US Governance

SGAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to students and young professionals (aged 18-35) in the space sector. Our aim is to represent the voice of the next generation in space policy and provide opportunities for professional development to young members of the space community. 

SGAC is registered as a non-profit in Austria, headquartered in Vienna, that includes the Executive Committee, Advisory Board, and all SGAC members. In 2001, SGAC established a 501c(3) non-profit organization registered in the USA, a separate SGAC entity for supporting SGAC operations in and from the USA.

SGAC US Entity Summary 

  • SGAC is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization registered in the District of Columbia, USA in 2001
  • See SGAC’s profile on Guidestar 
  • The US Board of Directors includes:
    • Class A: Independent senior members of the space Industry
    • Class B: SGAC Chairs 
  • Officers: President, Treasurer, Secretary

Information about the US entity of SGAC can be found on:

US Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the US Entity currently consists of:

  • Class A directors: 
    • Carissa Christensen (Chair)
    • Lance Bush 
    • Michael Brett 
    • Marshall Smith
    • Chris Johnson 
  • Class B Directors:   
    • Harriet Brettle, SGAC Chair
    • Anthony Yuen, SGAC Co-Chair 

SGAC Endowment Fund 

A key role of the US Board of Directors will be to support the establishment of the SGAC endowment fund. We have recently received a generous donation from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future and intend to invest a substantial portion to provide recurring revenue to support long term growth for SGAC and sustainably provide more scholarships that enable access to international, regional, and local space events for our members. 

About the SGAC US Class A Directors

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is the Space Law Advisor at the Secure World Foundation, and a Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the Georgetown University Law Center where he co-teaches the Space Law Seminar. He is also a Faculty Member at the International Space University and a Member of the International Institute of Space Law.  Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor’s of Art degree from Michigan State University, a Juris Doctor from New York Law School, and an Advanced Masters in Law in Air and Space Law from Leiden University’s International Institute of Air and Space Law.

Michael Brett

Michael is an engineer and entrepreneur bringing a range of leadership experience from start-ups, volunteer organizations, and enterprises. His professional work includes leading teams and businesses involved in developing deep tech, probabilistic analysis, and high-performance computing. Michael was a highly involved member of SGAC for over 15 years, first joining the organization in 2002 and ‘aging out’ in 2018. His time with SGAC included a term as Treasurer from 2008 to 2010 and Co-Chair from 2010 to 20212.

Lance Bush

Lance Bush is President and CEO of Challenger Center, a leading nonprofit STEM education organization. Under Dr. Bush’s leadership, Challenger Center was recognized with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award for its work to promote a public understanding of science and engineering. Dr. Bush started his career at NASA as one of the chief engineers designing the next generation space transportation. Prior to Challenger Center, Dr. Bush served as the Chief Strategic Officer at Paragon Space Development Corporation, a space vehicle design and build company. Dr. Bush holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. in technology policy and management from the Pennsylvania State University, along with a SSP from International

Carissa Christensen

Carissa Christensen is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of BryceTech companies in the US and the UK. Ms. Christensen sits on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Space and the Advisory Council of the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy. 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.

Marshall Smith

Marshall joined Nanoracks in August 2021 as the Senior Vice President for Space Systems. In his role, Marshall will oversee the development of Nanoracks’ customer-focused commercial space stations, Outpost platforms, and additional supporting systems, including airlocks and more. Marshall has previously served a long and distinguished career at NASA, most recently as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Systems Engineering, Director for Human Exploration and Director for Cross-Program Systems Engineering. Marshall received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is the recipient of the NASA Systems Engineering Excellence of the Year Award and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.