerospace senior leader with technical, management and industry experience in the acquisition and development of advanced technology space systems. She has over 25 years of experience developing and leading cross-enterprise teams of technical experts to solve the nation’s toughest national security, civil and commercial space problems.
Dr. Emmons currently serves on the MILCOM organizing and technical program committee, and the IAF/IAC Space Communications & Navigation Committee (SCAN). She also served on the Board of Directors of the National Space Club, in Washington DC from 2010 through 2016. In the 2015-2016 term, Dr. Emmons served as the President of the National Space Club & Foundation.
Dr. Emmons was awarded a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University. She earned an M.S. and a B.S in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. She was also awarded an MBA from Imperial College Management School, London, United Kingdom.
VP Corporate Strategy & Business Development
IntelsatGreg Ewert, VP Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Intelsat
Gregory Ewert shapes and executes Intelsat’s global business development strategy across the company’s network, mobility, media and government business units. He is also responsible for the structuring of Intelsat’s strategic roadmap and forging partnerships that will advance the company’s technology and service platforms, particularly for emerging applications such as land mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Mr. Ewert has decades of experience in the broadband and mobility sectors, with an expertise in IoT and land-mobility applications. Prior to joining Intelsat in 2019, he served as President, Connected Car & Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for Globalstar after beginning with the company as its Vice President of Business Development. At Globalstar, he led cross-functional teams responsible for the building of the company’s Connected Car and ITS business as well as the development of long-term strategies and partnerships that would drive the growth of the business.
Prior to joining Globalstar, Mr. Ewert spent four years at Inmarsat, where he served as the President of Inmarsat’s Connected Car, ITS and Enterprise business units. In that position, he led the development and execution of the IoT and M2M business plans, product roadmaps, infrastructure investments, channel distribution strategy and partnerships.
His experience also includes nine years at Iridium Communications, where he served in a similar role focused on the development of high-bandwidth mobile services for the maritime and aero sectors and the establishment of Iridium’s M2M business unit and associated product development and distribution channels. He also held senior leadership positions at Comsat International, Bell Canada Enterprise and Sprint.
Mr. Ewert earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) operates the world’s first Globalized Network, delivering high-quality, cost-effective video and broadband services anywhere in the world. Intelsat’s Globalized Network combines the world’s largest satellite backbone with terrestrial infrastructure, managed services and an open, interoperable architecture to enable customers to drive revenue and reach through a new generation of network services. Thousands of organizations serving billions of people worldwide rely on Intelsat to provide ubiquitous broadband connectivity, multi-format video broadcasting, secure satellite communications and seamless mobility services. The end result is an entirely new world, one that allows us to envision the impossible, connect without boundaries and transform the ways in which we live. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
Head of U.S. Space Systems
AIRBUS U.S. Space & DefenseDebra Facktor, Head of U.S. Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense
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
Sr. Vice President of Technology
iDirect GovernmentKarl Fuchs, Sr. Vice President of Technology, iDirect Government
Karl Fuchs joined iDirect Government in 2004 as the Director of Sales Engineering, just as the satellite-based IP communications company was expanding its very small aperture satellite (VSAT) market presence into the federal government and international Internet Protocol (IP) networking world. He now works as the Sr. Vice President of Technology.
With more than 25 years of experience in technology and with the federal government, Fuchs leads iDirect Government’s team of federal sales engineers, hardware engineers, software engineers, and serves as chief architect for new product integration.
Prior to joining iDirect Government, Fuchs was Director of Systems Engineering at Nortel Networks, where he oversaw the Verizon account team of systems engineers, leading the design of IP, Frame Relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) networks. Before joining Nortel, he designed IP and ATM networks for Sprint and the federal government.
Active in the satellite industry for more than 20 years, Fuchs has contributed editorial to numerous publications including Federal Computer Week, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, COTS Journal, Military Information Technology, Via Satellite, MILSATCOM and Satellite Evolution Global. In addition, he has been a featured speaker at leading industry events including the DoD SATCOM User Workshop, ISCe, IBC, Pacific Telecommunications Council and Emergency Management Talks.
Fuchs holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. and an MBA from Averett University, Danville, Va.
Vehicle Design and Innovation Department
The Aerospace CorporationJerry Fuller, Vehicle Design and Innovation Department, The Aerospace Corporation
Jerry Fuller is an Engineering Specialist in The Aerospace Corporation’s Vehicle Design and Innovation Department. He led Aerospace’s creation of “Printed Rocket Propellant” as a technology field, with several fundamental patents applying AM concepts to solid, hybrid and liquid propellants. He is currently working on breakthrough innovations in spacecraft bus concepts, robotics, and novel Thrust Vector Control (TVC) systems for small spacecraft. He is listed on over a dozen patents, often as the lead inventor.
Special Projects Chief Engineer
Agile Space IndustriesCharlie Garcia, Special Projects Chief Engineer , Agile Space Industries
EVP and General Manager, North America Division, Hughes
Hughes Network SystemsPaul Gaske, EVP and General Manager, North America Division, Hughes, Hughes Network Systems
Paul Gaske leads the North American Division of Hughes, responsible for: HughesNet®, the company’s flagship satellite Internet service; the company’s managed network services for enterprise customers, incorporating satellite, wireless, and wireline technologies; the in-flight broadband business; and numerous SATCOM and emergency service solutions for government and military customers. Mr. Gaske also oversees Hughes manufacturing, which has produced and shipped more than 7 million terminals to-date, cementing the company’s global leadership in VSAT technology.
Mr. Gaske joined Hughes in 1977 as a digital design engineer and has held a variety of engineering, marketing, and business management positions. Beginning in 1996, Mr. Gaske led the launch and subsequent growth of the Hughes satellite Internet service to its success today as the largest satellite Internet network in the world with more than 1.5 million subscribers across two continents.
Mr. Gaske earned a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master Degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. A member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Phi and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), Mr. Gaske holds numerous patents in satellite communications and broadband networking. He was named the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering “Distinguished Engineering Alumnus” in 2012. Mr. Gaske was inducted into the Space & Satellite Professionals International Hall of Fame in 2020.
CEO & Co-founder
LEOcloudDennis Gatens, CEO & Co-founder, LEOcloud
Dennis co-founded LEOcloud to bring to market the first public cloud services in space. LEOcloud Space Edge hybrid cloud services will enable the lowest latency for AI and analytics that will drive competitive and operational advantage for commercial, government and military organizations.
Prior to forming LEOcloud, Mr. Gatens was the Chief Commercial Officer for Cloud Constellation Corporation where he had global responsibilities for sales, marketing, channel management, and strategic alliances.
With 35 years of experience in terrestrial and space-based managed services, he has a track record of bringing emerging technologies to market for managed services working with global partners and service providers to introduce next generation solutions into their cloud service offerings.
Mr. Gatens earned his BS in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and his MBA from Radford University.
Founder and CEO
AstranisJohn Gedmark, Founder and CEO, Astranis
John Gedmark is CEO and Co-Founder of Astranis. Astranis builds and operates small, low-cost telecommunications satellites with the mission to bring the world online. The company has raised over $350 million to date, and has a team of over 175 based out of their San Francisco headquarters.
John co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the industry association for commercial space companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. As Executive Director, John reported to a CEO-level board of directors and led the commercial space industry’s efforts to privatize flights of NASA’s astronauts to low Earth orbit — in February 2010 President Obama announced the historic decision to use commercial space transportation, a landmark change worth more than $10 billion to the commercial space industry. Prior to that, John served as the Director of Rocket Flight Operations for the X Prize Foundation, responsible for operations of rocket launches in front of a crowd of 20,000 people, including the first-ever public flight of a Vertical Take-off Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and a Master of Science degree from Stanford University, both in Aerospace Engineering, with a focus on rocket propulsion.
SpacebridgeDavid Gelerman, CEO, Spacebridge
Mr. Gelerman is a visionary engineer, innovator and businessman with over 40 years of experience. In 1988, Mr. Gelerman founded Advantech Wireless Inc., serving as President and CEO for the last 30 years. Steering the company from start-up to becoming a dominant global player in the satellite ground communication business, both in radio frequency and networking. Through organic growth and acquisition, the company became one of the largest exporters in Quebec.
In 2018, after the acquisition of the radio frequency business by Baylin, Mr. Gelerman carries on forward with the Satellite Networking business, keeping in tradition and with continued strengths as a best-in-class industry leader, leading the pace of innovation with one of the most advanced VSAT satellite network platforms.
Prior to founding the company, Mr. Gelerman held various management and design engineering positions at Nortel Networks, in the Transmission Networks Division, where he led teams that developed several multibillion dollar microwave terrestrial radio systems.
Mr. Gelerman holds a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE), specializing in Wireless Communications and Broadcasting.
Mynaric USATina Ghataore, President, Mynaric USA
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.
Office of the Corporate Chief Engineer
The Aerospace CorporationLori Gordon, Office of the Corporate Chief Engineer , The Aerospace Corporation
Lori W. Gordon is a senior project engineer and technology strategist at The Aerospace Corporation specializing in cyber and physical infrastructure protection. In the course of her career she has led efforts to coordinate national strategies and initiatives to enhance the resilience of U.S. critical infrastructure, mitigate national security and civil space enterprise risk, and accelerate technology innovation in complex systems. She has advised U.S. and international standards development organizations and academic curriculum boards on autonomous systems, cybersecurity, and the next generation workforce. Gordon has a master’s in public administration from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor’s in geography from the University of Maryland. She is a Partner with The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy and is a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute.
Northern Sky Research - NSRBrad Grady, Principal Analyst, Northern Sky Research - NSR
Mr. Grady has been involved in the Satellite Communications industry since 2005, joining NSR in 2010. He is NSR’s Energy market subject matter expert, and a core member of NSR’s mobility research practice for both civil and government markets. He regularly provides his insights and analysis to NSR’s single-client consulting practice and is also a regular contributor to leading industry publications and forums.
Before joining NSR, Mr. Grady served as the Sustainable Development Projects Coordinator Intern with the Global VSAT Forum where he worked regularly with the GVF Secretariat and the Regulatory Working Group on many of the forum’s initiatives. Working with the Regulatory Working Group, Mr. Grady helped develop and implement various RWG initiatives aimed at protecting satellite spectrum, increasing awareness of satellite services, and working to promote regulatory reforms across the globe.
Mr. Grady holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park where his research focused on renewable/alternative energies, Information Communication Technologies and the Satellite Communications Industry. He works in NSR’s Washington DC office.
Chief Commercial Officer
IntelsatSamer Halawi, Chief Commercial Officer, Intelsat
Samer Halawi is the Chief Commercial Officer for Intelsat, where he is responsible for leading the Company’s global commercial operations, including the broadband, mobility, media and government businesses, as well as the sales and marketing teams. He brings tremendous experience and expertise, with more than 20 years in business development, telecommunications and global satellite communications.
Prior to joining Intelsat, Samer served as the Chief Commercial Officer for OneWeb where he established and oversaw the distribution, product management, communications, business development, strategy, and sales and marketing functions for the company.
Before that, Samer held the position of the Chief Executive Officer for Thuraya Telecommunications Company for six years, where he led a turnaround in Thuraya’s performance and positioning and drove its growth to become a prominent international mobile satellite operator.
Samer spent eight years at Inmarsat in global strategy and running operations for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. His telecommunications experience includes roles at Flag Telecom and ICO Global Communications (ICO). His role at ICO followed a private placement for the shares of the company that he led during a three-year period in investment banking in the Middle East. Samer began his career in the automotive industry, where he occupied several positions with Chrysler Corporation and Ford Motor Company.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University and an MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the United States.
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) operates the world’s first Globalized Network, delivering high-quality, cost-effective video and broadband services anywhere in the world. Intelsat’s Globalized Network combines the world’s largest satellite backbone with terrestrial infrastructure, managed services and an open, interoperable architecture to enable customers to drive revenue and reach through a new generation of network services. Thousands of organizations serving billions of people worldwide rely on Intelsat to provide ubiquitous broadband connectivity, multi-format video broadcasting, secure satellite communications and seamless mobility services. The end result is an entirely new world, one that allows us to envision the impossible, connect without boundaries and transform the ways in which we live.
Lecturer in Economics
Stanford UniversityDr. Ward Hanson, Lecturer in Economics, Stanford University
Ward Hanson analyzes the economics and marketing of new technology. Other areas of interest include the role of competition, policy issues involving the evolving role of interactivity, optimal product line pricing, and the emergence of the commercial space industry. As a pioneer in studying the commercialization and impact of the Internet, he has published research articles, a leading text, and created online courses on Internet marketing. He has served as an expert witness in areas of patent validity, e-commerce, Internet advertising, and industry analysis. He has recently published a number of articles on the economics of new space and serves on the editorial board of the New Space journal.
Dr. Hanson has taught at Stanford since 1995, first at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, then at the Department of Economics and the Public Policy program as part of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). Previous faculty positions include Purdue University and the University of Chicago. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.
General Manager, Aviation
SpireDr. Shay Har-Noy, General Manager, Aviation, Spire
Dr. Shay Har-Noy is Spire’s General Manager of Aviation, responsible for leading the business that is making air travel and shipments safer, more cost effective, and more efficient. Shay most recently served as a leader on the Uber Maps product team and as Uber Boulder site lead. Previously, he was VP and GM of Maxar/DigitalGlobe’s Platform business — their high growth effort to get DigitalGlobe’s 15 year digital library in the cloud and available for processing. Prior to joining DigitalGlobe, Shay was founder and CEO of Tomnod combining crowdsourcing and machine learning to create new applications for satellite imagery. Tomnod was acquired by DigitalGlobe in early 2013. Shay started his career at ViaSat where he worked on the deployment and market positioning of satellite communication systems around the globe for government, commercial aviation, and maritime customers. Dr. Har-Noy graduated summa cum laude from Rice University and received a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering with research in image processing from UC-San Diego.
President and CEO
Virgin OrbitDan Hart, President and CEO, Virgin Orbit
Over the course of his career, Dan has served in senior leadership roles across a wide range of aerospace programs, spanning human spaceflight, satellite development, launch, and missile defense and running through all phases of the aerospace product life cycle, from research and development through design, production, and space-flight operations.
Dan currently serves as President and CEO for Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s pioneering commercial space firm, launching small satellites into space from a rocket carried under the wing of a modified Boeing 747. It is Virgin’s contribution to the massive transformation going on in space technology and has a clear goal of opening access to space to improve life on earth.
Dan joined Virgin Orbit after more than three decades of aerospace leadership at the Boeing Company, where he most recently served as Vice President of Government Satellite Systems. In that position, he oversaw Boeing’s government satellite programs, developing and managing missions for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA, and other national programs. Dan’s portfolio included marquee programs such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Wideband Global SATCOM, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) system, and the X-37 spaceplane.
After beginning his career with McDonnell Douglas supporting the Spacelab Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Dan was soon loaned to the European Space Agency to support system integration, followed by roles on the Delta and Delta II launch crews, then leading the Systems Engineering, Integration and Test Team for the development of the Delta IV Launch Vehicle. Dan was subsequently named Chief Engineer for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) anti-ballistic missile system before becoming Chief Engineer over all of Boeing’s space programs.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the State University of New York at Albany and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
He is a passionate and committed advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education, and serves on the Executive Board of the California Science Center.
Dan knows his way around an electric guitar and full drum kit but is holding out for the return of Virgin Records before unleashing his debut album on the world.
Amazon Web Services - AWSShayn Hawthorne, General Manager, Amazon Web Services - AWS
Mr. Shayn Hawthorne works in the AWS Region Services Division as the Colorado Lead, Space Technical Lead, and General Manager of the AWS Ground Station service. In this role, Shayn works backward with commercial and Government space customers around the world. Shayn is focused on developing services and features that disrupt how space and intelligence operations are conducted and enabling space customers to share, fuse and leverage space data to improve their missions and products.
Prior to AWS, Shayn worked at the MITRE Corporation. In his last role, Shayn served as the Technical Director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), responsible for directing the engineering activities of MITRE engineers in support of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Program, Command and Control Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) System, the Ballistic Missile Defense Overhead Persistent Infrared Architecture (BOA) and the Midcourse Tracking System (MTS) and many other programs.
Previously, Shayn led the MDA Space Knowledge Center as the Technical Director, which performed independent technical assessments and evaluated experiments related to MDA space programs. In previous MITRE work efforts, Shayn has led Advanced Development efforts for Air Force space situational awareness, missile warning, and missile defense sensors, as well as the Command and Control (C2) systems and correlator/tracker systems responsible for detecting and tracking air, space and missile threats to the United States and Canada.
Additional MITRE efforts include developing the Satellite as a Sensor concept and leading the start-up of the Rapid Attack Identification Detection Reporting System. Shayn was personally requested to support DoD Space System Vulnerability analyses that led to the National Security Space Protection Policy. He also played a critical role in starting the Space Radar program, focusing on theater tasking and Ground Moving Target Indicator data.
As a member of the Air Force Reserve, Shayn volunteered to mobilize in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and fielded a satellite protection system while leading the Defensive Counter-space Testbed (DTB). Shayn supported the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and Electronic Security Command (ESC) as an Active Duty Air Force Officer.
Shayn received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Science Degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Senior Vice President of Global Launch Services
Rocket LabLars Hoffman, Senior Vice President of Global Launch Services, Rocket Lab
As Senior Vice President, Lars is responsible for Rocket Lab’s global business and government affairs. With more than 30 years of experience in national security and aerospace, Lars brings a deep knowledge of the global space industry and U.S. Government space requirements.
Before joining Rocket Lab, Lars was an executive at SpaceX, from 2014 to 2018. At SpaceX, Lars facilitated certification of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and he led the capture of more than $2 billion of national security space business.
Prior to joining industry, Lars completed a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, as a U-2 reconnaissance pilot, a test pilot, and in senior leadership roles at The Pentagon.
Lars holds advanced engineering degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, and U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Lars also earned national security degrees from MIT, Air University, and National Defense University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from UCLA.
About Rocket Lab:
As a global leader in launch and space systems, Rocket Lab is transforming space access. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab provides end-to-end mission services that provide frequent and reliable access to space for civil, defense and commercial markets. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron and Neutron launch vehicles and Photon satellite platform. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 104 satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab operates two launch sites, including the world’s only private orbital launch site located in New Zealand, and a second launch site in Wallops Island, Virginia.
Founder and General Partner
Starbridge Venture CapitalSteven Jorgenson, Founder and General Partner, Starbridge Venture Capital
Steven Jorgenson is the Founder and General Partner of Starbridge Venture Capital, a Washington D.C. based investment firm started in 2017, focused on opportunities in and around the space industry. Starbridge is currently managing its second investment fund, with a focus on technologies that expand the space economy while also addressing large existing terrestrial market needs. This results in a truly multidisciplinary approach to space investing, with clearer, quicker paths to profitability. Steven is also an active angel investor, advisor, and a proponent of the idea that commercial space companies will be a main driver of 21st century innovation.
Previously, Steven had a two decade career as an investment manager and financial markets trading specialist – beginning at the Chicago Board of Trade, then the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and later for over a decade as the Portfolio Manager for two market-beating Florida-based hedge funds. Steven is also Founder of Fifth Point Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor company (RIA), and seemingly a lifetime ago, graduated with honors from University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Bacteriology, Biology, and Business.
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.
MomentusDr. Fred Kennedy, President, Momentus
Director of Strategic Business Development and Information Technology
AvL TechnologiesBryan Kerns, Director of Strategic Business Development and Information Technology, AvL Technologies
Bryan Kerns joined AvL Technologies in 2010 as Director of Major Accounts, and he now serves as the company’s Director of Strategic Business Development and Information Technology. Prior to joining AvL, Bryan was an AvL customer at companies including GTSI, Verizon Business, LBiSat, and Harris CapRock Communications. He began his career serving six years in the U.S. Air Force as a Communications Officer. With more than 23 years of experience in satellite communications (SATCOM), Bryan has authored numerous articles and spoken about the use of satellites to communications and disaster planners from agencies including Army, Air Force Space and Missile Defense Commands, Defense Information Systems Agency, White House Communications Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Bryan is a founding Key group member of the Asheville, North Carolina, chapter of Vistage International. He has a Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School.
Chief Executive Officer
Millennium Space SystemsJason Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Space Systems
Jason Kim became chief executive officer of Millennium Space Systems, a non-fully integrated Boeing subsidiary based in El Segundo, California, in December 2020. Millennium Space Systems provides alternative, relevant and affordable solutions to today’s aerospace challenges. The company designs space flight systems and develops space mission and system solutions for the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as commercial customers.
Kim has more than two decades of experience in executive management involving small and large satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, mission payloads, ground systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data processing, command and control, launch, program management, systems engineering, prototyping, assembly and integration, and testing and operations of aerospace and defense systems.
Previous to his current position, he was the business development executive at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, where he led a team to fully develop and execute a global and domestic growth strategy. He worked to meet the growth goals of a vertically integrated, multi-billion-dollar space and command-and-control business.
From 2006 to 2019, Kim demonstrated his ability to grow companies as vice president of Strategic Planning at Millennium Space Systems and as a program manager at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
From 1999 to 2006, he served as a program manager in the U.S. Air Force’s Space Superiority Systems Program and Reconnaissance Systems Program offices, where he gained a deep background in advancing autonomous systems starting on unmanned aerial vehicle programs such as the Global Hawk and Predator and growing to acquisitions and developments of first-of-its-kind classified and unclassified space and ground systems.
Kim has served on the National Defense Industrial Association board of directors and Space Enterprise Consortium formation committee and has been an active member of the National Security Space Association.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles Anderson School of Management.
Northrop GrummanProfessor Andrew 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.
Vice-President, Business Development and Sales
Thales Alenia SpaceJohanne Lecomte, Vice-President, Business Development and Sales, Thales Alenia Space
Johanne Lecomte is Vice-President, Business Development and Sales for Thales Alenia Space (TAS), in Arlington, VA. Over the last 7 years, she has been responsible for increasing Space business in North America in the institutional and commercial markets, for the Telecom, Remote Sensing, Exploration, Planetary Sciences and Navigation domains. Additionally, over the past few years, Ms. Lecomte has also been leading TAS North America Government Strategy, making particular inroads in the DoD market in the USA and DND in Canada.
She has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunication and satellite industries. She was Vice-President of Sales and Marketing in North America for 10 years at Airbus Defense and Space and Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and Communications at International Launch Services (ILS). She also occupied various leadership positions at Telesat, Amos by Spacecom, Dynegy, Teleglobe International and Bell Canada. Throughout her career, she conducted various in-country Business Development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Johanne holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from Ecole Polytechnique and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering/International Program Management (MBA/MSEE), from Sherbrooke University in Canada.
Vice President of Ground Segment
SpaceLinkTom Leisgang, Vice President of Ground Segment, SpaceLink
Tom Leisgang is a multi-disciplinary expert who brings unique perspectives to satellite and space missions. Before joining SpaceLink he was Technical Director for Ground Systems Mission Engineering & Operations at Maxar. He was Ground Segment Manager for the satellite segment of Australia’s national broadband network and established satellite control infrastructure for the satellites. He began his career managing a satellite test facility at Lockheed Martin.
BryceTechDr. Rich Leshner, Vice President, BryceTech
Rich Leshner has been working in the DC space policy community for nearly two decades, with experience in the non-profit, government, and industry sectors. Rich’s NASA experience had him working on international projects for collaboration in exploration, managing a $150 million portfolio of innovative small business research, and working in the Administrator’s office. He worked for two years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he supported the development of the 2010 National Space Policy as well as championed reforms to more fully integrate commercial space capabilities into national programs. Since 2014 Rich has been at Planet, the small satellite Earth observation data and analytics company based in California. Rich was previously Planet’s Vice President for Regulatory and Government Affairs, and is now the Executive Vice President of Planet Federal – Planet’s subsidiary for work with the U.S. government. Rich has a MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford, and a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington. He lives in DC with his wife and daughter.
Gilat Satellite NetworksDubi Lever, CTO, Gilat Satellite Networks
Mr. Dubi Lever has been working within the Gilat R&D team for the last 24 years. He has served in senior positions spanning different fields of expertise – Hardware design, FPGA, communications algorithms, RF design and system architecture, as an engineer and as a manager. Over the years Dubi has been leading innovation within the company, initiating the development of new products.
In the current role as CTO, Dubi is responsible for developing concepts of solutions for new technologies such as LEO constellations and beam hopping. He is the co-author of five patents.
Dubi holds a B.Sc. (Cum Laude) and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University
Senior Corporate Counsel
BAE SystemsJanna Lewis, Senior Corporate Counsel, BAE Systems
Janna is a senior attorney and technology strategist with more than 17 years of experience counseling clients in the aerospace, national defense and 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 experience with satellite, launch, unmanned vehicles, C4ISR architectures, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining BAE Systems, Janna worked for Northrop Grumman as Corporate Counsel-IP, supporting their Mission Systems Sector, where she facilitated innovation and strategic partnerships 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 global space-based and high-altitude connectivity solutions. Before Facebook, Janna was in private legal practice, where she served as senior legal counsel to U.S. and international clients in the aerospace and defense, healthcare, software, and telecommunications industries.
Janna is a member of the Defense Innovation Board, Space Advisory Committee and a volunteer with the Space Foundation. She frequently writes and speaks about the evolving legal and cultural landscapes in the defense, intelligence, and space industries, and has been recognized for her proactive, results-oriented approach to client counseling. Janna is committed to diversity in the space industry, and is a strong advocate for new space professionals.
Practice Manager - AI/ML
Amazon Web ServicesRyan Lewis, Practice Manager - AI/ML, Amazon Web Services
Ryan Lewis is the Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) Practice Manager for Amazon Web Services (AWS) National Security sector. He is responsible for developing and executing the Practice’s strategy, building collaborative partnerships to support product development, and leading AI/ML strategy and projects across the national security community. Prior to joining AWS, Ryan was Senior Vice President at In-Q-Tel (IQT) where he co-founded the IQT Labs applied research organization, CosmiQ Works, dedicated to AI applied research for geospatial applications as well as SpaceNet, a nonprofit LLC organization designed to accelerate open source computer vision research for remote sensing data. Ryan also served for two years on IQT’s investment team leading customer accounts.
Before joining IQT, he was an Account General Manager for Computer Science Corporation and was responsible for P&L within the U.S. Public Sector market. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, where he was named a Memorial Fellow, and an executive certificate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. He is currently a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
VP & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems Division
Hughes Network SystemsRick Lober, VP & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems Division, Hughes Network Systems
Rick Lober is the Vice President and General Manager of the Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) at Hughes Network Systems, LLC. In this role, he is responsible for applying the company’s broad range of SATCOM technologies and services to the worldwide defense marketplace and intelligence community. Applications cover satellite communications on the move for both ground-based an airborne platforms along with numerous classified development programs. He has over 30 years experience with both COTS-based and full MIL communications and intelligence products, systems and major programs starting as a design engineer and progressing to a P&L executive.
Mr. Lober previously worked at Cubic Corporation as Sr. VP/GM of the Communications Business Unit. In this role, he led the company’s development of the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) for application to both manned and unmanned military ISR platforms.
Mr. Lober worked at Watkins-Johnson Company before joining Cubic. In this role, he started as a design engineer for the company’s large catalog of signal intelligence equipment and progressed to a Department P&L lead for SIGINT equipment and systems. Mr. Lober led the program to develop the world’s first high volume digital HF receiver and also led efforts to move the company into commercial telecommunications markets.
Mr. Lober received his BSEE and MSEE degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and is a member of the IEEE, AFCEA, AUSA, AUVSI and the Society of Satellite Professionals. He has published numerous papers and presentations on digital receiver design, high-speed data links, and satellite communications. Mr. Lober holds a patent in wireless communications and he and his family live in Annapolis, MD.
Vice President of Sales, Americas
ST Engineering iDirectDarren Ludington, Vice President of Sales, Americas, ST Engineering iDirect
Darren Ludington is the ST Engineering iDirect Vice President of Sales for the Americas region where he currently manages the commercial activities for Mexico, Central , South and North America. Since joining iDirect in 2004, Ludington has held various sales, technical and customer-facing roles and was responsible for assisting customers across the globe with product selection, designing satellite networks and infrastructure, and delivering technical training.
Prior to joining ST Engineering iDirect, Ludington was a Technical Support Engineer with Marconi Communications, where he provided technical expertise to customers and trained in ATM, Optical Transmission, Ethernet/IP and Wireless communications.
He has worked in the engineering and satellite communications industries for over 15 years, spanning a wide range of technologies.
Ludington holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is fluent in English and Spanish, both written and spoken.
Vice President, Business Development Satcom Products
CPI - Communications & Power IndustriesPam Lugos, Vice President, Business Development Satcom Products, CPI - Communications & Power Industries
Pam Lugos is currently the Senior VP at CPI Satcom Products responsible for global business development. Pam joined CPI in 1993 and has held various roles in Product Management, Worldwide Service and Customer support, Program Management of New Product Development and Business Development. She has 25 years of experience in the Satcom ground equipment segment specific to amplifiers and amplifier technology. Pam received her undergraduate degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in Industrial Technology and her MBA from Santa Clara University.
Senior Director of Strategy & Business Development
L3Harris TechnologiesTim Lynch, Senior Director of Strategy & Business Development, L3Harris Technologies
Tim Lynch is executive director of the Multi-Domain Architecture Group within the Space and Airborne Systems segment of L3Harris Technologies. Space and Airborne Systems covers an extensive portfolio of solutions
in intelligence, surveillance, small satellites, electronic warfare, avionics (including carriage and release systems), wireless solutions and C4I systems. Prior to his current position, Lynch was a chief mission architect of L3Harris. In this role, he was responsible for working with customers and program teams to develop new solutions and mission architectures to support all major areas within the organization, including smallsats, radio frequency and electro-optical payloads, and end-to-end mission solutions.
Previously, Lynch was the senior director of advanced programs with the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance business unit at Harris Corporation (prior to the company’s merger with L3 Technologies in 2019).
Lynch joined Harris in 2000, earlier assignments included general manager of the company’s Mission Solutions. He also led two enterprises – Satellite Solutions and Advanced Technologies. These enterprises provided commercially hosted payloads, smallsat end-to-end solutions, and state-of-the-art processing systems for the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and commercial market.
Lynch began his career as an electrical engineer and has held positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of engineering, business development, program management and mission architecture.
Lynch holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the Wharton executive leadership program.
He is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity Florida Alpha Chapter, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, and several other intelligence and defense organizations.
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 air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 48,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.
Chief Operating Officer
Firefly AerospaceLauren Lyons, Chief Operating Officer, Firefly Aerospace
Lauren Lyons holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and certificates in Robotics & Intelligent Systems and Engineering Biology from Princeton University, as well as a Master’s in Business and Government Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Firefly, Lauren served as a Lead Systems Engineer in Blue Origin’s Advanced Concepts department where she led a team developing a novel spacecraft, and before that, led the Human Landing System National Team’s Requirements, Verification, Validation, and Certification team.
Prior to Blue, Lauren spent several years at SpaceX where she worked in Reliability, Safety and Mission Assurance, and Chief Engineering for Crew Dragon, Cargo Dragon, and Falcon 9; there, her responsibilities included risk and change management, leading anomaly investigations, serving as the on-console mission safety official, and leading the NASA Certification Engineering effort for Crew Dragon’s first visit to the Space Station. She held additional roles as a Technical Product Lead on the Starlink program working on initial product development and go-to-market strategy, as well as roles in Mission Management where she supported more than seven Falcon 9 commercial and government spacecraft integration and launch campaigns.
Before embarking upon her commercial space career, Lauren worked as a medical device R&D engineer at Medtronic where she holds multiple patents, taught leadership courses at Harvard University, and was a published science writer.
A passionate advocate for engineering education, Lauren serves as an Executive Mentor for the Patti Grace Smith Foundation, and co-hosted of many seminal SpaceX milestone launch webcasts, including the Emmy Award winning Demo-2 mission.
Executive Vice President
AstroscaleDr. Clare Martin, Executive Vice President, Astroscale
Dr. Martin joined Astroscale U.S. in August 2019 as SVP of Operations and Programs. She brings many years of space technology management, operations, and engineering expertise to the Astroscale team.
Dr. Martin previously held the position of the Director, Orbital Solutions at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). She was responsible for the management and technical performance of the engineering staff and delivery of projects, including planning and managing technical and programmatic solutions to ensure quality, business, and financial objectives were met.
Prior to joining GA-EMS, Dr. Martin was the Chief Operating Officer at Surrey Satellite Technology US, where she led the Surrey project management and engineering teams. As a member of the Surrey Satellite US executive team, Dr. Martin managed the bidding, negotiation, and execution of projects, and was responsible for ensuring the company’s cost-effective methods were appropriately applied to the execution of programs.
Dr. Martin joined Surrey Satellite US from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in the United Kingdom, where she held several positions including the Head of Telecommunications and Navigation business unit, encompassing the Galileo payload programme. Prior to Surrey, Dr. Martin was a project manager and scientist at QinetiQ.
Dr. Martin earned a Master of Science in astrophysics and a Doctorate in mathematics and computational sciences from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Specialist Leader - Space Industry
Deloitte ConsultingJeff Matthews, Specialist Leader - Space Industry, Deloitte Consulting
Jeff is a specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP with more than 18 years of private and public sector experience focused on finance, enterprise architecture transformation, technology commercialization, and market strategy. Currently, he is a leader in Deloitte’s Government & Public Sector Space Industry practice where he provides subject matter expertise on commercial space technology trends, industry strategies, and launch systems economics.
Before joining Deloitte, Jeff served as the director of venture strategy and research for the Space Frontier Foundation where he was also a board member. His previous experience as an advisor in $600M+ of venture capital raises for early stage technology companies, commercializing government technologies, and deep insight into the commercial space market allows him to bring a unique perspective to government and commercial clients. Jeff has contributed expertise and analysis on the space industry to Reuters, Forbes, NBC News, Discovery News, The Wharton School, the Open Group, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
VP of Business Development
Slingshot AerospaceCharlie McGillis, VP of Business Development, Slingshot Aerospace
Charlie McGillis is Vice President for Business Development at Slingshot Aerospace Inc., a company building world-class space simulation and analytics solutions. The company is driven by its vision of accelerating space sustainability to create a safer, more connected world. McGillis is responsible for leading a team that develops strategy, expands our business and product development activities, and gathers, prioritizes, and integrates product and service requirements for our customers.
McGillis has more than 30 years of defense and executive leadership experience. She served over 26 years in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Officer, retiring in June 2014, at the rank of Colonel. Following retirement, she served as a Commercial Integration Cell Consultant, representing seven Commercial Satellite Operators to facilitate better coordination and information sharing with the United States Government.
Her broad defense career spanned a wide variety of leadership and staff positions. In her last assignment, she served as the Director of Intelligence at Fourteenth Air Force (Space) where she led all intelligence for Air Force space forces to support operations. In other assignments, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff at USSTRATCOM, Deputy Political Advisor at USSOCOM, and Deputy Director of the Commander’s Action Group at NORAD-USNORTHCOM. She commanded at the squadron level at Air Command and Staff College where she led a multiservice and multinational unit.
McGillis received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also a graduate of three post graduate studies: Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict from the Naval Postgraduate School, Military Arts and Sciences from the United States Army School of Advanced Military Studies, and Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Air Force Air War College.
McGillis is a defense operations and intelligence subject matter expert and speaks frequently at conferences about the value of situational intelligence and advancing space awareness. She is a member of the IAA committee on Space Traffic Management. She is also a champion for STEM initiatives for girls as a member of AstraFemina and teaches at two summer camps sponsored by American Association of University Women. She was also selected into the first cohort to support the SpaceHero Insider Program, a global community to advance space for humankind.
Director of Rideshare Sales
SpaceXJarrod McLachlan, Director of Rideshare Sales, SpaceX
Jarrod is a Senior Sales Manager at SpaceX responsible for sales and commercial business development efforts for SpaceX’s small satellite rideshare customers. In this role, he focuses on deepening the relationship between SpaceX and the worldwide small satellite community. SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program provides small satellite operators with competitive pricing, increased flight opportunities, flexibility, turnkey service and—most importantly—a ride to space on the world’s most advanced and proven launch vehicles.
Jarrod holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
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 Raytheon’s Electronic Systems (ES) Segment. During his tenure, he managed and lead the RF antenna design, development, and production of a wide range of Phased-Array/ESA implementations for both radar and communication applications. He co-founded ThinKom Solutions in 2000, 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 UCLA, earning BSEE, MSEE, and Engineer (Ph.D. course, field, and examination requirements) degrees and is the inventor or co-inventor of 40+ awarded and pending US patents in the fields of Scattering, Materials, Microwave Devices, and Antennas. Mr. Milroy is a past Chairman of the Los Angeles Chapter of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (APS.)
CEO and MD
ND SatComAlexander Mueller-Gastell, CEO and MD, ND SatCom
Alexander Mueller-Gastell joined ND SatCom in September 2017. His main focus at ND SatCom is to manage the success-oriented organization and define and implement the growth strategies for the three business units Government & Enterprise, Defence and Broadcast. Before joining ND SatCom, he was Presidentx&xCOO of Signalhorn, where he was responsible for managing the company´s daily operations and strategic direction including the growth strategy through acquisitions. Alexander started his career as a controller at Alcan and served in various companies as CFO.
Alexander Mueller-Gastell holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, USA and the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
SVP Global Cloud Sales & Strategic Partnerships
SES NetworksSergy Mummert, SVP Global Cloud Sales & Strategic Partnerships, SES Networks
Based in California, Sergy leads the development of the global cloud segment within SES Networks. He is focused on securing partnerships with leading cloud providers and developing new business to provide cloud-enabled connectivity, services and solutions.
Upon joining SES in 2002, Sergy led the SES corporate and business development activities across the Americas, collaborating with teams across the organization to drive organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including programs in the Andean region, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
Prior to joining SES, Sergy held senior leadership roles such as Co-founder and Director of Business Development for Astrolink International, a global Ka HTS venture funded by Liberty Media, Lockheed Martin, Telespazio and TRW (now Northrop Grumman) and Senior Manager of Business Development for DIRECTV International, a Hughes Electronics company.
Sergy holds a Master’s of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and attended the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
President and CEO
Optimal SatcomAhsun Murad, President and CEO, Optimal Satcom
Ahsun Murad is the President and CEO of Optimal Satcom, which he co-founded as a spin-off from Lockheed Martin and Comsat in 2002. Over the last 18 years since its founding, Optimal Satcom has grown to support a large segment of the satellite industry with products and customized solutions that help its customers run their business – over 15 satellite operators, 20 of the largest satellite service providers, and major US Government DoD and civilian agencies use Optimal Satcom products and systems today. As a world expert in satellite communications technology, Mr. Murad advises satellite companies and governmental agencies on satellite system design, application of emerging technologies, and formulating policy decisions.
Mr. Murad has worked for over 25 years in various positions across the satellite communications industry. Immediately before founding Optimal Satcom, he held management positions at Lockheed Martin and COMSAT Laboratories. In these positions, he headed the development of products for transmission planning and satellite capacity management and was the lead system architect for a number of commercial SATCOM and MILSATCOM projects. Before joining COMSAT Laboratories, Mr. Murad worked at the NASA Center for Satellite and Hybrid Communications Networks where he was involved in research and development related to hybrid satellite-terrestrial mobile communications systems, and complex multi-satellite systems. Mr. Murad graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.
CO-Founder and COO
Analytical SpaceDan Nevius, CO-Founder and COO, Analytical Space
Dan Nevius is a Co-Founder and CEO of Analytical Space, a Boston-based startup building a network of small satellites that use RF and optical communication to provide a data relay service for remote sensing satellites. Before starting Analytical Space, Dan was the Director of Special Projects at Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, where he worked on business development and strategy for the CERES constellation, a network of hyperspectral remote sensing satellites, and the company’s long term vision of asteroid prospecting. Dan also briefly worked at BCG in the London Office and the Space and Science Branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 2017 and earned his MSc in Space Science and Engineering from UCL in London, an MPhil in Engineering from the University of Cambridge where he researched methods for 3D printing large structures on the moon using local materials, and a BS in Engineering and Astrophysics from Harvard University. Dan was selected for Forbes “30 under 30” in Science.
Chief, COMSATCOM Solutions Program - Commercial Satellite Communications Office
HQ - US Space ForceMike Nichols, Chief, COMSATCOM Solutions Program - Commercial Satellite Communications Office, HQ - US Space Force
Mr. Nichols has managed DoD meshed network solutions, including terrestrial transport, data applications, and commercial satellite services as a Department of Defense government civilian for more than 32 years.
During the span of his career, Mr. Nichols has managed communication services for the United States Navy Europe/Central Region in Naples, Italy, was a project manager for European terrestrial transport initiatives based out of Stuttgart, Germany, and served as a senior advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Technology in Kabul, Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Telecommunications Advisory Team.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Nichols was the Deputy Chief for the DoDs Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS).
A U.S. Navy Veteran, Mr. Nichols is proud to serve the Department of Defense and provide critical C5ISR that enable warfighter capabilities.
Milbank LLPDara A. Panahy, Partner, Milbank LLP
As leader of the firm’s Transportation and Space Group in Washington, D.C., Dara’s practice involves representation of satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds in debt and equity offerings, project, structured and vendor financings, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructurings and in negotiating commercial contracts. He also advises on regulatory, sanctions, anti-corruption, national security and export control matters.
PRIMARY FOCUS & EXPERIENCE
Mr. Panahy’s practice focuses on representing clients involved in the aerospace and communications industries. His experience includes representing satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds in numerous financings involving public offerings, high yield debt, investment grade bonds, project and vendor financings, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructuring and reorganizations and in negotiating project contracts. He also counsels clients on domestic and international regulatory and trade matters, including licensing of communications systems, economic sanctions, regulation of foreign direct investment, anti-bribery and corrupt practices, national security and export control laws and regulations and risk management.
TRUMPF Laser TechnologyDr Henrikki Pantsar, General Manager , TRUMPF Laser Technology
Dr Henrikki Pantsar is General Manager of TRUMPF Laser Technology North America in Plymouth, MI. In this role he is responsible for TRUMPF’s Laser technology, Additive Manufacturing and Extreme Ultraviolet business in US, Canada and Mexico. Henrikki received his M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees from Lappeenranta University of Technology. After his academic career he work at applied laser research companies VTT and Fraunhofer USA, before joining Cencorp as Vice President of Research and Development and Valoe Corporation as CTO. He has been with TRUMPF since 2017 as Director of Applications and Services and GM. Henrikki is also Vice President at Laser Institute of America.
Senior Director, Space Capture Team
MaxarRizwan Parvez, Senior Director, Space Capture Team, Maxar
Mr. Rizwan Parvez is currently Senior Director at Maxar Technologies, focused on Market Strategy and Business Development for Maxar’s U.S. Government Civil Space & Commercial pursuits. He joined Maxar after serving as Chief Technology Officer & founding Vice President of Engineering for BridgeComm (formerly known as BridgeSat), a start-up focused on commercializing free-space optical communications across space, airborne and terrestrial applications. Previous to that, he has held positions analyzing commercial low-Earth & emerging markets and has led engineering teams across various disciplines supporting the design, integration, testing, launch and operations of GEO communication satellites. Rizwan was a founding Board Member of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Society of Space and Satellites Professionals International (SSPI), which was established to facilitate the bridging between ‘New Space’ and ‘established Space’. Rizwan holds a degree from Duke University in Electrical Engineering.
IridiumGreg Pelton, CTO, Iridium
Pelton joins Iridium from Pryon, an AI company focused on augmented intelligence for the enterprise, where he served as Chief Product Officer. In this role he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s augmented intelligence product portfolio, leading the engineering team and product development efforts. Prior to this, Pelton was Vice President of Collaboration and Devices at Avaya, where he managed a portfolio of voice and video endpoints, soft clients and collaboration services. Before Avaya, he served as CTO and Vice President for Infrastructure Engineering at Polycom and led Cisco’s corporate Technology Center where he worked on the Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) program consisting of developing a router for use in satellites and transitioning of satellite ground networks to multiservice IP networks.
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
OmnispaceBrian Pemberton, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Omnispace
Brian Pemberton leads corporate sales and marketing activities for Omnispace, which is redefining mobile connectivity for the 21st century. In this role, he is responsible for establishing the global distribution strategy, developing the product marketing strategy, and building the brand for the world’s first seamless, 5G-based ‘one global network.’
Brian brings more than 20 years of experience in global wireless, terrestrial and satellite communications to his role. Most recently as the Vice President and General Manager of Iridium Communications Inc.’s Aviation and Maritime businesses, Brian was responsible for ensuring the success of two key global growth initiatives for the company. He led the company’s award-winning broadband initiative, Iridium Certus, which provided unprecedented mobile satellite services for aviation, maritime and terrestrial customers. He also led the development and launch of the Iridium GMDSS enhanced safety service which offered reliable coverage at sea. Prior to that, Brian held senior marketing and engineering roles at commercial and military aviation leader ARINC, which is now part of Collins Aerospace.
Brian holds a master’s degree in business from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech University.
Founder & CEO
SpyGlass GroupKen Peterman, Founder & CEO, SpyGlass Group
Ken Peterman is Founder & CEO, SpyGlass Group, an innovative thought-leading organization that has helped shape aerospace and defense strategic trajectories in the tactical communications,mobile networking, cybersecurity, and satellite sectors since 2012. As a passionate, creative and forward leaning leader in the global aerospace and defense market, Ken serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups where he has been honored with multiple awards, including:
– TEN BEST INNOVATIVE BUSINESS LEADERS – BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR – GAME CHANGER AWARDEE
INDUSTRY TECH OUTLOOK, 2020 – BATTLESPACE MAGAZINE – 2018 VANGUARD MAGAZINE, 2018
Previously, as President, Viasat Government Systems (2013-2021), Ken led a global defense business (>$1B) recognized as a market leader in assured high-capacity satellite communications, tactical networking and Link-16 datalinks, information assurance and cybersecurity, hybrid adaptive networking and blended air/ground situational awareness. Under Ken’s leadership, Viasat built a culture of passionately focusing on the warfighter’s mission and applying technical innovation to empower the warfighter in new and different ways, proactively creating technology-enabled operational capabilities in unprecedented ways some never thought possible. Ken led Viasat’s transformation to become the fastest organically growing US defense company for six consecutive years. Viasat grew to become a prime capabilities provider to the US DoD and allied forces, with a commitment to connecting the world’s toughest missions and ensuring that mission operators have the trusted information they need, when and where they need it most.
Previously, as President, ITT/Exelis Communications and Electronic Warfare Systems (2007-2013), Ken led a global defense and aerospace business >$1B with over 3,000 employees in 12 states plus the United Kingdom. Portfolios included tactical and satellite communications systems, information assurance and cybersecurity solutions, global positioning systems (GPS), electronic protection and counter IED systems, and integrated command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems for U.S. and allied forces in over 35 countries. (Note that ITT/Exelis spun out of ITT in 2011 and was then acquired by L3Harris in 2015.)
A distinguished leader in aerospace and defense, Ken has enjoyed successful executive leadership tenures at Viasat, ITT/Exelis, Rockwell Collins and Raytheon. Broadly respected as a thought leader and innovator among US and international senior leaders, he currently serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups. Ken received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (high honors) from Tri-State University (now Trine) and completed executive programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Pennsylvania State University.
AnuvuMike Pigott, EVP Connectivity, Anuvu
Mike began his career practicing law representing numerous technology startups in the areas of venture capital and related financing, intellectual property, government regulation and mergers and acquisition. Mike then moved on to serve on the executive team for Row 44, an innovative startup delivering inflight connectivity and entertainment. In 2013, Mike managed the legal aspects of Row 44’s successful IPO via a SPAC transaction with Global Eagle Entertainment, and then moved on to take on various business roles on the management team of Global Eagle. Mike currently serves as EVP Connectivity at Global Eagle responsible for the delivery of connectivity and entertainment services to the airline, cruise, commercial shipping, large yacht, enterprise and government markets. Mike holds a degree in Political Economy and Philosophy from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
Ground Systems Lead
U.S. Space ForceBianca Prumo, Ground Systems Lead, U.S. Space Force
Quilty AnalyticsChris Quilty, President, Quilty Analytics
Chris is the president of Quilty Analytics, an independent research and consulting firm that provides strategy, competitive benchmarking, financial analysis, and investment diligence on all aspects of the Satellite & Space industry.
Prior to establishing Quilty Analytics in 2016, Chris served as a sell-side research analyst with Raymond James for 20 years, publishing hundreds of company-specific, macro, sector, and thematic research reports on the industrial, defense, space, wireless, and communications industries. Chris is widely-acknowledged as the leading Wall Street analyst on the Satellite & Space sector and has participated in 30 capital markets transactions over the past five years valued at over $2.5 billion
Chris received a BS degree in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1994.
VP of Business Development
Saturn Satellite NetworksKevin Reyes, VP of Business Development, Saturn Satellite Networks
Nearly 40 years in the aerospace industry, Mr. Reyes joined Saturn Satellite Networks in January 2021 and is responsible for all satellite sales and leases. Prior to joining Saturn, Reyes held engineering and business development positions at Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas, The Boeing Company, Sea Launch, and International Launch Services for both launch services and satellite sales. After the formation of ULA, Mr. Reyes was responsible for all commercial Delta II and Delta IV launch service sales.
Mr. Reyes has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the California State University, Stanislaus; Master of Science degree in Systems Management; and a Master of Science degree in Systems Architecting and Engineering from the University of Southern California.
VP Sales & Marketing
Mission MicrowaveSteve Richeson, VP Sales & Marketing, Mission Microwave
Steve Richeson joined Mission Microwave in 2017 and is responsible for the company’s global sales and marketing. He has over 30 years of Satellite and Radio Frequency (RF) experience in engineering and executive roles across the wireless and satellite communications industry including positions at Harris Corporation, EchoStar, Scientific-Atlanta, GTE Spacenet International, Radiation Systems SATCOM Technologies, and Schlumberger. As a Schlumberger Field Engineer Steve launched the LOGNET service in the Gulf of Mexico with a portable VSAT terminal on a semi-submersible drilling platform – in 1986. This was the first commercial mobile VSAT system. Steve is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Registered Professional Engineer. He earned his engineering degree at Georgia Tech and an MBA at Georgia State University.
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.
COMSYSJeremy Rose, Partner, COMSYS
Jeremy Rose is a Partner at COMSYS LLP, a satellite communications consulting firm based in London. Mr Rose is responsible for satellite system consultancy within COMSYS – advising clients on implementation strategy for new telecommunication and satellite technologies, as well as financial due diligence and litigation support. He also manages the firm’s technical due diligence teams, covering both spacecraft and ground segment matters. Since founding COMSYS in 1983, Mr Rose has been involved in many areas of satellite communication technology and marketing, and over the past twenty years has been primarily involved in commercial and market due diligence and expert witness work. Mr Rose also conducts COMSYS’ series of seminars on “Satellite Communications for Non-Technical Professionals”. Public versions of the seminar have been held in London, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Johannesburg, with in-house versions being held for a number of satellite operator, service provider, financial and legal and end-use customers.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Wavestream, a Gilat SubsidiaryDr. Jim Rosenberg, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Wavestream, a Gilat Subsidiary
Dr. Rosenberg is a co-founder of Wavestream Corporation, a leading manufacturer of SSPAs, BUCs, and transceivers for satellite communications. He serves as Wavestream’s Chief Technology Officer.
He is co-inventor of the pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistor (pHEMT), and of the Grid Amplifier, a chip-level spatial combiner capable of efficiently combining the outputs of hundreds of transistors in a single combining step. He is author/co-author of over 50 publications in refereed journals and conference proceeding on semiconductor devices, semiconductor processing, and microwave/mm-wave amplifiers and sources, and co-author of a textbook on engineering modeling and analysis. He is inventor/co-inventor on 13 US patents and 20 non-US patents.
He received the Sc.B. Degree in Engineering from Brown University, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from U. C. Berkeley, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.
He was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Fellowship, Faculty Development Awards from both IBM Corporation and AT&T, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. Member of Tau Beta Pi.
Serving as Deputy Manager of JPL’s MicroDevices Lab, he oversaw the start-up of the laboratory, and led the development of new high-speed optical communications products as Director of Engineering at GPD Optoelectronics. He has held professorships at Brown University and Harvey Mudd College, and was a Research Associate at California Institute of Technology.
IntegrasysAlvaro Sanchez, President, Integrasys
Alvaro Sanchez is Integrasys CEO, Marquess of Antella (Noble Title 1649), and Professor at IE Business School. Alvaro is Software and Industrial engineer by European University and a master’s degree in business by ESIC Business School.
Alvaro during the last 10 years has worked at Integrasys as Management, Sales Executive roles where he was very successful growing the sales, revenue, profit, and responsibilities within the company; and previous to that he was working at CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research as a RF Engineer measuring timing in a Nanosecond Synchronization for measuring the Neutrino Speed.
KippsDeSanto & CoKarl Schmidt, Managing Director, KippsDeSanto & Co
Mr. Schmidt is a Managing Director at KippsDeSanto & Co., recently acquired by Capital One’s commercial bank, and co-heads the Aerospace & Defense Group, where he focuses on sellside and buyside M&A advisory engagements and sourcing growth capital. Key areas of experience includes space, defense electronics, and armaments. Prior to joining KippsDeSanto & Co., Mr. Schmidt worked at a competing investment bank where he helped create a leading Aerospace·Defense·Government Services industry banking group. Notable space-related clients and assignments include multiple General Dynamics space businesses, BEI Precision, Orbital Sciences, GeoEye, and other space-component businesses.
Leading up to his entry into investment banking, Mr. Schmidt served in various combat arms assignments in the US Army across the globe and in various Joint and Army staffs working on classified intelligence assessments, equipment modernization, and weapons testing. Mr. Schmidt earned a B.S. in (aeronautical) engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.S. in operations research from the Naval Post Graduate School, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7, 63).
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 computing systems revolutionizing SW-defined satellites. With an 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 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.
Aitech Defense SystemsPratish Shah, General Manager, Aitech Defense Systems
Pratish brings 30 years of engineering, business development, marketing and management experience across enterprise, consumer electronics and defense industries to Aitech. In addition to leading the American business unit, Pratish helps develop the company’s global growth initiatives as well as manage its technology offerings.
For 10 years prior to joining the company, he lead global military defense companies, identifying new opportunities, leading mergers and acquisitions and building successful businesses
President of the Commercial Group
Comtech Satellite Network TechnologiesDr. Vagan Shakhgildian, President of the Commercial Group, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies
Vagan Shakhgildian was named President of the Commercial Group of Comtech Satellite Network Technologies in June 2021. He joined Comtech in March 2021, as part of the acquisition of Canada-based UHP Networks. As the CEO of UHP Networks, he led the company from a virtual start-up to a market leader in high-performance VSAT systems. Prior to that Dr. Shakhgildian was the President and COO of Advantech Wireless, Head of Research at Adaptive Broadband and held senior R&D positions with Motorola and Signal Processors. Dr. Shakhgildian holds advanced degrees in mathematics and electronic engineering, as well as an MBA from the London Business School.
VP - Technology, Media and Telecom Group
Goldman SachsShireen Sharma, VP - Technology, Media and Telecom Group, Goldman Sachs
Shireen is a Vice President in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Group in the Investment Banking Division (IBD) of Goldman Sachs.
Shireen is focused on M&A and capital markets activities for companies in both traditional and emerging telecom / satellites / space. Most recently she advised on AT&T’s ~$100B merger of Warner Media with Discovery, and AT&T’s ~$16B DIRECTV joint venture with TPG.
Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Shireen held investment banking roles in New York and Australia. She earned a Bachelors of Business (Applied Finance) from Western Sydney University, and Bachelor of Laws from Sydney University.
Exodus OrbitalsDennis Silin, CEO, Exodus Orbitals
Dennis Silin is a Canadian entrepreneur, founder of Exodus Orbitals, one of the first companies that provides service for deployment of software payloads into space, using experience acquired from participating in European Space Agency OPS-SAT mission. He had a long and successful career as software developer in multiple companies, but his true passion was always space exploration. Before starting to work full-time as CEO of Exodus Orbitals in 2019, his other contributions in this area included participating in multiple NASA Space App hackathons and presenting his paper on interstellar travel at 2011 NASA/DARPA Hundred Year Starship conference. His education included BSc in Computer Science from Ryerson University and MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University.
President and CEO
KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICESRolf Skatteboe, President and CEO, KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICES
Head of Communications
KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICESNina Soleng, Head of Communications, KSAT - KONGSBERG SATELLITE SERVICES
Nina has more than 10 years of experience in the satellite industry, having held various positions while at KSAT. With a background from publishing and content marketing, she is currently responsible for the company´s communication across the business units.
Representing KSAT, Nina travels to countries around the world speaking on panels and seminars, engaging government and commercial stakeholders.
In her previous role as International Sales Manager, Nina’s main focus was Maritime Monitoring services based on SAR data (Synthetic Aperture Radar). KSAT provides oil spill monitoring and vessel detection services globally and has pioneered the industry with pushing the timelines for Near-Real-Time (NRT) delivery of actionable information- leveraging the global ground network, especially the unique Svalbard station.
Nina has had the opportunity to work with several of the most significant international oil companies (IOC´s), government authorities, coastguards and other stakeholders with key focus areas in Latin America, South America, and the Middle East.
Her portfolio also included the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), an Agency providing technical assistance and support to the European Commission and Member States on maritime safety, pollution by ships, and maritime security.
Nina is former Chairman of the Norwegian Oil Spill Control Association, (NOSCA), a non- profit association dedicated to promoting products and services within global oil spill preparedness and response, representing more than 30 Norwegian companies.
She lives in the Arctic Capital of Tromsø in Norway- an ideal place for Polar Ground Stations and cross-country skiing.
SpeedcastJoe Spytek, CEO, Speedcast
Joe joined Speedcast in February 2020 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in January 2021. He has more than 25 years of experience in leadership and international business. Prior to joining Speedcast, Joe served as the Founder and CEO of ITC Global, providing end-to-end satellite communications to energy, mining and maritime companies operating in remote and harsh environments; prior to the business being sold to Panasonic’s mobility communications division.
Joe has previously built several successful international telecommunications companies and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Head of Aerospace & Defense Investment Banking,
Canaccord GenuityJohn Stack, Head of Aerospace & Defense Investment Banking,, Canaccord Genuity
John Stack, Managing Director, Head of Aerospace & Defense Investment Banking, has 25 years’ global strategy, business development and M&A experience focusing on publicly-held and private companies.
Mr. Stack previously was VP, Strategy & Business Development and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Cessna Aircraft Company, where he led the Columbia Aircraft acquisition. Prior to that, he was Director, Strategy Development & International at Textron, where he helped reshape the company’s business portfolio and worked with company presidents on strategic plans, operational challenges and growth. During his career, he has led project, M&A and joint venture teams in more than 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and he lived in Switzerland for more than four years.
Mr. Stack holds a degree in Business Administration from Bryant University and an MBA from Fordham University. He is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. He also is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and proficient in French.
Founder & Chairman
MansatChris Stott, Founder & Chairman, Mansat
Chris Stott serves as the Executive Chairman of ManSat. Chris cofounded ManSat in 1998 with his father, Bryan, and over the following 20 years grew the company as its President and CEO to become the largest commercial provider of satellite spectrum in the global space industry. Chris also serves as the Chair of IceSat, ManSat’s subsidiary company in Iceland.
In 2000 Chris left his position as Director of International Commercialization and Sales with Lockheed Martin Space Operations to become ManSat’s President. Prior to his work with Lockheed Martin, Chris was an executive with the McDonnell Douglas and the Boeing Company working in International Business Development on the Delta Launch Vehicle program.
SIA - Satellite Industry AssociationTom Stroup, President, SIA - Satellite Industry Association
As President of SIA, Tom Stroup is the trade association’s lead advocate for regulatory and policy issues of critical importance to SIA’s membership, including spectrum and licensing issues, defense and public safety matters, and export control and international trade issues. He also manages the day-to-day operations of SIA, including member communications, staff leadership and organization of SIA sponsored events.
Prior to joining SIA, Mr. Stroup was with Shared Spectrum Company (SSC), a leading developer of spectrum intelligence technologies, where he served as CEO. For more than a decade, he served as the President of the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). Previous to his position at SSC, he founded and ran several companies in the technology industry, including Columbia Spectrum Management, P-Com Network Services, CSM Wireless, and SquareLoop.
Mr. Stroup holds a BS, summa cum laude, in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota. He is also a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center where he served as Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Manager Spectrum & Connectivity Team
Microsoft Azure SpacePaul Tilghman, Manager Spectrum & Connectivity Team, Microsoft Azure Space
Paul Tilghman is the Senior Director of Azure Spectrum Technologies at Microsoft, where he focuses on the intersection of wireless communications, software radio, and AI technologies with the cloud. The team is responsible for cloud-borne software defined radio, and access to Azure anywhere on the planet, at any security level through terrestrial (5G) and space-based (SATCOM) wireless communications.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2019, Paul was a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he defined and led cornerstone programs of the nation’s wireless & AI research portfolio. While at DARPA Paul fielded the first Electronic Warfare systems to employ AI, created a program to build next-generation waferscale super computers for wireless emulation, launched the RF Machine Learning Systems program which created the world’s first neural networks designed for RF signal processing, and created the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge in which winning teams created collaborative AI systems to dynamically manage shared spectrum.
Prior to joining DARPA, Mr. Tilghman was a senior research engineer at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories where he led programs in adaptive electronic warfare, signals intelligence and non-cooperative geolocation.
AIR - Artificial Intelligence RedefinedCraig Vachon, CEO, AIR - Artificial Intelligence Redefined
After grad school, Craig couldn’t find a job, so he started a small company. He got extremely lucky and sold that company to a Japanese firm two years later. After a few more very lucky professional experiences (and having lived as an expat for 12 years), Craig decided to spend his efforts helping fellow entrepreneurs solve important human challenges as an angel investor. He joined AIR because he thinks they’re tackling one of the more impactful issues that humanity now faces—how humans will continue to benefit from/steer/trust AI.
Vice President of Space & Satellite Broadband
ViasatRic VanderMeulen, Vice President of Space & Satellite Broadband, Viasat
Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen is the Vice President of Space & Satellite Broadband, Viasat Inc., a global broadband service and technology company. Viasat is the world’s largest operator of GEO Satellite Communication Capacity.
Since 2010, Mr. VanderMeulen is a strategy and thought leader in Viasat’s efforts to serve government and commercial markets with best available broadband networks extending reach and accessibility of broadband internet service, globally. He is engaged in the company’s innovations in designing highest-capacity satellites, secure ground infrastructure, and terminal technologies to provide broadband to fixed and mobile customers. He applies Viasat’s High Throughput/Capacity Satellite technologies to US Government and International markets for Ground Segment, Customer Premise Equipment, and highly assured Satcom-as-a-Service solutions.
He is an avid proponent of the Space and Satellite Communication industry, has published numerous papers on Space resilience and deterrence, and served on Boards of several industry organizations including Space & Satellite Professionals International, Satellite Industry Association, and Mobile Satellite Users Association.
Mr. VanderMeulen joined Viasat in 2001, as Vice President General Manager for Viasat’s Government Satcom business responsible for all Viasat’s government Satcom programs through 2009. Bringing both engineering and business expertise during his more than 35 years in the Satellite Communications industry, Mr. VanderMeulen has held senior general manager and program manager positions at Viasat, The Boeing Company responsible for Boeing’s Space and Communication Group new ventures, and Rockwell Collins responsible for design completion and production of multiple Satcom Systems including Milstar, SMART-T, SCAMP, and others.
Ric was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.
Space MicroDr. Bert Vermeire, CTO, Space Micro
Chief Technical Officer PI/PM Education: MSEE, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Ph.D. in EE & CE, The University of Arizona Dr. Vermeire joined Space Micro from Arizona State University, where he was an associate professor of research and director of the Wireless and Nanotechnology research programs. He has been the principal investigator on a wide variety of research topics, including radiation effects on microcircuits and novel design techniques for mixed-signal circuits using CMOS and SiGe fabrication technologies. His recent projects include the development of Radiation Hardened by Design (RHBD) integrated circuits under the Trusted Foundry program.
Dr. Vermeire spent 3 years as CTO at Ridgetop Group in Tucson before joining Arizona State University as a research professor in 2005. He holds 7 patents and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Vermeire received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 1991 and a Ph. D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1999.
President & COO
Tyvak Nano-Satellite SystemsDr. Marco Villa, President & COO, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
Dr. Marco Villa grew up in Italy and developed an early passion for airplanes and spacecraft. After obtaining his private pilot license and serving in the Italian Parachutists Corp, Dr. Villa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1999 from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Throughout his career Dr. Villa has worked on some of the most advanced and cutting-edge programs in the industry, from technology demonstration satellites to leading commercial efforts, and he has developed a unique expertise that combines management, finance and technical knowledge.
Following a brief stint as a structural analysis at Carlo Gavazzi Space in Milano, Italy, he moved to the United States and earned his Doctoral Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2005 while also leading a small satellite development projects. Dr. Villa also earned his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management while working as system engineer and project manager for Swales Aerospace and as a contractor for NASA and the Air Force. This period provided Dr. Villa with a broad understanding of spacecraft systems as he performed leading roles for many innovative small satellite and launch vehicle systems, including the Air Force sponsored TacSat 3 spacecraft and the Autonomous Flight Safety System.
In 2007, Dr. Villa joined Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he served as Director of Mission Operations, with direct responsibility over the definition and execution of the Dragon spacecraft’s mission to the International Space Station. Dr. Villa was integral in the effort to secure and execute $2.5B in contracts for ISS cargo resupply and crewed Dragon development programs while also supporting the sales and business development department. Before leaving SpaceX in 2013, Dr. Villa played an important role in the on-going effort to develop the crewed version of the Dragon capsule, with responsibilities ranging from the definition of the overall concept of operations, to the establishment of the crew training methodology.
In 2010 Dr. Villa and Max Vozoff founded mv2space LLC, a Business Development, Strategy formulation and support services consultancy. Its clients include both start-ups and established companies in the government and commercial space domains, energy, automotive and digital media sectors.
With mv2space, Mr. Villa brings deep experience in strategy formulation and implementation, program management and systems engineering, and has developed advanced financial modeling and analysis tools that, when customized for each client, form the basis for their business plans, strategies and priorities.
Dr. Villa currently serves as the President and COO of Tyvak Nan-Satellite Systems Inc. His responsibilities span from day-to-day management of the company, to direct the company strategic efforts, to acquisition and execution of all nanosatellite opportunities for government, commercial and university customers both nationally and internationally.
Senior Director, Systems Engineering
OneWeb SatellitesAsanga Wedisinghe, Senior Director, Systems Engineering, OneWeb Satellites
Asanga Wedisinghe is currently a senior director and head of systems engineering at OneWeb. In this role, he is responsible for the end-to-end architecture, specifications, functional flows, and technical baseline of the OneWeb system. Prior to that, he served as head of systems architecture at OneWeb, responsible for the end-to-end architecture, interfaces, and concept of operations of the OneWeb system.
Prior to OneWeb, Asanga served as a Lead Senior Principal Engineer at SiriusXM satellite radio, leading the technical effort for producing, testing, and deploying a combined baseband and ground network of two disparate networks. Prior to SiriusXM, Asanga served as a technical director in satellite systems engineering at Ligardo Network (formerly known as LightSquared). Asanga spent the early part of his career at Hughes Network Systems, working on modem and end-to-end system development for various satellite systems- Inmarsat RBGAN, Thuraya, and ICO to name a few. Asanga received a MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a BS in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BA in Physics from Ohio Wesleyan University.
VP, Business Development
Kymeta CorporationRob Weitendorf, VP, Business Development, Kymeta Corporation
Rob, a satellite industry veteran who began his VSAT career in the early days of aero platforms, co-founded Lepton Global Solutions nearly eight years ago as he was looking for ways 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.
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.
CEO & Co-founder
Turion SpaceRyan Westerdahl, CEO & Co-founder, Turion Space
Ryan Westerdahl is CEO and one of the Co-Founders of Y-Combinator backed startup Turion Space. At Turion Space Ryan leads the team of engineers who are building spacecraft to deorbit space debris and service existing satellites. Prior to founding Turion Space Ryan comes from an 8.5 year run at SpaceX where he worked as a propulsion dynamicist working on various aspects of propulsion development, vehicle analysis, anomaly resolution, and military and crew certification.
Senior Vice President
AvL TechnologiesTony Wilkey, Senior Vice President, AvL Technologies
Tony Wilkey is Senior Vice President at AvL Technologies with responsibility for US Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. Tony has 30 years of experience in satellite communications in engineering, sales, program management, and general management roles. He began his career at Ford Aerospace in Palo Alto, California (1981-1983) before joining RSI SatCom Technologies (1983-1987, 1992-1995), Georgia Tech Research Institute (1987-1992), COMSAT RSI (1995-1998), and TriPoint Global (1998-2000). Most recently he served as Director of Antenna Systems Business Development for ViaSat (2000-2008), a $500MM US satellite ground systems equipment provider, before joining AvL Technologies in 2008. Tony earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1981 and his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1983.
Vice President of National Security Space
Redwire.Spence Wise, Vice President of National Security Space, Redwire.
Spence Wise serves as the Vice President of National Security Space at Redwire. In this position, he is responsible for the transition of Redwire’s mission critical space solutions and technologies to key Department of Defense and Intelligence Community customers.
Prior to joining Redwire in February, he held various roles at L3Harris Technologies focused on the deployment and commercialization of new products across all phases of the development lifecycle. In particular he led the creation of seedling R&D efforts to advance High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) space antennas; awarded a patent for a novel Oil and Gas process; and led new product deployment programs supporting such missions areas as: missile warning / missile tracking, mobile mesh networks, & smallsat systems.