Harriet Brettle is a business analyst at Astroscale where she is working to develop a commercial solution to the threat of space debris. She has also been an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) since 2016, serving as executive secretary, strategic partnerships coordinator and, most recently, programming lead for the 2019 Space Generation Congress. Harriet is a co-founder of the London Space Network, organising monthly networking events to strengthen the UK space community.
Harriet recently completed a masters in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to Caltech, Harriet worked in finance at the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, providing technical support for quantitative impact studies and undertaking risk analysis of global financial institutions. Harriet has a keen interest in public engagement with space science, interactions between different fields relevant to space exploration, and the future of new space economy.
History with SGAC
SGAC completely changed my life and I am so grateful for the opportunities it has provided me with. I am extremely glad to be able to contribute to such a fantastic organisation and will continue doing so!
I first learned of SGAC when I was working in a bank and searching for ways to pursue my dream of working in the space industry. I remember it distinctly, I was sitting in my tiny apartment in New York, googling space organisations I could join and stumbled upon SGAC. Little did I know how much it would change my life! I applied for every vacancy on the SGAC webpage and, at first, got nowhere. Fortunately I persisted, and SGAC took a chance on me as the executive co-secretary. The role gave me the opportunity to understand how SGAC works, as well as engaging with different people and teams throughout the organisation. The following year I was awarded the SGAC Global Grant award that allowed me to attend my first SGAC event, the Space Generation Fusion Forum!
The Fusion Forum was such a transformative experience for me. It opened my eyes up to the range of opportunities within the space industry and I met so many inspiring people, both delegates and speakers. I went into SGFF working in a bank, not knowing how I was going to make it into the space industry, and left feeling incredibly motivated to be part of the amazing community that SGAC introduced me to. Following Fusion Forum, I applied to join the Strategic Partnerships team and co-coordinator alongside Mitchell Scher. When I started, I felt like I had so much to learn but the entire SGAC team was so supportive; I learnt so much from their experience. I’m proud that during my two years as SPT coordinator, our team grew from two to seven and we supported SGAC events around the world. I am so grateful to Mitchell, the partnerships team, and everyone else I had the pleasure to work with.
It was through volunteering with SGAC that I was able to gain experience and exposure to the space community. Furthermore, SGAC gave me confidence and professional development opportunities that allowed me to begin my first full-time job in the space industry this year. I am continuously working to pass this experience forward to others through my volunteering efforts within SGAC.
Through SGAC I’ve been lucky enough to have some incredible experiences. I met the space company CEOs, astronauts and leaders of space agencies. I’ve represented SGAC in panels alongside the director of the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, and spoken at events across the world from the US, to the UAE, to Germany. As part of the Space Generation Congress organising team this year, I moderated a panel during the Space Night and it really hit me when I was up on the stage how far I had come. SGAC is the organisation that got me there.
To me, SGAC embodies my deep belief that there is a place for everyone is space, regardless of background, technical specialism and nationality. I strive to support SGAC as it supports the next generation in becoming leaders of tomorrow. Ultimately, SGAC is about the people that make up our fantastic organisation.