My name is Lauren Napier and I have been a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) since 2013. Before I became active with SGAC I didn’t really know much about how to get involved in the space sector aside from working for a space agency or a space company. Having a background in communications and international relations I always thought that the only way to play an active part in the space industry was only if you have a STEM background. When I found the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Space Generation Advisory Council thanks to my Space Law, Policy and Politics professor at Webster University, Dr. Irmgard Marboe, I knew I had finally found my place in the space sector where my voice could be heard and I could really make a difference with my social science background. So it was not until I was in masters program that I fully got involved in the space sector and in SGAC. Growing up in Texas and Florida, I have always been inspired and interested in weather and space. The fact that I could now be connected to such a great community of people through SGAC is incredibly inspiring and helpful in and of itself.

Within SGAC I have held various roles and been active in a number of ways. As I live in Vienna, Austria, I have always been part of the SGAC delegation for the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the COPUOS Science and Technical Subcommittee, and the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee. Within the Legal Subcommittee I have given statements and technical presentations on behalf of SGAC and about our efforts in the law and policy sub-sector of space. I have helped write conference room papers for SGAC on legal matters that were presented at COPUOS on topics such as suborbital flights, capacity building and space law. Additionally I have represented SGAC at High Level Fora and one of the ICAO-UNOOSA Symposium on aerospace matters.

From the beginning of my time at SGAC I have also always been actively involved in the Space Law and Policy Project Group (SLP). At first I helped this group with papers and projects as well as helping with social media. Eventually, in September 2015, I moved up to become a Co-Lead of the project group and had the great honor to work with SGAC members from space law, policy, international relations, political science and even engineering. In the meantime I was also part of the Communications Team for the 1st European Space Generation Workshop which took place in Budapest, Hungary.

In November 2017 I stepped down as Co-Lead to SLP as I moved over to become the Space Generation Forum 2.0 (SGF 2.0) Event Manager as this event would take place in Vienna, Austria with connection to UNISPACE+50.

I am currently the SGAC Intern and will support Clementine and the SGAC team on SGF 2.0, UNISPACE+50, COPUOS as well as SGC and IAC in Bremen, Germany.

I won the Pioneer Award at SGF 2.0 for my 5 years of service and for my various roles within the Space Generation Advisory Council. Though I have always felt proud to wear the SGAC pin at various events and at the United Nations, when I wear this special SGAC pin with gold laurel leaves I realize that I can be proud of myself AND SGAC knowing I have the honor to wear a pin that only three people currently have; 2 of which being women. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that I am not only promoting SGAC and all of its members but that I am also showing women and girls in space that SGAC believes in us and allows us to hold such leadership positions and gives us so many wonderful connections and projects within the space sector. This award is not just for me but it also symbolizes that women DO have a role in the space sector and that our actions and ideas do not go unnoticed. This pin will be a treasure for me even once I become a SGAC alumna next year.

I would like to take a moment to tell other SGAC members (and perhaps even potential SGAC members) what this organization can do for them- as it (and it’s members) have done this much for me:

SGAC is a way to network
SGAC is a way to learn how to be a team player AND a leader
SGAC is a way to learn about other parts of the space sector
SGAC is a way to collaborate and learn from one another
SGAC is a way to get inspired
SGAC is a way to meet some amazing alumni, founders, and experts in the industry
SGAC is a way to have a home away from home

SGAC is family.