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:

Andrea Jaime Institutional Business Developer, ISAR Aerospace
Anthony Yuen Specialist Consultant at McKinsey
Davide Petrillo Managing Director of Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe
Debra Facktor Head of US Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space and Defense
Harriet Brettle Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence, European Space Agency (ESA)
Hebe Romero Directora General, Agencia Espacial del Paraguay
Kai-Uwe Schrogl President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL)
Maria-Gabriella Sarah Director General’s Services – Strategy and Development, European Space Agency (ESA)
Nobu Okada Founder and CEO, Astroscale
Steve Eisenhart Senior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation
Steven Freeland Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University
Valanathan (Val) Munsami Deputy CEO, Saudi Space Agency (SSA)
Andrea Jaime
Andrea JaimeInstitutional Business Developer – ISAR Aerospace
Davide Petrillo
Davide Petrillo Managing Director of Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe
Debra Facktor
Debra FacktorHead of US Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space and Defense
Andrea Jaime Albalat (Andrea Jaime) is a Spanish aerospace engineer that was born in Onda, Spain. She earned in 2007 a double undergrad- uate degree in both Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona. During these studies, she spent one year at the North East of Wales Institute (NEWI) in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Andrea earned her masters in Aero- space Science and Technology, also from UPC in Barcelona (2010). Additionally, Andrea is an alumni of the International Space University’s (ISU’s) Summer Studies Program (SSP) 2009 which was hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California, USA. Andrea also completed the CVA (Communauté des Villes Ariane) Summer School, hosted by Rome in 2011. She started her professional career working as part of the organisational committees of several work- shops and conferences including, ISU’s SSP 2008 in Barcelona. After, Andrea worked at the European Space Agency as a Young Graduate Trainee for a year. Based at ESTEC in the Netherlands she worked for the Human Spaceflight and Operations Directorate. In October 2011, she moved to Vienna to work as the Deputy Executive Director of SGAC, which lead her to become the Executive Director in July 2012. In 2015 she moved to Munich, Germany, and started working as Business Development Manager for OHB SE, in the domain of Human Spaceflight and Exploration. Andrea is an enthusiast of space exploration and strongly believes in the power of the space sector for the development and improvement of Earth.

Davide Petrillo has been appointed as Managing Director of Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe (powered by Voyager Space) based in Torino, Italy. Davide brings with him a wealth of experience in the aerospace industry, having previously worked as a business manager for Alten Ltd in London and as a business analyst for Accenture in Milano. In October 2021, he was elected as Vice President for Education and Workforce Development of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), and in 2020, he was appointed as Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) until April 2023. Previously, he was also the team leader of FELDs Experiment selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Drop Your Thesis! 2014 program. In 2015, he won the IAF “Hans Von Muldau Team Award” for the best team project at the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Davide holds an M.Sc. in aerospace engineering from the University of Padova, Italy.

Debra Facktor is the Head of U.S. Space Systems for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. As
such, she is responsible for managing the two businesses within U.S. Space Systems: National
Security Space and Space Exploration. Debra is also on the board of Airbus OneWeb Satellites,
a joint venture operating a state-of-the-art satellite manufacturing facility.

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, and as Vice President of Business
Development and Strategic Planning for Kistler Aerospace Corporation.

Debra is actively engaged as an advisor and mentor in the aerospace community and is a fellow
of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American
Astronautical Society (AAS). She sits on the University of Michigan aerospace engineering
Industrial Advisory Board, the Advisory Committee for the Intelligence and National Security
Alliance (INSA), and the Future Space Leaders Foundation board. She is also 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.

Harriet Brettle
Harriet BrettleHead of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency
Hebe Luisa Romero Talavera
Hebe Luisa Romero TalaveraDirector General, Agencia Espacial del Paraguay
Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl
Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe SchroglPresident of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL)

Harriet Brettle is the Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency in the Connectivity & Secure Communications (CSC) directorate. In this role, she is responsible for analysing the dynamic satellite communication market, assessing trends and opportunities, and understanding their impact on the European satcom sector. Harriet is a co-founder of the London Space Network, organising monthly networking events to strengthen the UK space community. She is a member of the International Astronautical Federation’s Entrepreneurship & Investment Committee and Young Professionals/ Workforce Development Committee.

Prior to joining ESA, Harriet was Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale, where she worked to advance commercialisation efforts for debris removal and in-orbit servicing. 

Harriet is a long standing member of SGAC and committed its mission to support the next generation of space leaders. She is currently co-lead of the alumni team, and has previously served as Chair (2020-2022), on the SGC organising team, strategic partnerships coordinator, and executive co-secretary. 

With a background in finance having worked at the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and degrees in planetary science and mathematics, Harriet is passionate about commercial sustainability and emerging market opportunities within the space ecosystem.

Hebe Romero graduated from Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, the leading university in Paraguay, where she got her law degree in 1997 and public notary in 2000. After successful completion, she had continued her education in Didactics in Higher Education and, PhD in Legal Sciences from Universidad Católica de Asunción (Thesis in Process). She got her LLC license: Public Administration (2012). In addition, she had completed the Aerospace Strategy and Policy program (Air Force of Paraguay – 2013). From 2002, she is working as tenured assistant professor at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción, teaching Aeronautical and Space Law, and Public International Law. In 2006 and 2011, she worked as professor, lecturing on the legal of energy at the Universidad Nacional de Itapúa. Hebe Romero professional experience as an attorney and law practice started from 1997. In the public sector, from 1998, she was hired to work as an attorney of Administración Nacional de Electricidad (ANDE), the government utility company in Paraguay. From 2010, she is appointed to be the Director of Legal Affairs of ANDE. She was responsible of providing ANDE legal advice, as well as, instructing in several training courses and, on current developing legal frameworks. From 2015, she is a member of the Ibero-American Institute of Aeronautical Law and Space and Commercial Aviation. From 2016, she is a member and general secretary of Aerospace Research Center of Paraguay. Hebe Romero is an International Deputy Director and National Point Contact of ReLaCa Space (Space Latin American and Caribbean Network). She coauthored the book on space law (2017), the first of its kind in Paraguay. Currently, Hebe Romero is working as the Legal and International Affairs Director of the Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP). From 2018, she is part of the current list of Specialized Panel of Arbitrators established pursuant to the optional rules arbitration of disputes relating to outer space activities. She participated as a Faculty Advisor in the Latin American Test Round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition in Bogotá, Colombia (may, 2019) and virtually in May 2020. She participated in the 2019 Summer Course on Space Law and Policy on Natural Disasters in Messina, Italy, organized by ESCL (ESA). She participated as an Instructor in the Online Expert Course in Air Transportation, Aeronautical and Space Law, of the Ibero-American Institute of Aeronautical Law and Space and Commercial Aviation (2020-2021-2022). She participated in the course organized by the OAS: “International Law of Cyber Operations” (2020). She was the coordinator of the first regional art competition “Tu Propia Misión Espacial” with the Space4Women Latam Mentor. She holds a Diploma in International Contracts and Litigation, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires (2020/2021). She participated in the Expert Meeting for Space4Women (UNOOSA/New York 2017, Dubai 2021).

Kai-Uwe Schrogl is the President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), the global association of space lawyers from more than 50 countries. He served as Chair of the Legal Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), the highest body of space law making, from 2014 to 2016. He works as the Special Adviser for Political Affairs in the European Space Agency (ESA). Most recently, he has been co-editing “A Research Agenda for Space Policy” at Edward Elgar Publishing.

Maria-Gabriella Sarah
Maria-Gabriella SarahIn charge of Partnerships with non-space businesses at European Space Agency - ESA
Nobu Okada
Nobu OkadaFounder & CEO of Astroscale
Steve Eisenhart
Steve EisenhartSenior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation

Maria-Gabriella Sarah has a MSc in electrical engineering and has been working in American
Consultancies before joining the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2002.

After a start in the Science Directorate, she held the position of first Agency Risk Coordinator
(Chief Risk Officer) at ESA developing and implementing at Corporate level the Agency Risk
Management framework ESA is using today. She has founded and chaired several networks of
Risk Management practitioners, within and outside ESA.

She is now in charge of Partnerships with non-space businesses. In that context she has
supported the setting up of the Sustainable Development Goals catalogue ESA has put in place
to gather all space projects helping achieve the 17 United Nations SDG’s.

She is the Entrepreneurship Risk Management Committee chairperson at the International
Astronautical Federation (IAF). Since September 2022, she was elected a full member of the
International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and is co-leading a global study on the socio-
economic impacts of New Space.

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 $140M 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.

As head of international affairs, Steve Eisenhart is principally responsible for the Space Foundation’s global strategy and relationships with international space agencies and organizations, foreign embassies and U.S. organizations involved with global space programs. He is directly responsible for the program development and integration of key Space Foundation activities including the annual Space Symposium. He also supervises the Space Foundation’s government affairs activities in the Washington, D.C., office including relationships with government agencies, other space advocacy organizations and associations and corporate interests. Since joining the Space Foundation in 1996, Eisenhart has had a broad range of responsibilities, serving as senior vice president of strategic communications, director of communications and public affairs and communications manager. Eisenhart was a military public affairs official and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Steven Freeland
Steven FreelandProfessor of International Law at Western Sydney University
Dr Valanathan (Val) Munsami
Dr Valanathan (Val) MunsamiDeputy CEO, Saudi Space Agency (SSA)

Steven Freeland is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, where he was previously the Dean of the School of Law, and Professorial Fellow at Bond University. He also holds Visiting or Adjunct positions at various other Universities/Institutes in Copenhagen, Vienna, Toulouse, Hong Kong, Montreal, Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver, Mumbai and London. Prior to becoming an academic, he had a 20-year career as an international commercial lawyer and an investment banker. He is a government-appointed Member of the Australian Space Agency Advisory Board and has been an advisor to the Australian, New Zealand, Norwegian and several other Governments on issues relating to national space legislative frameworks and policy. He represents the Australian Government at Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) meetings and, in June 2021, was appointed by UNCOPUOS as Vice-Chair of a 5-year ‘Working Group on Legal Aspects of Space Resource Activities’. He has also been a Visiting Professional within the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Court, and a Special Advisor to the Danish Foreign Ministry in matters related to the International Criminal Court. He is a co-Principal of specialised space law firm Azimuth Advisory, a Member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on the Future of Space, a previous Director of the International Institute of Space Law (2010-2022), a Member of the Space Law Committee of the International Law Association and a previous Member of the Space Law and War Crimes Committees of the International Bar Association. In 2022, he was presented with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the International Institute of Space Law, the highest accolade awarded by that institution. In addition to co-Editing the Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals book series, he also sits on the Editorial Board / Advisory Board of several internationally recognised academic journals.

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).