Director of innovation and Development
Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)Louis A. Zacharilla, Director of innovation and Development, Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)
Louis A. Zacharilla is Director of Innovation & Development for the Space & Satellite Professionals Internationalwhere he serves as strategist and spokesperson for the Society and the industry. He oversees SSPI’s corporate development program and is responsible for developing new chapters and events worldwide.
With the SSPI team Lou created the www.bettersatelliteworld.com campaign and Awards Dinner in London, which promotes the role of satellites as anchors of human development.
Mr. Zacharilla has written hundreds of articles and blogs for trade and business publications, appears regularly in the media and as a speaker and moderator of satellite industry conferences. He developed the World Teleport Association’s Teleport Awards Luncheon, which is now in its 23 years at the Satellite Conference in Washington, DC. He is a co-author of three books, including, Brain Gain.
He gave a TEDx Talk in 2016 and spoke at the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Notre Dame (USA) and lives in New York.
And One TechnologiesDr. Eric Anderson, President, And One Technologies
Eric Anderson is President of And One Technologies and a startup investor, advisor and mentor in aerospace, IoT, mobility and medical systems. He has contributed to dozens of space products, missions, and programs. Eric currently supports technology and business aspects of several satellite and space activities. He emphasizes delivery of data and services via new technologies, channels, and business models including government access and use of emerging commercial space products and services.
As Chief Technologist for Space at Moog, he helped lead the company’s space business and collaborated with worldwide colleagues on business strategy, technology and innovation across multiple markets. Eric was part of the leadership team at the nationally-recognized small company CSA Engineering, serving several years as President.
He was on the technical staff at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, worked at Sikorsky Aircraft, served eight years as a city Planning Commissioner and is on the board of the Kenya-based education non-profit The Kilgoris Project. Eric earned BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.
President and Founder
Northern Sky Research - NSRChris Baugh, President and Founder, Northern Sky Research - NSR
Mr. Baugh serves as the President and Founder of Northern Sky Research (NSR), which he created in 2000 to provide independent, actionable market research and consulting services to the satellite industry. Mr. Baugh directs all NSR multi-client research reports and single-client consulting projects and manages a global team of analysts that stand at the forefront of satellite industry expertise.
Before forming NSR, Mr. Baugh served as Senior Analyst for Pioneer Consulting where he covered all aspects of the satellite market. Prior to Pioneer, Mr. Baugh was an International Trade Specialist and Economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. While at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Baugh was a recipient of the Charles F. Meissner Memorial Award for his work on trade negotiations in the International Trade Administration.
Mr. Baugh also has extensive legislative and analytical experience from his work for the Committee on International Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, both in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Baugh holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Westminster College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Senior Director of Innovation and Satellite Programs
SES Space & DefenseDr. Bryan Benedict, Senior Director of Innovation and Satellite Programs, SES Space & Defense
Dr. Bryan Benedict serves as Senior Director of Innovation and Satellite Programs at SES Space & Defense. During his career he has worked extensively within both the DoD and US Civil Agencies to socialize the advantages of hosting imaging payloads on commercial spacecraft. Additionally, Dr. Benedict has been a key advocate in the commercial industry for the use of space robotics for both recovery and life extension of geosynchronous satellites.
Prior to his current position Dr. Benedict served as the Product Line Manager for Commercial and Civil Hosted Payloads at Intelsat General Corporation, Director of Hosted Payloads at Intelsat, Director of Engineering for Satellite Bus & Launch Service Acquisitions at PanAmSat and was a System Engineering Manager at Hughes for the BSS601HP product line.
Dr. Benedict started his career as a chemical engineer in the petroleum industry – inventing and patenting several catalysts still used for stabilization of jet fuels. Dr. Benedict earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1986, where he conducted research on the stabilization of high energy materials within crystalline lattices.
Dr. Benedict has been awarded a number of patents throughout his career – the latest for delivery of microsatellites to orbit piggybacking on the nadir deck of geosynchronous communication satellites.
Deloitte ConsultingShalini Bhatia, Principal , Deloitte Consulting
Shalini is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting and is the leader of Deloitte’s commercial space practice
Shalini has over 20 years experience across industry and consulting, driving business stand up, mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and transformation activities across a multitude of industries including financial services, technology, media, telecom, private equity and space. Her focus is on driving business outcomes and value creation through organic and inorganic transformations.
Shalini leads Deloitte commercial space practice across industries, and with a significant focus on Technology and Aerospace sectors. She has spearheaded the creation of a singular global, cross industry and cross solutions practice that covers the gamut of the Space value chain from business strategy, go to market, front office operations, back office operations, supply chain and manufacturing operations and ecosystem plays to support
Shalini graduated in commerce and economics from University of Mumbai and subsequently earned an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. She is also an avid artist, jewelry designer and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two boys
Kratos Space, Training and CybersecurityPhil Carrai, President , Kratos Space, Training and Cybersecurity
Phil Carrai is President of the Space, Training and Cybersecurity division of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc, where he is responsible for all aspects of business operations, sales, mergers and acquisitions. Kratos Defense is an approximately $650 million public company focusing in Aerospace and Defense products and services.
CEO and Founder
Sidus SpaceCarol Craig, CEO and Founder, Sidus Space
Carol Craig, founder and CEO of Sidus Space, has a pioneering history – the first female founder and owner of a space-based company to go public (NASDAQ: SIDU), one of the first women eligible to fly in combat aircraft in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer, one of the first female Naval aviators to complete Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School at CENSECFOR Detachment SERE West, and the first female aviator in her P-3 Orion squadron. She and her companies play a part in many major space projects including hardware implementation on the International Space Station and manufacturing support roles for the NASA Artemis I mission.
A self-described “astropreneur”, prior to founding Sidus Space, Craig’s namesake firm, Craig Technologies, was established as an aerospace and defense contracting company and is recognized throughout the U.S. government.
An engineer by trade, Craig provided software design and development for military aircraft cockpit systems preceding her Naval service and instruction of flight planning software for the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Weapons School post-service.
Craig sets aside a significant amount of time to give back through mentorship, volunteerism, and committing to the strong company culture of “Sidus Serves.” Over the past 12 years, Craig has held positions on 30+ boards and locally has been part of the Space Coast Junior Achievement (JA) since 2008.
VP Orbital Systems & Services
Sierra SpaceErik Daehler, VP Orbital Systems & Services, Sierra Space
Erik Daehler is the Vice President of Orbital Systems and Services for the Sierra Space Corporation. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development, production and innovation of satellite products and services for the Applications Team at Sierra Space. He brings 23 years of aerospace and defense experience, with a broad background in program management, business development and product innovation.
Prior to joining Sierra Space, Mr. Daehler was Senior Director of the Protected Communications Mission Area in Lockheed Martin’s Military Space organization. He was responsible for the development of next-generation satellite communications (satcom) product offerings, technology solutions, satellite design and system architectures for the United States Space Force, US Navy and Space Development Agency. Prior to that role he was the Director of Product Innovation for Boeing, where he led development of new satellite platforms for Boeing Space, including the first of a kind 702SP all-electric, dual-stacked satellite and the 502 Phoenix remote sensing and servicing satellites.
Mr. Daehler has a background in physics and space systems engineering with applications in communication, space protection, re-entry vehicles and remote sensing. This mission experience shaped his strategies for new technology development at Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Mr. Daehler led commercial business development and the protected communications mission at Lockheed Martin Space as well as research and development for Boeing’s unmanned satellite systems, worked as a chief system architect and systems engineering manager on large-scale satellite and network systems for commercial and government customers.
Mr. Daehler entered aerospace at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in 2000 where he performed calibrations of space and aircraft-based earth observation systems. In 2002, he transitioned to Boeing to develop next-generation space systems including the X-37B reusable space plane. In 2016, Mr. Daehler returned to Lockheed Martin to grow the commercial and military communications and remote sensing businesses.
Mr. Daehler was educated in Europe at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands where he received his Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering in 2006. He also received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from The Colorado College in 1998.
Managing Director - Aerospace & Defense
Bank of America SecuritiesDr. Ronald Epstein, Managing Director - Aerospace & Defense, Bank of America Securities
Ronald J. Epstein is a managing director in Americas Equity Research covering Aerospace/Defense and Multi-Industrials with large aerospace components. He is based in New York and covers companies listed in the United States, Canada and Brazil. He joined Merrill Lynch in 2001.
In the Institutional Investor All-America Research poll, he was ranked as a top-three analyst in Aerospace & Defense Electronics for the last 14 years and led the #1 team for the last eight years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is also a mentor for the Techstars Space Accelerator. He is frequently cited as an industry authority by trade and news publications and has appeared on numerous television programs. Previously, he worked as a research scientist in applied aerodynamics technology at Boeing Phantom Works. He was also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching fluid dynamics and control systems.
Dr. Epstein has a BA with highest honors from Skidmore College, an MBA with honors from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from Duke University.
Ron, his wife Catherine and their three children, Henry, Catherine and Oliver, reside in Chatham, NJ.
Senior Vice President – Head of Vega Business Unit
ArianespaceDr. Marino Fragnito, Senior Vice President – Head of Vega Business Unit, Arianespace
Marino Fragnito has joined Arianespace in March 2016 to manage the Vega Business Unit. Since February 2018 he is also in charge of the overall Vega sales, marketing & business development activities in Arianespace and in November 2020 he has been appointed Senior Vice President and member of the Arianespace Executive Committee.
In this capacity, he manages the overall Vega activities and controls its associated Profit & Loss.
From January 2009 until March 2016 he served at the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) as Launch Services Manager. He previously covered different positions in industry, he began his career in Cannes, at Alcatel Space Industries, as mechanical engineer on telecom satellite projects and then joined ELV (European Launch Vehicle, an AVIO and A.S.I. company) in 2003 were he was later appointed Head of Mechanical Systems Development in the frame of the Vega development program. Before joining EUMETSAT he was also Head of the launcher design department at AVIO.
Marino Fragnito has a MSc. (Laurea Magistrale) in Aeronautical Engineering and holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Science and Technology.
Chief Executive Officer
ManSat GroupKatherine Gizinski, Chief Executive Officer, ManSat Group
Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer for the ManSat Group. ManSat is the world’s largest commercial provider of satellite spectrum and offers bespoke consultancy services in spectrum regulatory matters.
Before joining ManSat, Katherine worked with U.S. defense contractors to bring commercial satellite and terrestrial communication technologies to austere environments in support of military, diplomatic, first responder, and commercial initiatives.
Katherine serves on the Board of Directors for Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) and mentors entrepreneurs through Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator. Katherine is a graduate of the International Space University’s Executive Space program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia.
Founder & CEO
Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd.Ian Jones, Founder & CEO , Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd.
Ian Jones is the founder, CEO and significant shareholder of Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. He is a satellite communications engineer and entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in the industry with a background in digital satellite communications systems, RF design, earth station development and operations.
He graduated from Leeds University in 1985 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He developed new Digital Signal Processing satellite modems at BT Research Labs and Communication Systems Research Ltd (CSRL), leading the design of the Inmarsat Aero communication system. When CSRL was acquired by Ferranti International, Ian was promoted to Head of Satellite Engineering and subsequently Head of Business Development within the Ferranti Computer Systems Division.
In 1994 he co-founded Orbit Research Ltd where he was Managing Director and 50% shareholder. Ian was responsible for a number of innovations and new product designs for satellite communication systems including remote control monitoring systems for satellite earth stations. He led the development of a new business providing mobile health care diagnostic services via satellite and he was also responsible for a number of innovations in Education Outreach which led to the creation of the Star Centre (Keighley) and the ESA ESERO network.
In 2008 he became aware of the impending closure of Goonhilly Earth Station and worked to create a new business opportunity for the site. He founded Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd and built a successful, profitable business leasing the antennas at Goonhilly from BT and bringing them back into service. In January 2014, Ian led the team completing the successful acquisition of Goonhilly.
Ian’s vision for a sustainable, profitable and diverse business at Goonhilly is rapidly taking shape with a growing client base covering all aspects of commercial satellite communications, space communication, radio astronomy, big data and data centre services, training, outreach, and business co-location. His entrepreneur skills are in demand across Africa where he is involved in assisting human capital development projects at other former telecommunication centres. Goonhilly has now become an Enterprise Zone and the host of the Sat Apps Catapult South West Regional Centre of Excellence, of which Ian is the Chair.
Future VenturesSteve Jurvetson, Co Founder, Future Ventures
Steve Jurvetson is an early-stage venture capitalist with a focus on founder-led, mission-driven companies at the cutting edge of disruptive technology and new industry formation. Steve led founding investments in several companies that had successful IPOs and others that were billion-dollar acquisitions, representing $800 billion of aggregate value creation. Some of those early VC investments include Planet Labs, SpaceX and Tesla.
Before co-founding Future Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Steve was an R&D Engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his chip designs were fabricated. He also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT and management consulting with Bain & Company. He completed his undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree at Stanford in 2.5 years, graduating #1 in his class, and went on to earn a MSEE and MBA from Stanford.
In 2017, Steve received the Visionary Award from SV Forum. In 2016, President Barack Obama appointed Steve as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Steve has also been honored as one of “Tech’s Best Venture Investors” by Forbes, and as the “Venture Capitalist of the Year” by Deloitte. Here is a recent podcast interview on 20VC.
Chief, Space Bureau
Federal Communications Commission FCCJulie Kearney, Chief, Space Bureau, Federal Communications Commission FCC
Julie Kearney is the first Chief of the Space Bureau the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Launched in April 2023,
Prior to joining the FCC, Kearney was Vice President of Communications Regulatory Affairs and Policy at Twilio Inc. At Twilio, she led global regulatory and policy efforts pertaining to telecommunications and law enforcement response.
Previously, she was Global Head of Communications Regulation and Policy for Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet, where she led the company’s U.S. and international regulatory initiatives. Other roles include: VP of Regulatory Affairs for the Consumer Technology Association; government affairs at NPR; international affairs at MCI (now Verizon); and associate at Haley Bader & Potts (now Foster Garvey).
Kearney is a past president of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and she also served as chair of the FCBA Foundation. She was a long-serving member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee and recently served on its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. Other Board positions include USTelecom and the United States Technical Training Institute (USTTI).
Kearney earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law with a certificate from its Law and Technology Institute. She recently completed a 3.5 year term on the Columbus School of Law’s Board of Visitors. A trained singer, she has sung with choruses in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC area, most recently with Schola Cantorum (CA) and the Choral Arts Society of Washington (DC).
Affiliate Principal Advisor
EuroconsultAdam Keith, Affiliate Principal Advisor , Euroconsult
Adam is an Affiliate Principal Advisor at Euroconsult with specialization in Earth observation (EO) and disruptive technologies. In over 20 years in the industry, Adam has advised a wide range of clients including government organizations, investors and commercial actors along the EO and space value chain. He has managed over 200 consulting and market intelligence projects focusing on EO markets and industry, satellite imaging and operations, and government space programs. He Initiated Euroconsult’s research and consulting activity in the EO sector including the Satellite-Based Earth Observation: Market Prospects report; now in its 15th edition (2022), the first annual research report focused on evolutions within the EO sector. He has held various positions in the company, including director of the company’s Space Practice and Managing Director of Euroconsult North America. Previously he worked for the European Space Agency within the Directorate of Earth Observation on developing new applications utilizing EO data, and the UK National Remote Sensing Center (now Airbus).
Northrop GrummanProfessor Andrew Kwas, NG Fellow , Northrop Grumman
Andy has 41 years with NGC/TRW working in advanced space programs specializing in space, advanced manufacturing, astrophysics projects and in-space manufacturing. As a NG Fellow, he supports NGC’s key space customers including NASA, AFRL, NRO, DARPA, Army/SMDC, Space RCO, USMC, and the Navy. He is considered one of the prominent additive manufacturing (AM) experts in the country and has produced numerous papers in AM, as well as advanced satellite technology, in-space manufacturing using advanced additive manufacturing techniques, unique logistics solutions, and miniaturization of spacecraft components. Andy brings his innovative approach to problems and has won several awards in innovation. His leadership of applying advanced space concepts to a transitional operational phase has been critical to NGC’s success.
Andy is an appointed Research Scholar at the University of New Mexico and is on their staff in the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department, supporting satellite and space research. He is on the Technical Advisory Boards for Virginia Tech, U of Michigan, Cornell, and U of New Mexico. Andy Kwas graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with two Bachelor degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and received a Masters degree in 1980 from the University of Missouri Science and Technology in Astrophysics.
AE Industrial PartnersTyler Letarte, Vice President, AE Industrial Partners
Mr. Letarte is a Vice President at AE Industrial and is primarily focused on origination, transaction due diligence, executing new investments, and monitoring portfolio investments. Mr. Letarte has helped lead AE Industrial’s recent space investments in York Space Systems, Redwire, Firefly Aerospace, and Sierra Space. Additional investments at AE Industrial include Belcan, BigBear.ai, Resolute Industrial and Kellstrom Aerospace. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial portfolio companies York Space Systems and Belcan.
Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2018, Mr. Letarte was an investment banker at Moelis & Company, where he focused on M&A, restructuring and strategic corporate advisory across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace and defense. Prior to joining Moelis, Mr. Letarte was in J.P. Morgan’s Leveraged Finance Group, where he provided debt capital solutions and acquisition financing. During his career, Mr. Letarte has completed over $50 billion of mergers and acquisitions across 60+ transactions and assisted in over $100 billion of debt financings.
Senior Corporate Counsel
BAE SystemsJanna Lewis, Senior Corporate Counsel, BAE Systems
Janna is a senior attorney and technology strategist focused on national defense, intelligence, and commercial space sectors. She has unique, cross-sector expertise in guiding programs and technology development for U.S. government and commercial initiatives, including engagements directed to launch services, satellite communications, unmanned vehicles, C5ISR sensors and network architectures, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining BAE Systems, Janna was with Northrop Grumman, where she facilitated innovation and strategic collaborations for their Missions Systems Sector to advance defense and intelligence capabilities. Prior to that, Janna worked for Facebook, where she supported Facebook’s mission to enable global internet connectivity. She helped to frame industry partnerships to catalyze delivery of space-based and high-altitude global connectivity solutions. Before Facebook, Janna was in private legal practice, where she served as legal counsel to U.S. and international clients in the aerospace and defense, commercial space, and telecommunications industries.
Janna is a volunteer with the Space Foundation, served on the Defense Innovation Board, Space Advisory Committee, and is a registered patent attorney. She frequently speaks about the rapidly evolving laws and policies affecting the defense, intelligence, and commercial space industries. Janna is committed to diversity in the space industry, and is a strong advocate for new space professionals.
Executive Vice President
AstroscaleDr. Clare Martin, Executive Vice President, Astroscale
Dr. Martin joined Astroscale U.S. in August 2019 as SVP of Operations and Programs. She brings many years of space technology management, operations, and engineering expertise to the Astroscale team.
Dr. Martin previously held the position of the Director, Orbital Solutions at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). She was responsible for the management and technical performance of the engineering staff and delivery of projects, including planning and managing technical and programmatic solutions to ensure quality, business, and financial objectives were met.
Prior to joining GA-EMS, Dr. Martin was the Chief Operating Officer at Surrey Satellite Technology US, where she led the Surrey project management and engineering teams. As a member of the Surrey Satellite US executive team, Dr. Martin managed the bidding, negotiation, and execution of projects, and was responsible for ensuring the company’s cost-effective methods were appropriately applied to the execution of programs.
Dr. Martin joined Surrey Satellite US from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in the United Kingdom, where she held several positions including the Head of Telecommunications and Navigation business unit, encompassing the Galileo payload programme. Prior to Surrey, Dr. Martin was a project manager and scientist at QinetiQ.
Dr. Martin earned a Master of Science in astrophysics and a Doctorate in mathematics and computational sciences from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Co-founder and CEO
Machina LabsEdward Mehr, Co-founder and CEO, Machina Labs
Edward Mehr, co-founder and CEO, Machina Labs
Edward Mehr has been a student of engineering, manufacturing and design for twenty years. His expertise in machine learning led to a role as an early employee at SpaceX and Relativity Space, and is one of the inventors on Relativity’s additive manufacturing patent. He co-founded Machina Labs with the vision to radically simplify manufacturing by using sheet metal, AI and robotics to form complex parts without a need for fixed tooling.
CEO and MD
ND SatComAlexander Mueller-Gastell, CEO and MD , ND SatCom
Alexander Mueller-Gastell joined ND SatCom in September 2017. His main focus at ND SatCom is to manage the success-oriented organization and define and implement the growth strategies for the three business units Government & Enterprise, Defence and Broadcast. Before joining ND SatCom, he was Presidentx&xCOO of Signalhorn, where he was responsible for managing the company´s daily operations and strategic direction including the growth strategy through acquisitions. Alexander started his career as a controller at Alcan and served in various companies as CFO.
Alexander Mueller-Gastell holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, USA and the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
Chairman & CEO
ComtechKen Peterman, Chairman & CEO, Comtech
Ken Peterman is Chairman of Comtch. He was CEO of SpyGlass Group, an innovative thought-leading organization that has helped shape aerospace and defense strategic trajectories in the tactical communications,mobile networking, cybersecurity, and satellite sectors since 2012. As a passionate, creative and forward leaning leader in the global aerospace and defense market, Ken serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups where he has been honored with multiple awards, including: TEN BEST INNOVATIVE BUSINESS LEADERS – BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR – GAME CHANGER AWARDEE and INDUSTRY TECH OUTLOOK, 2020 – BATTLESPACE MAGAZINE – 2018 VANGUARD MAGAZINE.
Previously, as President, Viasat Government Systems (2013-2021), Ken led a global defense business (>$1B) recognized as a market leader in assured high-capacity satellite communications, tactical networking and Link-16 datalinks, information assurance and cybersecurity, hybrid adaptive networking and blended air/ground situational awareness. Under Ken’s leadership, Viasat built a culture of passionately focusing on the warfighter’s mission and applying technical innovation to empower the warfighter in new and different ways, proactively creating technology-enabled operational capabilities in unprecedented ways some never thought possible. Ken led Viasat’s transformation to become the fastest organically growing US defense company for six consecutive years. Viasat grew to become a prime capabilities provider to the US DoD and allied forces, with a commitment to connecting the world’s toughest missions and ensuring that mission operators have the trusted information they need, when and where they need it most.
Previously, as President, ITT/Exelis Communications and Electronic Warfare Systems (2007-2013), Ken led a global defense and aerospace business >$1B with over 3,000 employees in 12 states plus the United Kingdom. Portfolios included tactical and satellite communications systems, information assurance and cybersecurity solutions, global positioning systems (GPS), electronic protection and counter IED systems, and integrated command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems for U.S. and allied forces in over 35 countries. (Note that ITT/Exelis spun out of ITT in 2011 and was then acquired by L3Harris in 2015.)
A distinguished leader in aerospace and defense, Ken has enjoyed successful executive leadership tenures at Viasat, ITT/Exelis, Rockwell Collins and Raytheon. Broadly respected as a thought leader and innovator among US and international senior leaders, he currently serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups. Ken received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (high honors) from Tri-State University (now Trine) and completed executive programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Pennsylvania State University.
Co-CEO & President
Quilty SpaceChris Quilty, Co-CEO & President, Quilty Space
Chris is the president of Quilty Space, an independent research and consulting firm that provides strategy, competitive benchmarking, financial analysis, and investment diligence on all aspects of the Satellite & Space industry.
Prior to establishing Quilty Spacein 2016, Chris served as a sell-side research analyst with Raymond James for 20 years, publishing hundreds of company-specific, macro, sector, and thematic research reports on the industrial, defense, space, wireless, and communications industries. Chris is widely-acknowledged as the leading Wall Street analyst on the Satellite & Space sector and has participated in 30 capital markets transactions over the past five years valued at over $2.5 billion
Chris received a BS degree in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1994.
CEO and Co-founder
SedaroDr. Robbie Robertson, CEO and Co-founder, Sedaro
Robbie Robertson is the CEO and Co-founder at Sedaro, a digital twin cloud software company. Dr. Robertson has over 15 years of experience developing space simulation software and space hardware. Robbie has held research positions at Los Alamos, AFRL, Virginia Tech, the German QUEST Center, and with the National Science Foundation installing space weather instruments on the Antarctic Plateau. He was previously the first employee at Ibeos, where he led the development of instruments and subsystems for spacecraft headed to LEO, GEO, and the Moon. Robbie received both his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and PhD in Applied Physics and Space Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Hogan LovellsAlexis Sáinz, Partner , Hogan Lovells
Alexis Sáinz is the global co-leader of the Hogan Lovells Space and Satellite practice and a member of the Infrastructure, Energy, Resources & Projects group. She regularly represents export credit and multilateral development agencies, satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, financial institutions, project sponsors, private equity firms, hedge funds, and other industry participants on structured, project and vendor financings, in negotiating commercial and corporate transactions, and with commercially strategic regulatory matters. She also provides industry advice in connection with debt and equity offerings, joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions, and financial restructurings.
Alexis works with investors and lenders to understand the underlying issues impacting space projects and companies, at the intersection of commercial, regulatory and financing aspects of a transaction. She works with project parties to focus on key deal points and to identify appropriate industry-based risk mitigants and efficient allocation of risk in order to build consensus and drive closure. She works with companies to build a project and financing strategy from the ground up, anticipating financing issues early in the development of a new project or the growth of a company.
Alexis co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Committee on Space Law. She co-authored the chapter on “Commercial Satellite Programs” in the Routledge Handbook of Space Law. Prior to beginning her legal career in 2007, Alexis spent over 10 years working in internet-based industries, including e-commerce and media. She previously served as a consultant for the World Bank, National Geographic, and domestic non-profit organizations in connection with internet-based technology, and she was an early member of KPMG Peat Marwick’s financial service’s e-commerce consulting practice, where she focused on emerging technologies.
Comtech Satellite Network TechnologiesDr. Vagan Shakhgildian, President, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies
Vagan Shakhgildian is the President of Comtech Satellite Networks Technologies Corp in Montreal, Canada . Previously he held various senior management positions at Comtech, including CEO of the Memotec subsidiary. Vagan first joined Comtech as part of the acquisition of Canada-based UHP Networks. As the CEO of UHP Networks, he led the company from a virtual start-up to a market leader in high-performance VSAT systems.
Prior to that Dr. Shakhgildian was the President and COO of Advantech Wireless, Head of Research at Adaptive Broadband and held senior R&D positions with Motorola and Signal Processors. Dr. Shakhgildian holds advanced degrees in mathematics and electronic engineering, as well as an MBA from the London Business School.
Partner and Associate Director
Boston Consulting GroupSita Sonty, Partner and Associate Director, Boston Consulting Group
Sita Sonty is Partner and Associate Director in the Aerospace And Defense and Public Sector practices of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She held senior roles as a former U.S. diplomat and aerospace executive.
Sita made history as the Head of Human Spaceflight Sales at SpaceX, where she executed the first private spaceflight sales on the Crew Dragon on a Flyer and to the International Space Station. Sita also guided global market strategy for Starlink’s expansion Lower Earth Orbit Free as the next generation telecommunications market offering.
As Vice President for International Business with the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Sita directed Business Review Teams on international defense and space sales pursuits, including capture management, risk mitigation, legal, tax, finance, supply chain, engineering, and product design.
A Director for National Security, Sita led Raytheon’s corporate engagement with U.S. Executive Branch agencies and ensured the corporation’s compliance with legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks for multiple governments.
Sita amassed over seventeen years of service as a career U.S. diplomat. Sita led the International Security Advisory Board bringing A&D companies’ strategic recommendations to Secretary Kerry; she also served as Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs and Senior Advisor for Defense Sales to South and Central Asia. Her overseas posts include Croatia, Libya, Syria, Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (2004), and Egypt.
She graduated with distinction from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; studied at Jussieu in Paris (1998) and the Centre des Etudes Maghrebienne en Tunisie (CEMAT) (2001); and graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in Political Science and Economics. Her native tongue is Telugu; she also speaks Hindi, French, Arabic, Croatian, and Urdu. Sita serves as Executive Board Member for Women in Aerospace, The Johns Hopkins University President’s Alumni Council, and the Washington Leadership Program.
Rocket LabAdam Spice, CFO, Rocket Lab
Mr. Spice has served as Rocket Lab’s Chief Financial Officer since May 2018, and has served as the Secretary and Treasurer since May 2021. From January 2011 until May 2018, he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at MaxLinear, Inc., a provider of radio frequency, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multimarket applications. From October 2009 to November 2010, Mr. Spice was the Chief Financial Officer of Symwave Corporation, a venture backed fabless semiconductor company until its sale to Standard Microsystems Corporation (SMSC). From July 2000 until September 2009, Mr. Spice held a variety of financial and operational executive roles at Broadcom Corporation, a creator of semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. From June 1996 until July 2000, Mr. Spice worked as a finance manager for Intel, a microchips manufacturer. Mr. Spice has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Brigham Young university and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
MansatChris Stott, Executive Chair , Mansat
Chris Stott is the Founder, Chair, and CEO of Lonestar Data Holdings Inc., the Lunar information, technology, and communications company sending the first in a series of data centers to the Moon for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Edge Processing. A life time entrepreneur, Chris is also the Founder and Non-Executive Chair of ManSat, the world’s largest commercial provider of satellite spectrum.
Chris serves as the Chair Emeritus, alongside the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, of the Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), the largest professional association in the global space and satellite industry, which also named him Satellite Industry Mentor of the Year in 2015.
Chris’s passion for the economics and commerce of space has led him to co-found both the Institute of Space Commerce in Austin in the United States, and the International Institute of Space Commerce on the Isle of Man in the British Isles. He has served on faculty at the International Space University (ISU) since 2003 and is a former co-chair of the university’s school of business and management. Chris is also a guest lecturer in space law and regulation at MIT Media Labs, the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the School of Law at the University of Houston.
In his spare time, Chris is a multi-award winning producer, writer, and documentary filmmaker. A naturalized Manx American, Chris lives in Florida with this wife and son and their dogs. He enjoys shooting (pistol, rifle, skeet, and trap), SCUBA and Free Diving, and flying helicopters. He drinks way too much coffee and rarely watches TV. When he needs to sleep, he reads his own bio.
SIA - Satellite Industry AssociationTom Stroup, President, SIA - Satellite Industry Association
As President of SIA, Tom Stroup is the trade association’s lead advocate for regulatory and policy issues of critical importance to SIA’s membership, including spectrum and licensing issues, defense and public safety matters, and export control and international trade issues. He also manages the day-to-day operations of SIA, including member communications, staff leadership and organization of SIA sponsored events.
Prior to joining SIA, Mr. Stroup was with Shared Spectrum Company (SSC), a leading developer of spectrum intelligence technologies, where he served as CEO. For more than a decade, he served as the President of the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). Previous to his position at SSC, he founded and ran several companies in the technology industry, including Columbia Spectrum Management, P-Com Network Services, CSM Wireless, and SquareLoop.
Mr. Stroup holds a BS, summa cum laude, in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota. He is also a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center where he served as Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Arrasar PartnersDr. Paul Struhsaker, CEO, Arrasar Partners
Experienced innovation and engineering executive across multiple industries including wireless networking (cellular and WiFi), consumer electronics, silicon platforms, and large-scale cloud client computing. Currently CTO of Carnegie Technologies. Other roles included SVP Software Engineering at Comcast NBC Universal, VP of Engineering at Cable Vision Systems, VP Silicon Platform at Motorola PCS, CTO of Dell’s Client Solutions Group, and CTO Broadband at Texas Instruments. He was a founder and CTO of two successful startups: Wi-Fi innovation leader Aironet Wireless (acquired by Cisco) and 4G wireless innovator Raze Technologies. He started his career at the National Security Agency.
Corporate Partner & Communications Team Leader
Sheppard MullinBrian Weimer, Corporate Partner & Communications Team Leader, Sheppard Mullin
Brian Weimer is a corporate partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office and Leader of the firm’s Telecom Team. Brian is recognized by Chambers and is consistently selected for inclusion each year in Best Lawyers in America in the Communications Law category.
Brian provides transactional and regulatory advice to clients in the telecommunications industry, with particular emphasis on satellite, wireless and media companies. He acts as corporate counsel to telecommunications companies in M&A and financing matters and also advises on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory issues presented by these transactions.
Brian represents FCC licensees on a wide range of issues at the FCC, including rulemaking, licensing and enforcement matters. He also advises foreign and domestic clients on international telecommunications issues such as satellite landing rights, cross-border M&A transactions and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).
Brian frequently speaks and writes on telecommunications-related matters at industry events. He is also actively involved in the Federal Communications Bar Association, where he has served as co-chair of the International Telecommunications Committee, the Transactional Practice Committee and the Wireless Committee. He is also a member of the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR).