Speakers & Keynotes

The Space Generation Fusion Forum team is thrilled to be hosting a variety of keynote speakers and panels at this year’s SGFF! The following is a list of topics and sponsors that will be the focus of the Space Generation Fusion Forum. 

Keynote Speakers

Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno
Director of Staff, Headquarters – U.S. Space Force 

Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno is the Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, she synchronizes policy, plans, positions, procedures, and cross functional issues for the U.S. Space Force headquarters staff.
Lt. Gen. Armagno earned her commission and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1988. She is a career space operator with more than 32 years of operational experience. She is the only person to have commanded both launch wings in the United States Air Force, and she is the first woman general officer commissioned in the United States Space Force.

Prior to her current assignment, Lt. Gen. Armagno was the Director, Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Arlington, Virginia. She directed the development and procurement of space programs to Air Force major commands, product centers and laboratories. Her responsibilities included crafting program strategies and options for representing Air Force positions to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the office of the Secretary of Defense, Congress and the White House. She has also served as Director of Plans and Policy, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. She was directly responsible to the USSTRATCOM Commander for the development and implementation of national security policy and guidance, military strategy, space and weapons employment policy and concepts and joint doctrine as they apply to the command and the execution of its mission.

She also served as the Director of Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado; Commander, 45th Space Wing, and Director, Eastern Range, Patrick AFB, Florida; Commander, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, California; Commander and Deputy Commander, 21st Operations Group, Peterson AFB, Colorado; Senior Military Assistant and Chief of Staff to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Squadron and Installation Commander, 6th Space Warning Squadron, Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts; and Director of Operations, 1st Space Launch Squadron, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida.

Her experience in space systems operations includes combat-mission-ready operator, instructor, evaluator and flight commander in strategic missile warning, space surveillance, space control, space launch and theater missile warning mission areas. In addition, she has held staff assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Headquarters 14th Air Force and the 381st Training Group, and has served as an Air Force Legislative Fellow in the Office of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.

Rob Meyerson 
Founder & CEO – Delalune Space

Rob Meyerson is the founder and CEO of Delalune Space, a management consulting company focused on the aerospace, mobility, technology and investment sectors. Rob serves as a director or advisor to companies in the hypersonics, space, mobility, technology, and telecommunications industries.

Rob is an Operating Partner with C5 Capital, a specialty investment firm focused on companies working at the intersection of space, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and AI; and represents C5 as a Director for Axiom Space.

Rob serves as the Executive Producer for ASCEND, a new platform and event created by AIAA that is focused on building our off-world future. See ascend.events for details.

As the president of Blue Origin, Rob oversaw the steady growth of Jeff Bezos’ aerospace development company from 2003 to 2018, leading it from its founding into a more than 1500-person organization. Under Rob’s leadership, Blue Origin developed the New Shepard system for suborbital human and research flights, the liquid rocket engine business, the New Glenn launch vehicle and the company vision for humanity in space; including the Blue Moon lunar lander, human spacecraft, habitats and in-space tugs. During this time, Rob oversaw Blue’s growth in staff (10 to 1500+), budget ($10M to $1B), revenue (zero to confidential) and facilities (one location to six, 50K to 1M+ sq ft).

Prior to joining Blue Origin, Rob was a Senior Manager at Kistler Aerospace, where he contributed to the development of a two-stage reusable launch vehicle.  Rob began his career as an aerodynamicist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), working on the Space Shuttle, X-38 Crew Rescue Vehicle, and several other programs.

Rob earned a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Houston.  He is an AIAA Fellow, a Trustee at the Museum of Flight, and a member of the University of Michigan College of Engineering Leadership Advisory Board.

In 2016, Rob and the New Shepard team were awarded the Robert J. Collier Trophy for their accomplishments by the National Aeronautic Association; and in 2017 Rob was awarded the Space Flight Award by the American Astronautical Society.


Panel: Entrepreneurship and Investing – Funding the Next Generation

Moderated by: Debra Facktor – Airbus U.S. Space and Defense

The goal of this panel is to examine the current state of unprecedented financing and growth for startups and NewSpace companies. Over the past decade, the space sector has exponentially grown, culminating in expanding year-over-year growth of the overall market. In 2020 space technology companies raised over $5.5B in private funding and are on pace to break that number this year. With new sources and levels of fundraising now open to space companies, this panel will explore different paths to building and investing in space companies from the perspective of the startup, tech accelerator, and venture capitalist.

Debra Facktor
Head of U.S. Space Systems – Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc

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.

J. Brant Arseneau
Founding Partner – 9Point8 Capital; Founder – Space Ventures

J. Brant Arseneau (born September 3, 1967) is an entrepreneur and executive, best known for his work in both the fintech and space industries. He is generally known in finance for his work in electronic trading, renewable energy derivatives, and capital markets technology. Brant began his career in academia, researching computational intelligence, but then transitioned to commercial ventures in technology including; consulting, product development, strategy and capital raising. He has been both a Chief Information Officer (CIO) for large banks and an entrepreneur, having started several fintech start-ups. Arseneau is now financing the NewSpace industry and is currently a founding partner at 9Point8 Capital and a founder of Spaced Ventures.

Dr. Jonathan Fentzke
Managing Director – Techstars

Dr. Fentzke is a space scientist by training and an experienced entrepreneur, mentor and investor. He is currently a Deeptech investor and managing director at Techstars. He was a co-founder and Board Director at OmniEarth and InSpace.

Katherine Monson
Chief Commercial Officer – Analytical Space, Inc. 

Katherine Monson is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for Analytical Space, Inc. Analytical Space is an aerospace company that is building a hybrid RF and Optical relay network. This dynamic communications infrastructure enables the growing space industry to provide low-latency data to commercial and government end users here on earth. 

Prior to joining Analytical Space, Katherine served as the CEO of KSAT Inc. for Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT). KSAT is a world-leading provider of ground station services for satellites, rocket launchers, and experimental spacecraft, and supported over 96% of commercial satellites launched into NGSO during Katherine’s tenure. 

Katherine is an avid hiker, and enjoys learning new languages and exploring new places. She lives in Boulder County, Colorado.


Lisa Rich
Founder and Managing Partner – Hemisphere Ventures

Lisa Rich is a successful investor, strategist, communicator and operator. She is founder and Managing Partner of Hemisphere Ventures (https://www.hemisphere.com/), an early stage venture capital firm focused on frontier tech: synthetic biology, robotics, drones and space. Hemisphere is a Top VC in the NewSpace sector and has invested in 200+ U.S. companies since 2014; their portfolio includes 30 space companies including: Axiom Space, Umbra, PlanetIQ, Lynk, OrbitFab and Made In Space (acquired by Redwire). Separately, Ms. Rich serves on the Board of Directors of Aurvandil Acquisition Corp., a $250M space-based SPAC.

Ms. Rich is founder and Chief Operating Officer of Xplore (https://www.xplore.com), a commercial space exploration company providing infrastructure solutions and low-cost access to space with advanced missions to Earth orbit and beyond via their highly-capable Xcraft, designed to orbit the Moon, Mars, Venus, Lagrange points and near-Earth asteroids. Xplore customers include NOAA, NASA, and the USAF. Her dedicated efforts to advance commercialization for the space industry include serving on the Board of Patrons for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and representing Xplore as a member of the Space Enterprise Consortium. 

An accomplished speaker and subject matter expert, Lisa is frequently invited to educate the public, industry, investors and family offices on advancements in the frontier tech and space industry in particular. She been interviewed by Wall St. Journal, The New York Times, has appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC Squawk Box, and been a featured speaker events at NewSpace, The Center for Space Commerce and Finance, TechStars, Project Geospatial, AFWERX EngageSpace, Keiretsu Forum, Shearman & Sterling Family Office Group, Boston Private Wealth, Meb Faber show, WORTH, Spark Disruptors, SpaceCom, Astor Perkins, ASCEND, and as an alumnus of International Space University.

Panel: LEO to Lunar: Building the New In-Space Economy

Moderated by Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, Axiom Space – Executive Vice President, Government Affairs

The goal of this panel is to discuss current and anticipated developments in the commercial space industry, considering  both more established areas such as LEO and the ISS and the pathway to novel sectors and emerging areas, such as commercial space stations, cislunar space and Lunar surface activities.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs – Axiom Space

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar is Executive Vice President of Axiom Space, which is building the world’s first commercial space station.  An internationally-known expert in human space exploration beginning with her work on the International Space Station, in 2015 she founded and served for over 5 years as President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, an industry group supporting NASA’s programs in deep space exploration and science.  A Fellow of the National Research Society Sigma Xi and Associate Fellow of the AIAA, she served from 2012-2014 on the Human Spaceflight Committee of the National Research Council and recently completed a 6-year appointment to the Space Studies Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Currently she serves on the U.S. National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) for the FAA.  Mary Lynne enjoys the outdoors near her home in North Carolina, and travels frequently to Washington, D.C. and to Axiom Space Headquarters in Houston, TX.

Bretton (Brett) Alexander
Vice President, Government  Sales – Blue Origin

Bretton (Brett) Alexander is Vice President, Government Sales for Blue Origin, a developer of rocket engines and space transportation capabilities, which he joined in 2011. Mr. Alexander is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal and, from October 2009 to October 2011, was a member of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).

Mr. Alexander served as a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) from 2008 to 2019. Mr. Alexander previously served as a senior policy analyst for space issues in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he played a central role in development of the Vision for Space Exploration announced by President Bush in 2004.

From December 2006 to May 2011, Mr. Alexander served as president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the industry association of businesses and organizations working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality.  From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Alexander was also a consultant in the space industry. From 2007 to 2008, he served as the executive director for space at the X PRIZE Foundation. Mr. Alexander was senior advisor to Transformational Space Corporation (t/Space) from 2005 to 2007.

Prior to the White House, he held positions in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, The Aerospace Corporation, and ANSER Corporation.

Mr. Alexander holds Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Rick Mastracchio 
Director of Business Development for
Human Exploration and Operations – Northrop Grumman

Rick Mastracchio is the Director of Business Development for Northrop Grumman’s Human Exploration and Operations unit. He  has held previously positions as a Program Manager and as the Director of Cygnus Operations.  

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman Mr. Mastracchio spent 20 years as a NASA Astronaut. He  has flown three Space Shuttle Missions, a Soyuz mission and was a crew member on two  International Space Station Expeditions, logging a total of 227 days in space as well as nine  spacewalks. Mr. Mastracchio has held numerous leadership positions at NASA including lead  for Space Shuttle cockpit displays update, crew office rep to the Orion program office, instructor  astronaut and lead spacewalker on numerous missions.  

Mr. Mastracchio has degrees from The University of Connecticut, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  and the University of Houston. Mr. Mastracchio has received numerous honors including NASA  Space Flight Medals, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Rachel McNeal
Manager of Government Relations – Maxar Technologies

Rachel McNeal is a Manager of Government Relations at Maxar Technologies. In this role, Rachel is responsible for the company’s national security portfolio including managing relationships with Congress, representing the company with trade associations, as well as advocating for programs and public policies.

Before joining Maxar, Rachel was an analyst on Northrop Grumman’s Legislative Affairs team where she supported the company’s advocacy for national security and civil space programs. Rachel has served in various roles in state and federal government. She served as a Gubernatorial Fellow in Florida’s emergency management agency where she lead an effort to implement virtual disaster response, and as a researcher for Florida State University’s Center for Disaster Risk Policy where she worked alongside an international team to lead workshops on emergency management topics in Nepal.

Rachel received a master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Florida State University.

Michael Provenzano
Director of Planetary Mobility – Astrobotic 

Mike is responsible for leading the development of Astrobotic’s planetary rover and power infrastructure technologies as well as generating mobile and power sales as a service. He leads a mixed team of professionals to develop the world’s first and smallest commercial lunar rover, the CubeRover. Mike’s team is also responsible for leading the development of an 18 kg autonomous lunar rover called MoonRanger and the first space based wireless charging system. 

An entrepreneur, formerly selected as Poets and Quants Top 100 Global MBAs, Mike specializes in making early technologies marketable. Mr. Provenzano has a history managing complex technical projects, including work on the Boeing Space Launch System (SLS), and leading the development of an NSF-funded I-Corps Site Team at Carnegie Mellon researching electromagnetic transportation from the lunar surface.

Jeremy Schiel
Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer – Orbit Fab

Jeremy Schiel is the Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer at Orbit Fab and a leading entrepreneur in the nascent space economy.

As a forward-thinking international business professional, Mr. Schiel draws on significant business development experience from tier-one automotive manufacturing, as well as several years of experience helping space startups like Deep Space Industries and Brand Delta-V acquire customers. He was the former Program Director of the Center for Space Commerce and Finance and currently sits as the Vice-Chairman of CONFERS, a DARPA-funded consortium establishing best practices for satellite servicing.

Panel: United Vision for Space

Ariel Ekblaw
Founder and Director – MIT Space Exploration Initiative

Ariel Ekblaw is the founder and Director of the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, a team of over 50 graduate students, staff, and faculty actively prototyping the artifacts of our sci-fi space future. Founded in 2016, the Initiative includes a portfolio of 40+ research projects focused on life in space, and supports an accelerator-like R&D program for payload development and flight testing across MIT. For the Initiative, Ariel drives space-related research across science, engineering, art, and design, and charters an annually recurring cadence of parabolic flights, sub-orbital, and orbital launch opportunities.  Ariel graduated with a B.S. in Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University and defended her MIT PhD in autonomously self-assembling space architecture for future habitats and space stations in orbit around the Earth, Moon, and Mars. Ariel’s work has been featured in WIRED (March 2020 cover story), MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, CNN, NPR, IEEE and AIAA proceedings, and more. Ariel serves on the NASA Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) Executive Committee and is the author/editor of the forthcoming “Into the Anthropocosmos: A Whole Space Catalog from the MIT Space Exploration Initiative” with MIT Press (September 2021). Humanity stands on the cusp of interplanetary civilization and space is our next, grand frontier. This opportunity to design our interplanetary lives beckons to us—Ariel strives to bring our space exploration future to life.

Lt. Col. Anna Gunn-Golkin
Commander  3rd Space Experimentation Squadron – USSF

Lt. Col. Anna Gunn-Golkin is the Commander of the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron is the Space Force’s premier organization for conducting space-based demonstrations and experimentation.  Utilizing innovative and scientific methodologies, the 3rd is accelerating the transition of research and development concepts into operational space capabilities. Lt. Col. Gunn-Golkin received her commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2005 and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. 

Her background includes various duties in space launch operations, fighter, helicopter, and unmanned system flight test, instructing astronautics and rocket propulsion at the United States Air Force Academy, developing national space policy, and leading advanced multi-domain systems acquisition and fielding.  Lt. Col. Gunn-Golkin has served as a Service Chiefs Fellow at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a Strategic Policy Fellow at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She was detailed as initial cadre at the inaugural Space Test Fundamentals course at the USAF Test Pilot School. 

Prior to her assignment to the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, Lt. Col. Gunn-Golkin was the Chief of Staff, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office where she directed program integration and served as legislative liaison for a $40B classified portfolio, including the X-37B, B-21, and other high priority programs.

Lt. Col. Gunn-Golkin’s experience in air and space test and operations includes over 600 flight hours in the HH-60U and F-16D, F/A-18F and more than 35 other aircraft, FalconSat 3 and 6, multiple unmanned aerial systems, Minotaur launch vehicle, and Ground Based Missile Defense.

Alvin Donel Harvey
Ph.D. candidate in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Human Systems – MIT

Alvin Donel Harvey is a MIT Ph.D. candidate in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Human Systems Lab and a member of the Navajo Nation. He is of the Tó-baazhni’ázhi (Two Who Came To the Water) clan and born for the Honágháahnii (One-walks-around) clan. His current Ph.D. research focuses on developing virtual reality systems for satellite constellation development, operation, and management; as well as developing methods of analyzing space technology as tools for tribal sovereignty. Prior work of Alvin includes research in partial gravity biomechanics and simulation, applied thermodynamics, and extensive historical research examining cases of conflict between Indigenous Nations and space agencies and entities. His current historical work also includes examining MIT’s ties to Indigenous land and lives through the Morrill Land Grant Acts, MIT’s relationship with its own Indigenous students, and its associations with local Indigenous Nations.

As the president of the MIT Native American Student Association he continues to be an advocate for Indigenous students at MIT, working together with MIT’s chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to have MIT celebrate its first Indigenous Peoples’ Day, create an on-campus space for Indigenous students, and address historical concerns and conflicts between MIT and Indigenous people. He studied mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University (B.S.), while attaining his private pilot’s license, and Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in the Human Systems Lab (SM ’20, Ph.D. in progress). As Alvin continues his technical research he also continues to concentrate on advocating for Indigenous viewpoints and space policy throughout the various space exploration fields.

Fireside Chat

Adrián Cuadra 
Director of the Weather & Earth Science Market Segment – Lockheed Martin

Adrián Cuadra is the Director of the Weather & Earth Science Market Segment, responsible for execution of the GOES-R Weather Satellite Program and other portfolio programs, growing the business, and working with our NASA and NOAA Customers to solve their hardest problems.

Previously, Adrián was the Deputy Program Manager for Lockheed Martin’s first three next-generation commercial communications satellites, responsible for delivery of highly complex spacecraft for our international Customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Japan.  Adrián was also the spacecraft systems manager on the Advanced EHF Program responsible for Systems & Satellite Integration, Launch Systems Integration, Flight Sciences, and Specialty Engineering. 

Adrián graduated with honors from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Engineering Management.  He was the President of Tau Beta Pi, an INROADS scholar, and executive board member for the Latino-based fraternity Sigma Lambda Beta. 

He remains actively involved as a mentor focused on minority and underrepresented future leaders.

Dr. Stephen Volz
Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services – NOAA 

Dr. Volz has more than 30 years of professional experience  in aerospace. As the head of NESDIS, he sets the strategic  vision and implementation objectives for the Nation’s civilian  operational earth observing satellite fleet. Within NOAA he  serves as the co-chair of the NOAA Observing Systems  Council and is a member of the NOAA Executive Council.  

He is a leader in the international Earth observation  community, serving as the NOAA Principal to the Committee  on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and to the  Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS).  He has also served as the NOAA and U.S. Principal to the  Executive Committee (ExCom) of the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO). In each of these roles Dr. Volz  leads efforts to coordinate global satellite-based  observations among international space agency partners  and interested users of remote sensing earth observation  data to further the development of a Global Earth  Observation System of Systems, and to meet the global  weather and environmental monitoring and forecasting  efforts.

Prior to coming to NOAA, Dr. Volz served as the Associate Director for Flight Programs in the  Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate where he managed all of NASA’s  Earth Science flight missions in operation, development, and conception, and the ground and  data systems to support them. Prior to serving as the Flight Program Director, Dr. Volz was the  Earth Science program executive for a series of Earth Science missions, including EO-3 GIFTS,  CloudSat, CALIPSO, and ICESat, and he led the Senior Review for the Earth Science operating  missions. Dr. Volz worked in industry at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation from  1997–2002, where he was the Project Manager for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility  superfluid helium cryostat and other flight projects. From 1986–1997 Dr. Volz worked for  NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as an instrument manager, an IT Manager, a systems engineer, and a cryogenic systems engineer on missions and instruments including the Cosmic  Background Explorer (COBE), among others. 

Dr. Volz is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Physical  Society (M’82), the American Astronomical Society (M’87), the American Geophysical Union  (M’02), and the American Meteorological Society (M’08). He is a senior member of the Institute  of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an active member of and participant in the  Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), and served as a member of the GRSS  Administration Committee (AdCom) for the period of 2013–2015. 

Dr. Volz has a doctorate in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from the University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1986), a master’s in Physics from Illinois (1981), and a bachelor’s  in Physics from the University of Virginia (1980). He has more than 20 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Lightning Talks

Kyle Acierno
CEO – ispace technologies U.S.

Kyle Acierno is CEO of ispace technologies U.S. in Denver, Colorado. Kyle joined ispace in 2015 and has held leadership positions at ispace offices in Tokyo, Luxembourg and now the United States.  

Kyle is an international expert in commercial space and a specialist in lunar exploration. Over the past decade, he has developed broad knowledge extending into space science, engineering, law, policy, finance, and business development.  

Kyle is a frequent contributor to legal debates surrounding space resources and space policy and is an active member of the aerospace community. He sits on the Board of World Space Week and was the Chairman of the Technical Committee for The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group. He has been a member of the International Aeronautical Federation’s Industrial Relations Committee since 2018. 

With both Canadian and Italian citizenship and a passion for exploration, Kyle has visited over 100 countries and lived in 13. He received a Bachelor’s in International Security from Simon Fraser University in Canada and a Master of Science in Space Studies from the International Space University in France.”

John Galer
Vice President for National Security Space – Aerospace Industries Association

John Galer is the Assistant Vice President for National Security Space at the Aerospace Industries Association, providing policy leadership and representing industry consensus on national security space matters.

John is a former active duty Air Force space operations officer experienced in leading dynamic teams in space operations, strategy, communications, and policy. During his career, he has served as a satellite operator and integrator and a trusted advisor and strategic communicator for chief executives in the Department of Defense, intelligence community, and U.S. Congress. In his last assignment, he was a Legislative Liaison for U.S. Strategic Command.

Galer holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.B.A. from Florida State University.

Networking Speakers

Zack Bookbinder
Business Development Associate -Analytical Space, Inc

Zack Bookbinder is a Business Development Associate for Analytical Space, Inc. Analytical Space is an aerospace company that is building a hybrid RF and Optical relay network. This dynamic communications infrastructure enables the growing space industry to provide low-latency data to commercial and government end users here on earth.

Prior to joining Analytical Space, Zack served as a Financial Analyst Intern for Deloitte, a global provider of professional services to corporations and government organizations. He has also co-authored and edited several case studies on the topic of technology strategy at Harvard Business School. 

Zack is an avid runner, cyclist, and hiker and relishes any opportunity to explore the great outdoors. He recently picked up photography as a method to share travel stories and recommendations with family and friends. He resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lars Hoffman
Senior Vice President – Rocket Lab

As Senior Vice President, Lars is responsible for Rocket Lab’s global business and government affairs. With more than 30 years of experience in national security and aerospace, Lars brings a deep knowledge of the global space industry and U.S. Government space requirements.

Before joining Rocket Lab, Lars was an executive at SpaceX, from 2014 to 2018. At SpaceX, Lars facilitated certification of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and he led the capture of more than $2 billion of national security space business.

Prior to joining industry, Lars completed a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, as a U-2 reconnaissance pilot, a test pilot, and in senior leadership roles at The Pentagon.

Lars holds advanced engineering degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, and U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Lars also earned national security degrees from MIT, Air University, and National Defense University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from UCLA.

Matthew Kuhns
Vice President of Research & Development – Masten Space Systems

Dr. Elizabeth Frank is a Senior Applied Planetary Scientist at First Mode, a Seattle-based engineering firm that designs and implements complex systems in aerospace and mining. She earned her Ph.D. in planetary geochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder, following which she worked on NASA’s MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. On MESSENGER, she analyzed data from the X-Ray Spectrometer to elucidate the origin and evolution of Mercury’s geological history.


After MESSENGER, Elizabeth became a geospatial analyst at Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, where she processed ground truth data to validate a mid-wave infrared imaging system. She later led the science definition for an asteroid prospecting mission concept. Since joining First Mode in 2018, Elizabeth has managed multiple concept-phase projects and specializes in helping customers define their problems and goals using the principles of systems engineering. She also is the chair of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group’s Commercial Advisory Board, which provides input from industry to NASA programs and policy regarding the Moon.

Dr. Elizabeth Frank
Senior Applied Planetary Scientist at First Mode

With over a decade of experience in aerospace and startups, Matthew Kuhns has co-founded several companies and has a passion for finding innovative solutions to difficult problems. As a NASA NIAC Fellow with five patents, Kuhns plays a key role in Masten’s technology development and advanced concepts. He is a leader in enabling space technologies, including LOX/Methane propulsion systems, electric pumps, and advanced additive manufacturing. Prior to Masten he worked on the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) Geared Turbofan engine, long endurance UAVs, and commercial aircraft fuel systems.

Sean Mahoney
Chief Executive Officer – Masten Space Systems

As CEO of Masten Space Systems, Sean Mahoney has been instrumental in building a sustainable, customer-funded business and establishing Masten as a rising star in the NewSpace movement. He joined Masten in 2010 as Director of Business Operations, served as COO from 2011 to 2012, and was named CEO in 2013. Mahoney brought more than 15 years of corporate leadership and technology experience to Masten. He founded and led a number of technology startups and raised multiple rounds of private funding. Mahoney received his MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and serves in a leadership capacity for a number of entrepreneurship and environmental non-profit organizations.

Sarah Pollock
University Recruiter on the People Team – Relativity Space

Sarah is the University Recruiter on the People Team at Relativity Space. Sarah is an experienced talent acquisition professional with a demonstrated history of working in the aerospace, digital marketing, and creative staffing industries. At Relativity, Sarah leads University Recruiting efforts by managing the Relativity interns, managing all university relations, sponsoring and attending university recruiting events, and more! She is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington where she studied management and the arts.

Ryan Quinn
Lead Mechanisms Engineer, Vehicle Structures Team – Relativity Space

Ryan is a Lead Mechanisms Engineer on the vehicle structures team at Relativity Space.  At Relativity he has led the design of various Terran 1 primary structure and mechanisms projects – the Stage 1 thrust structure, the development Aeon rocket engine thrust structure, and the Stage Separation System.  Prior to joining Relativity, Ryan worked on various structural and fluid system problems at SpaceX and Divergent3D. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering.

Lisa Stojanovski
Business Development Administrator – Rocket Lab

Lisa Stojanovski is Rocket Lab’s Business Development Administrator. Her role ranges from maintaining and upgrading customer databases and selling CubeSat rideshare launch slots, to conference & events management and proposal writing. Prior to Rocket Lab, Lisa led science programming for the online space news Youtube channel, ‘TMRO’, and has interviewed multiple industry leaders such as Virgin Orbit’s William Pomerantz, astronaut Nicole Stott, and Tim Dodd: The Everyday Astronaut.

 Lisa trained as a molecular biologist and has published research on the metabolic savings of daily hibernation in mice, and the feasibility of low pressure atmospheric greenhouses on Mars. In 2018, she served as an analog astronaut for HI-SEAS Mission IV in Hawaii. She holds a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) from Western Sydney University, a Master of Science Communication Outreach from the Australian National University, and a Graduate Certificate in Space Studies from the University of South Australia. She is an alumnus of International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program (2016), and was Australia’s National Point of Contact for SGAC from 2016-2018.

Other Speakers

Joe Anderson
Vice President of Operations & Business Development – Space Logistics LLC

Joseph Anderson is the Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Space Logistics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. He has more than thirty years of satellite engineering, management and leadership experience including nine years with Northrop Grumman and twenty years at Intelsat. In his current role, Mr. Anderson is responsible for managing the technical, operational, licensing and insurance aspects of Space Logistics’ satellite servicing fleet, as well as business development for commercial and government satellite servicing. Mr. Anderson earned an MBA from George Washington University, an MS in Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Jamil Estéfani Castillo
Space Policy and Digital Communications Manager – Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

Jamil Estéfani Castillo is the Space Policy and Digital Communications Manager at the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, where she is the development lead of space policy white papers and blogs and co-lead of the Deep Space Podcast, and writes for the organization’s digital products, including the daily Deep Space Extra newsletter. Prior to the Coalition, Jamil worked at BryceTech, where she participated in projects related to the economic development of low Earth orbit, cybersecurity policy adaptable to space systems, and private investment in start-up space companies. She also contributed her research on anti-satellite capabilities to the Space Security Index Project in 2018. Jamil received her master’s degree in air and space law from McGill University. Before starting her career in space, she was an aviation lawyer working on drone and safety policy, teaching air regulations to air traffic control students, and serving as a volunteer adviser on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Safety Management Panel.

Kat Coderre
Deputy Manager, Deep Space Exploration Advanced Programs – Lockheed Martin

Kat Coderre joined Lockheed Martin (LM) in 2007 and is the Deputy Manager for LM’s Deep Space Exploration Advanced Programs where she leads a team of engineers and scientists for research and early spacecraft development efforts. Kat is also the Lockheed Martin Principal Investigator for the AstroRad Vest; a radiation protection vest for astronauts in the deep space environment which is currently being tested on the International Space Station. Kat holds a dual undergraduate degree in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and a Master’s in Space Systems Engineering from Steven’s Institute of Technology in New Jersey. 

Kat has 14 years of experience working in space exploration, first as a contractor at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and now in Denver. Most recently she has been working on returning humans to the Moon in various systems engineering disciplines such as System Architect, interfaces lead, and requirements and verification, through her roles on the HLS, Gateway, and Orion programs. Throughout her career she has worked on several Lockheed Martin contracts supporting NASA’s Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.  

Outside of work, Kat enjoys playing sports such as soccer and softball, hiking and skiing in the beautiful Colorado mountains, and taking her dogs for nice long walks. She also works with a dog rescue where she helps rehabilitate dogs and adopt them out to their forever homes. Kat loves to travel, both domestically and internationally, and holds a private pilot’s license.  

Karen Cox
Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy – Maxar 

Christy Edwards
Deputy Exploration Architect – Lockheed Martin

Dr. Christine Edwards is the Deputy Exploration Architect at Lockheed Martin Space. She co-leads the Commercial Civil Space Advanced Programs team in architecture and technology development for future human spaceflight missions. Previous positions include serving as Principal Investigator for weather and remote sensing research and development, lead systems engineer and associate manager for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) operations, guidance navigation and control (GN&C) operations for the GRAIL, Mars Odyssey, and Stardust missions, launch support for Juno, and autonomous rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking (ARPOD) development for the Orion. She holds a PhD in systems engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in aerospace engineering from MIT, is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and was recognized by Aviation Week & Space Technology in their 40 under 40 in Aerospace and Defense.

Lisa May
Chief Technologist,
Commercial and Civil Space Advanced Programs – Lockheed Martin 

Lisa May is currently Chief Technologist for Lockheed Martin’s Commercial and Civil Space Advanced Programs. Lisa is responsible for leading technology strategy development in support of all market segments and is the principal advisor on CCS technology investments and partnerships. Prior to assuming the Chief Technologist role, Lisa served as the Deputy Space Exploration Architect. She supported Lockheed Martin’s technical response to NASA’s call to take humans safely to the surface of the Moon by 2024. Before joining Lockheed Martin in 2019, Lisa was CEO and principal consultant for Murphian Consulting. She provided systems engineering and management consulting services to technology entrepreneurs in such diverse fields as nuclear, forensics, space, and transportation technology. 

From 2002 to 2015, Lisa was at NASA Headquarters, where she managed NASA’s diverse portfolio of Mars missions, led advanced studies, contingency planning, risk analyses, and conducted Program-level planning including Mars communications. Lisa chaired the International Mars Exploration Working Group, leading spacefaring nations in cooperation for Mars sample return and initiated Mars-related challenges and student competitions. Concurrently, Lisa was the Program Executive for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, the Mars Technology Program, and Mars Sample Return. Prior to joining NASA Headquarters, Lisa worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, founded Jackson-May Associates, and was Director of Business Development at Aurora Flight Sciences. 

Lisa holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, both from the University of Virginia. In addition to her being an AIAA Associate Fellow, Lisa is an IEEE Senior Member, and an INCOSE Expert Systems Engineering Professional. 

Dave Murrow
Senior Manager of Deep Space Exploration Strategy and Business Development – Lockheed Martin

Dave Murrow is the Senior Manager of Deep Space Exploration Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin’s Corporation Space. In his current role he is responsible for positioning the company to support NASA robotic exploration missions in the planetary, lunar, astrophysics and heliophysics arenas. In this role he works with the science, engineering, and programmatic stakeholders to build responsive and compelling mission solutions.  He is focused on extending Lockheed Martin’s proven heritage in robotic and human spaceflight into the next phase of exploration missions.  

Dave previously served as capture manager for NASA proposals, in both the science and human space flight areas.   Dave has worked on space science and exploration missions in various roles such as navigator and systems engineer at Lockheed Martin, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ball Aerospace, and as the owner of a small business.  He was responsible for the launch campaigns of the Mars Climate Orbiter, Mars Polar Lander, and the Stardust spacecraft, which were all successfully launched in December 1998, January1999, and February 1999.  

Dave has a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin (’87) and the University of Colorado (’84).  In Austin, he also worked at the University’s Center for Space Research, supporting high precision Earth gravity field development for the Topex mission.  

A Colorado native, Dave lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with his wife and has frequent visits from his two grown daughters.  He spends his free time reading, skiing, and hiking in the mountains.

Jim Schier
Chief Architect – NASA Space Communications and Navigation Program

Jim Schier is the Chief Architect for NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program at NASA Headquarters.  He leads analysis and studies on the evolution of NASA’s space networks including Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services to meet the needs of future science and human exploration missions, particularly to the Moon.  He joined NASA in 2004 after 25 years in industry where he worked on civil, defense, intelligence, and commercial space systems.  At Northrop Grumman, he led system engineering on commercial satellite systems and was a lead system engineer on the Orbital Space Plane. Mr. Schier was Chief System Engineer on the International Space Station at Grumman.  At TRW, he managed flight software development on the MILSTAR Communications Satellite and led integration of materials processing experiments for the 1985 Shuttle Spacelab 3 mission.  He has degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He received a Silver Snoopy award for Spacelab 3, a NASA Administrator’s Group Award for redesigning the Space Station, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Connie Walker 
National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab

Dr. Connie Walker has been a scientist at the National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab in Tucson, Arizona, USA for the past 20 years. Connie has dedicated much of her career to advocating dark skies education as well as the measurement and mitigation of light pollution. In the last year, she has enjoyed working with experts around the world, co-chairing three workshops focusing on the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy. She is honored to be President of the International Astronomical Union or IAU’s Commission on the Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites and chair of the IAU Executive Committee Working Group on Dark & Quiet Sky Protection. She sits on the Board of Directors of the International Dark-Sky Association and is a member of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference and Space Debris. A cool thing about Connie is that comet and asteroid discoverers, David Levy and Carolyn Shoemaker, named Asteroid 29292 ConnieWalker for her.