Current Advisory Board Members
SGAC’s Advisory Board is designed to give strategic direction and advice to SGAC in order to help guide the organisation in its fulfillment of its goals and objectives. It provides comment substantively on the work of the organisation and suggests ways in which to improve its functions and its engagement. The board is composed of twelve board members, each of whom serves for a one-year term. Our Advisory Board members are influential members of the international space community who have been strong supporters of the goals of SGAC and of the organisation itself.
Members in alphabetical order:
|Abimbola H. Alale||Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)|
|Andrea Jaime||Business Development Manager at OHB System|
|Clayton Mowry||Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience, Blue Origin|
|Danielle Wood||Assistant Professor in the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA|
|Fatma Ali AlSumatti||Officer – ST Planning & Follow up Section, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC)|
|Jonathan Hung||President and Founder of the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA)|
|Kai-Uwe Schrogl||Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency; President of the International Institute of Space Law|
|Miglena Zhekova||Project Manager at SMG Aerospace|
|Nobu Okada||Founder and CEO, Astroscale|
|Pablo Gabriel de León||Director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota (UND)|
|Reinhold Ewald||Professor of Astronautics and Space Stations, University of Stuttgart; Pre-2009 ESA Astronaut|
|Steve Eisenhart||Senior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation|
|Valanathan (Val) Munsami||CEO, South African National Space Agency|
Abimbola H. Alale
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)
Business Development Manager at OHB System
Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience, Blue Origin
Assistant Professor in the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Officer – ST Planning & Follow up Section, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC)
President of the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA)
Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl
Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency; President of the International Institute of Space Law
Project Manager at SMG Aerospace
Founder and CEO, Astroscale
Nobu founded Astroscale in Singapore in 2013 due to a strong desire to address the growing threat of space debris. He used his personal funds as seed money and hired a team in Singapore in 2013 and opened an R&D office in Japan in 2015, a UK office in 2017, and a US office in 2019 whilst raising US $132M USD capital. The team call themselves, “Space Sweepers” and their mission is to secure long-term space flight safety by developing space debris removal technologies.
Nobu is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is also a member of The Future of Space Technologies Council, World Economic Forum and International Astronautical Federation. He also served as a member of the Subcommittee on Space Civil Use, and Space Industry at the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan. Nobu won the Forbes JAPAN “Start-up of The Year 2019” and was listed as Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2017.
Prior to Astroscale, Nobu was an IT entrepreneur and strategy consultant, and had managed IT companies in Japan, China, India and Singapore. He led one company to a successful IPO. Before joining the IT industry, he worked for McKinsey & Company and the Japanese Government in the Ministry of Finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Tokyo in 1995 and an MBA from the Krannert School of Business, Purdue University in 2001.
When he was a teenager, Nobu attended a camp at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in the United States where he met Japan’s first astronaut, Mamoru Mohri. He received the handwritten message, “Space is waiting for your challenge.” and he has been inspired to work on space ever since.
Pablo Gabriel de León
Director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota (UND)
Senior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation
Dr Valanathan (Val) Munsami
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – South African National Space Agency
Dr Munsami holds a PhD in Physics and has a research background in Solid State Physics and Space Physics. His research focus in space physics was on magnetospheric physics, particularly on the use of artificial intelligence and the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) for the study of magnetic storms. He also holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, a Space Studies Program Diploma from the International Space University, and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law from the University of Pretoria.
In 2002, he joined the Department of Trade and Industry, as Deputy Director, working on issues relating to the non- proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the space sector. In this portfolio he dealt with the import and export of dual-use technologies, relating specifically to nuclear and space technologies. He also provided technical support to the South African Council for Space Affairs.
In 2005, he joined the National Research Foundation, as a Manager, responsible for implementing South Africa’s international science and technology partnerships. He oversaw the implementation of South Africa’s bilateral science and technology agreements, the management of South Africa’s membership to a number of science and technology multilateral fora, and oversight of the South African chapter of the International Scientific Union (ICSU).
In 2007, he joined the Department of Science and Technology as Director (and was later promoted to Chief Director) for Space Science and Technology, where he was involved in the development of South Africa’s National Space Strategy and National Space Policy and oversaw the establishment of SANSA. Within the same institution, he was promoted to Deputy Director- General: Research, Development and Innovation, where he was responsible for Space Science, Radio Astronomy, Biotechnology and Health, Hydrogen and Energy, and Innovations Instruments, which included oversight of SANSA, the Technology Innovation Agency and the
National Intellectual Property Management Office.
On winning the bid to co-host the SKA in 2012, he then became the Chief Specialist for Astronomy and African Space Science. In this role, he led the development of South Africa’s Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Strategy and the SKA Readiness Strategy. He also chaired the African Union Space Working Group, which was tasked with the development of the African Space Policy and the African Space Strategy that was approved by the African Union Heads of State in January 2016. These instruments have now laid the foundation for the African space programme.
As of January 2017, he has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANSA. As CEO, he is responsible for the development and implementation of appropriate strategies for the Agency and developing and maintaining effective management teams and management processes that enable the Agency and the local space sector to function optimally. He is currently a member of the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA) and is a Vice President of the International Astronautic Federation (IAF) for Developing Countries and Emerging Nations. He has also been recently inducted as an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).