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 Business Development Manager at OHB System
Christophe Bonnal Senior Expert, Launcher Directorate – CNES
Debra Facktor Head of US Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space and Defense
Harriet Brettle Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency
Hebe Romero Directora General – Agencia Espacial del Paraguay
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)
Steve Eisenhart Senior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation
Timiebi U. Aganaba-Jeanty Founder of ASU Space Governance Lab, Assistant Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Valanathan (Val) Munsami CEO, South African National Space Agency

Andrea Jaime

Business Development Manager at OHB System

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.

Christophe Bonnal

Senior Expert, Launchers Directorate – CNES

Christophe Bonnal started his career in Aerospatiale (now Ariane Group) in 1984 before joining the French Space Agency (CNES) in 1992. Christophe has worked on all the European launchers, following the complete development of Ariane 5 and preparing all the future European access to space. He also chairs the IAF Space Traffic Management Committee, the IAA Space Debris Committee and coordinates the IAA Space Debris Symposium at IAC. Christophe is the French delegate to IADC, ECSS, ISO, and editor of the IAA Space Reports in the field of Space Debris. He is a full member of IAA and member of the IAF IPC Steering Committee.

Debra Facktor

Head of US Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space and Defense

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

Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency

Harriet Brettle is the Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency in the Telecoms & Integrated Applications (TIA) directorate. Prior to joining ESA, Harriet was Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale, where she led a team to define, model, and analyse commercialisation efforts for debris removal and in-orbit servicing. Harriet is proud to be a longstanding member of SGAC, and served as SGAC Chair in 2020-2022. With a background in finance having worked at the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as a master’s degree in planetary science and bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Harriet is passionate about commercial sustainability and emerging market opportunities within the space ecosystem.

Hebe Luisa Romero Talavera

Director General, Agencia Espacial del Paraguay

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).

Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl

Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency; President of the International Institute of Space Law

Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl is the Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency (ESA, Headquarters in Paris, France). From 2007 to 2011 he was the Director of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria, the leading European think tank for space policy. Prior to this, he was the Head of the Corporate Development and External Relations Department in the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. Previously he also worked with the German Ministry for Post and Telecommunications and the German Space Agency (DARA) in Bonn, Germany. He has been a delegate to numerous international forums and has served from 2014 to 2016 as chairman of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the highest body for space law making, comprising 73 Member States. He also was chairman of various European and global committees (ESA International Relations Committee and two plenary working groups of the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee, the one on the launching State and the other on the registration practice, both leading to UN General Assembly Resolutions). He presented, respectively testified, at hearings of the European Parliament and the U.S. House of Representatives. Kai-Uwe Schrogl is the President of the International Institute of Space Law, Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (recently chairing its Commission on policy, economics and regulations) and the Russian Academy for Cosmonautics as well as Corresponding Member of the French Air and Space Academy. He holds a doctorate degree in political science and lectures international relations as an Honorary Professor at Tübingen University, Germany. Kai-Uwe Schrogl has written or co-edited 15 books and more than 130 articles, reports and papers in the fields of space policy and law as well as telecommunications policy. He launched and edited until 2011 the “Yearbook on Space Policy” and the book series “Studies in Space Policy” both published by ESPI at SpringerWienNewYork. He sits on editorial boards of various international journals in the field of space policy and law (Space Policy, Zeitschrift für Luft- und Weltraumrecht, Studies in Space Law/Nijhoff; previously also Acta Astronautica).

Miglena Zhekova

Project Manager at SMG Aerospace

Miglena is the Project Manager of the Global Aerospace Summit and the Global Space Congress at SMG Aerospace, United Arab Emirates both high-level conferences, traditionally hosted by Mubadala Investment Company and the UAE Space Agency, respectively. Miglena also heads the outreach programme Next Gen Leaders, a focused workforce development initiative that promotes STEM education, brings awareness and inspires young people to pursue careers in space and aerospace. She works closely with the top UAE academic institutions, government bodies and agencies, as well as major UAE and international space and aerospace companies. As part of Next Gen Leaders, Miglena developed the youth and space focused international conference: the Young Space Leaders Forum, as well as the UAE Young Space Leaders Advisory Board in alignment with the UAE Space Agency’s policy. Miglena holds a master’s degree in Public International Law from the University of Oslo, a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of London and a certificate “From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development” from the University of Oxford.

Nobu Okada

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 $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.

Pablo Gabriel de León

Director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota (UND)

Dr. Pablo Gabriel de León has been working in the space field for three decades. He is an aerospace engineer, has a postgraduate degree in space studies and a doctorate in history of science and technology. Dr. de León is the Director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota (UND) and is also a professor of that university. Pablo de León has been also a Principal and Science Investigator in several NASA-funded projects, among which is the development of space suits, and an analog planetary station for the Moon and Mars. Dr. De León was also integration manager on an experimental satellite (Pehuensat-1, and Payload Manager of seven experiments (Project PADE, Argentine Experiments Package) which flew in the Space Shuttle (STS-108). He is also a graduate of the International Space University (SSP ’97, Houston) and was a founding member of the SGAC in Vienna in 1999.

Steve Eisenhart

Senior Vice President – Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation

Steve Eisenhart leads the strategic integration of the public, policy and international affairs of the Space Foundation. He supervises the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. team’s support of the Foundation’s mission and customers, including their government affairs and research and analysis efforts, work with government agencies, other space advocacy organizations and associations, and corporate interests. 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 international space programs. He is directly responsible for the program development and integration of key Space Foundation activities including the widely acclaimed Space Symposium. 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 military public affairs official and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Dr. Timiebi U. Aganaba-Jeanty

 

Founder of the ASU Space Governance Lab, Aassistant Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Dr Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, founder of the ASU Space Governance Lab, is an assistant professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society with a courtesy appointment at the Sandra Day O Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, USA. Timiebi is a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) based in Waterloo, Ontario Canada where she focuses on environmental governance. Timiebi was previously Executive Director of the World Space Week Association coordinating the global response to the United Nations 1999 declaration that World Space Week should be celebrated from Oct 4-10 annually.

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).