25 Years Serving the Small Payload Community

2021 Presenters

Arranged Alphabetically

Audrey Allison, Senior Project Leader, Center for Space Policy & Strategy, Aerospace

Session Two

From 2000-2021, Allison was with The Boeing Company where she managed its radiofrequency spectrum portfolio and advocacy, including for Boeing’s satellite and space exploration businesses.  Allison was Vice President of Boeing Global Spectrum Management and represented it at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  Prior to joining Boeing, Allison was an attorney in the Satellite Division of the Federal Communications Commission's International Bureau and at Iridium LLC.

Allison also served as Chairman of the Satellite Industry Association in 2021 and on its Board of Directors since 2005.  She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States ITU Association from 2000-2021 and as its Chair in 2009 and 2016.   

Allison is Adjunct Faculty to the International Space University in Strasbourg, France and a visiting lecturer at McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law in Montréal. She is author of The ITU and Managing Satellite Orbital and Spectrum Resources in the 21st Century (Springer, 2014).  

Allison earned a Master of Business Administration, cum laude, from the International Space University; a Master of Laws with distinction in international law from Georgetown University; a Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America’s Institute for Communications Law Studies; and a Bachelor of Arts from the Pennsylvania State University.

Session 1

Rob Atkins, National Security Space Manager, Moog

Session One - Session Chair

Robert Atkins is the National Security Space Manager for Moog Inc. His focus spans nearly all space mission areas to include: multi-manifesting missions, Intelligence Community requirements, space logistics, ICBM sustainment, ground based strategic deterrence, and hypersonic vehicles.  Robert joined Moog in 2018 after serving 20 years in the Air Force acquiring and operating space assets.  He served as a Missile Combat Crew Commander for the Minuteman III ICBM, Air Force Institute of Technology - Education with Industry at Lockheed Martin Waterton Campus, lead for National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Launch Vehicle procurement and Satellite Vehicle Integration, Chief of Space Situational Awareness and C2 operations, deployed to Central Command in an NRO position to the Director of Space Forces, Launch Enterprise Deputy Generation and Ops Division, and Chief of Space and Missile Systems Center’s Mission Integration Branch.

Robert received his commissioning through the ROTC program at the University of Oklahoma and holds a Masters in Space System Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School and Masters of Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland.

Krystal Azelton, Director of Space Applications Programs, Secure World Foundation

Session Two

Krystal Azelton has over 10 years of international and domestic space, public policy, and management experience.Prior to joining SWF, Ms. Azelton was a consultant at Access Partneship, where she worked with international satellite service providers and other leading technology companies on policy issues related to spectrum management, emergency communications, telecommunications standards, orbital debris, and multilateral processes including representing industry at the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission. She has also served as a project manager at Tauri Group, a leading aerospace analytics firm, providing research, analysis, strategic planning, and regulatory assessment to government and commercial clients. She led and supported production of NASA’s strategic plans, audits, performance plans, budgets, and annual reports. Her work exposed to the full range of NASA’s Earth observation, human exploration, and aviation programs. In that role, she was also recognized as a key member of a data management team that received the NASA Group Achievement Award.   Ms. Azelton holds a BSFS in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC and completed the Programme Internationale at Sciences-Po in Paris, France.

Bob Caffrey, Rideshare Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Session Four

Bob Caffrey leads a number of rideshare formulation efforts at NASA/Goddard.  This includes developing rideshare opportunities for scientist and technologists and identifying rideshare payloads for government rideshare missions. Bob held management positions on other missions, including GOLD, LADEE, SAM, OSIRIS, SeaWiFS, SSBUV, and others. Bob has a BSEE (’85) and a BSCS (’90) from University of Maryland and a MSBA (’01) from MIT/Sloan.  Bob has been at Goddard since 1985.

Col. Chad Davis, Director, Office of Space Launch, National Reconnaissance Office

Session One

Colonel Chad J. Davis is the Director, Office of Space Launch, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Chantilly, Virginia. He has total launch responsibility for 11 critical satellite reconnaissance programs, leading a 700- member government and contractor organization with three squadrons. Col Davis orchestrates booster acquisition, system integration, mission transport, and processing for launch missions with values exceeding three billion dollars. He also serves as Mission Director for all NRO launches – the single authority for NRO launch mission success.

Col Davis began his career as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in 1995, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He later earned a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and has earned two Master of Arts Degrees in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval and Army War Colleges. In addition to being the Senior Materiel Leader, Space Systems Program Office, Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate, Col Davis was the NRO Operations Squadron Commander. He has held a variety of space development, acquisition, launch, and operations positions including Laser Vulnerability Engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Program Management and Chief Engineering duties for the NRO. He also has a full portfolio of Pentagon experience having served on the Joint Staff as a Joint Warfighting Capability Analyst, as the Special Access Program Coordinator for the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as on the Office of the Secretary of Defense staff as the Deputy Director for Space and Missile Defense Systems in the Office of Space, Strategic and Intelligence Systems.

Frederico Di Vruno, Spectrum Manager, Square Kilometer Array Observatory

Session Two

Federico Di Vruno is the Spectrum Manager of the SKAO (www.skaorganisation.org). He is an electronic engineer with experience in the field of radiocommunications and electromagnetic compatibility, interference calculation and mitigation, and compatibility studies applied to satellites and to radio telescopes. He worked previously in the satellite industry in the areas of EMC and RF, and has been involved in the same areas in the preparation for the construction of the Square Kilometre Array telescopes, the largest radio interferometers in the world. Currently he focuses on the protection of the radio spectrum for radio astronomical use.

Warren Frick, Business Developemnt, Northrop Grumman

Session Three

Warren supports business development for the diverse range of space launch capabilities towards the needs of potential customers - including OmegA, Antares, all the Minotaur configurations, and Pegasus.  After several tours in the Air Force with both space and aircraft tours, Warren has supported launch vehicles for Orbital, ATK, Orbital ATK, and Northrop Grumman.

Warren has a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, masters in Computer Science and more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace profession supporting space launch vehicle, satellite, and aircraft applications.

David Goldstein, Principal Guidance, Navigation, and Control Engineer, SpaceX

Session Two

David Goldstein is a SpaceX Principal Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) Engineer. In this role he’s an ambassador to government agencies on SpaceX satellite collision avoidance and space safety, he leads SpaceX integration with the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron and NASA/CARA and he develops, codes and fields satellite GNC algorithms.

Goldstein graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a bachelor's of science in 1988. His career covers a wide variety of Air Force technical leadership assignments including satellite science and technology, research and development, test and evaluation, payload integration, system engineering, acquisition, and launch operations. After serving 27 years in the US Air Force, Goldstein retired as a Colonel in January 2016. In his last assignment he was director of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate and Commander of the Phillips Research Site, at Kirtland Air Force Base.

Goldstein earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and three Master’s Degrees. . He has been married for over 32 years and has three children.

John Guiney, Vice President, OneWeb Fleet Management Segment

Session Two

John and his team are responsible for the design, development, and delivery of the OneWeb Fleet Management Segment including the Satellite Operations Center (SOC) hardware and software, and the Telemetry, Tracking, and Control (TT&C) Earth Stations.  His team is also responsible for development of the Fleet Operations plans and products as well as for building the Fleet Operations team to operate the OneWeb constellation.  The Fleet Management team is currently operating the OneWeb constellation from a SOC in Northern, VA and another in London, England.

John joined the OneWeb team in mid-2015.  He has more than 38 years of Mission Operations Center experience, including Design and Integration, Mission Readiness, Mission Operations, and System Test experience.  He has directly participated in the launch and early orbit operations of more than 42 launches of over 420 satellites.  John’s experience includes a mix of commercial, NASA, and Department of Defense (DoD) satellite programs.  John is a veteran of constellation operations and concept design, including the Iridium Launch and Early Orbit (L&EO) team, Teledesic Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) lead, and Celestri concept of operations design support.

David Hartshorn, Chief Executive Officer, Geeks Without Boundaries

Session One

David Hartshorn serves as CEO of Geeks Without Frontiers (Geeks), a global non-profit humanitarian organization, whose mission is to positively impact the lives of people by enabling access to connectivity-based services, including disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Mr. Hartshorn leads Geeks’ communications initiatives, which address two areas: Projects for disaster preparedness and resilience, refugee camps, village broadband, maritime operations, and other communities; and collaboration with governments on regulatory, policy and spectrum best practices.

Prior to Mr. Hartshorn’s service with Geeks, he launched and led the international non-profit association of the $30 billion satellite communications industry. Mr. Hartshorn’s primary responsibilities included enabling expanded access to communications solutions through financially sustainable business models, regulatory & policy advocacy, spectrum coordination, capacity building, training & education, technology validation, and engagement with private and public sector satellite stakeholders in all nations. Spanning the past 30 years, Mr. Hartshorn’s work has drawn upon professional skills previously acquired in leadership positions in business development, customer service, events management, publishing, and university graduate and post-graduate lecturing. Mr. Hartshorn has served most of his career in the communications industry in offices based in North and Southeast Asia, North America and Western Europe. He has lived in five countries in three world regions and has conducted business in most nations of the world.

Lars Hoffman, Senior Vice President, Rocket Lab

Session Three

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.

Therese Jones, Senior Director of Policy, Satellite Industry Association

Session 2

Therese Jones serves as the Senior Director of Policy at the Satellite Industry Association, where she supports work on regulatory, legislative, defense, space sustainability, cybersecurity, export-control and trade issues of critical importance to the Association’s 50+ member companies, effectively working as the industry liaison to the U.S. government. Previously, Therese was an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where she focused on space policy, and prior to that worked as an astrophysics researcher focusing on galaxy formation and evolution. Therese is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She holds a master’s in astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and bachelor’s degrees in astronomy and astrophysics, physics, German, and international studies from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. T. S. Kelso, Operator, CelesTrak

Session Two

Dr. T.S. Kelso is the operator of CelesTrak, the world's first source for orbital element sets and related software and educational materials.

Scott Leonard, Special Advisor to Director of the Office of Space Commerce, NOAA

Session Two

Scott Leonard serves as the Special Advisor to the Office of Space Commerce Director. He is considered a senior scientific leader with over 30 years of professional experience in aerospace.
He currently leads the development of an SSA/STM prototype called the Open Architecture Data Repository which will serve as SSA managementsystem to provide conjunction notifications to the US satellite community.In this capacity, he’s applying cutting-edge satellite ground initiatives using open architecture and enterprise solutions to support the growing concern of a congested satellite environment. Prior to his work at Space Commerce, Mr. Leonard served as the Director of the Mission Operations for NOAA satellites and Department of Defense in several technical leadership roles.

Richard Leshner, Vice President, Consulting at BryceTech

Session One

Rich Leshner, PhD, is Vice President of Consulting at BryceTech. He leads the team’s industry-leading market analysis, technology forecasting, economic modeling, and data analytics business to support customers in aeronautics, space, defense and national security, and other market segments.

Rich Leshner, PhD, is Vice President of Consulting at BryceTech. He leads the team’s industry-leading market analysis, technology forecasting, economic modeling, and data analytics business to support customers in aeronautics, space, defense and national security, and other market segments.Leshner previously served as the Executive Vice President of Operations for Planet Federal, a subsidiary of the Earth observation company Planet. In this role, Leshner grew geospatial business with the U.S. federal government, led policy engagement with Congress, and oversaw regulatory and compliance functions throughout the organization.

Leshner has a history of distinguished public service, with leadership roles at the White House and NASA. He has supported oversight and strategic direction for U.S. civil space and space science programs at multiple government agencies. He was a Senior Space Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he supported the development of the 2010 National Space Policy and championed reforms to better integrate commercial space capabilities. At NASA, Leshner worked on international exploration projects and managed a $150+ million portfolio of innovative small business research.

Leshner holds a Ph.D. in public policy and public administration from George Washington University and a Master’s Degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University

Timothy Maclay, President, Celestial Insight

Session Two

Dr. Timothy Maclay is the President of Celestial Insight, Inc., an aerospace consulting company he founded in 2003 to provide technical and policy support to commercial and government customers.  Areas of concentration include space mission development, satellite operations, and environmentally responsible practices.

He has extensive experience in the development, deployment, and operation of LEO constellations, most recently with OneWeb, as Director of Mission Systems Engineering, and with Orbcomm prior to that, as VP of Systems Engineering.  Dr. Maclay is a strong advocate for the conscientious use of our orbital resources and the adoption of responsible design and operational practices by industry, regulators, and policymakers.  His publications, presentations, proposals, and advocacy have helped shape current dialogue and direction on space safety and sustainability.  His service on committees and boards includes the AIAA, the IAA, the National Research Council, NASA’s Engineering Safety Center, the Hypervelocity Impact Society, the Space Safety Coalition, the World Economic Forum’s Space Sustainability Rating, and ClearSpace.

Darren McKnight, Senior Technical Director, Leo Labs

Session Two

Dr. Darren McKnight is currently Senior Technical Fellow for LeoLabs.  Darren leads efforts to realize the value proposition for the growing global network of ground-based radars for space situational awareness, space safety, and space sustainability. He creates new data depictions, develops risk algorithms, and leads space incident investigations. He is focusing on creating new statistical collision risk assessment approaches to provide valuable context to the operational collision avoidance support provided by LeoLabs worldwide.

As a member of the International Academy of Astronautics’ Space Debris Committee, he has been active in position paper development, selection of symposia papers, and execution of the annual International Astronautical Congress.  His current focus is on developing technical solutions and encouraging global behavior that leads to sustained space operations assurance through limiting the risk of debris collision hazard to space systems in Earth orbit. Recent efforts have shown that the greatest debris-generating potential in low Earth orbit comes from the thousands of massive derelict objects deposited over the last 50 years and not from the recent proliferation of smallsat constellations.

He has coauthored five booksranging from space debris and spacecraft operations to soccer coaching and innovation. Darren has authored over 100 technical papers and presented them in 16 countries including guest lectures at nine universities globally. Darren received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Engineering Sciences, his master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in Mechanical Engineering, and his doctorate from the University of Colorado in Aerospace Engineering Sciences. 

Randy Riddle, Chief Engineer, USSF/SMC/Rocket Systems Launch Program

Session Three - Session Chair

Mr. Randall L. Riddle is the Chief Engineer for the Small Launch and Targets Division, Launch Enterprise, Space and Missile Systems Center where he leads a team of 75 government and contractor personnel in the management of over $3 billion dollars of deactivated Peacekeeper and Minuteman ICBM missile assets and provides small and medium space launch capability for Air Force and other government agency missions.

Mike Rokaw, Vice President, Operations, VOX Space

Session Three

Mike is the Vice President, Operations for VOX Space. He is responsible for the execution of all VOX Space activities to include Programmatics, Engineering, Payload Operations, Business Development, Business, Finance and Contracts. He is responsible for technical execution of primary and rideshare missions for VOX Space customers that have purchased a launch for their respective spacecraft. Mike joined VOX Space in June of 2020.

Prior to joining VOX, Mike was the Director of the Special Programs Business product line for Raytheon Technologies. He was
responsible for the Space Control and Space Protection investment portfolios, Trident Missile Rad-Hard electronics and the Blackjack OPIR development. He successfully initiated development programs for multiple space control efforts.

Prior to joining Raytheon Technologies, Mike spent 25 years in the Air Force. Mike has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy as well as three Masters degrees from UCCS (MBA), AFIT (Space Systems) and the Naval War College.

Eric Salwan, Co-Founder and Acting Chief Revenue Officer, Firefly Aerospace

Session Three

Eric Salwan is a NewSpace advocate and entrepreneur. As one of the initial investors and first employees of Firefly Space Systems, Eric was a member of the team that worked to create an innovative small satellite launch solution. Eric was the Information Technology Director at Firefly Space Systems, responsible for all aspects of the Firefly IT infrastructure. As Acting Chief Revenue Officer at Firefly Aerospace, Eric is responsible for developing the commercial business pipeline for the Firefly space transportation portfolio of products. 

Patrick Seitzer, University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy

Session Two

Patrick Seitzer is a Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy of the University of Michigan.  His speciality is optical observations of orbital debris, particularly at geosynchronous orbit., using  telescopes ranging in aperture from 0.4-m to 6.5-m.  Recently he has taken a keen interest in the effect large constellations of satellites will have on observational astronomy.  He served on the NASA delegation to the IADC from 2001 to 2015.

Scott Schoneman, Consulting Engineer, Schonodyne LLC

Session One

Scott Schoneman is the semi-retired owner and Chief Engineer of his one-person consulting business, Schonodyne LLC.  He previously was Senior Mission Advisor in the Spaceflight, Inc, having primary responsibility for the development and mission management of US Government spacecraft.  At Spaceflight he managed missions and was involved in the launch of multiple launch vehicles, including SpaceX Falcon 9, Rocket Lab’s Electron, and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus/Antares & Minotaur IV.  

Previously, he was Director of the Systems Engineering Department at Orbital Sciences Launch Systems Group (now Northrop Grumman), overseeing the systems engineering efforts on all of Orbital’s launch vehicles.  During his many years at Orbital, he was also Manager of Mission Development for Minotaur launch vehicles, initiating multiple spacecraft launch missions from conception through early mission execution.  He has deep roots in small space launch Rideshare, going back over 20 years to the initial Minotaur I launch, for which he was Lead Systems Engineer and Mission Manager.  That mission was a multi-manifest mission launching a record – at that time – 11 spacecraft.  In addition, he has been actively involved in a variety of sub orbital targets and technology demonstration missions and has worked with multiple launch ranges, including Vandenberg, Wallops, White Sands, and Alaska Aerospace.

Scott has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and an MBA in Technology from Arizona State University

Mark Skinner, Senior Project Leader for Space Traffic Management, The Aerospace Corporation

Session Two - Session Chair

Dr. Mark Skinner is internationally recognized as a researcher in space object characterization and commercial space situational awareness. He is currently leading The Aerospace Corporation’s effort to support the transition of space traffic management (STM) from the Defense realm to the Civil. For almost two decades he supported research efforts at the AMOS facility on Maui, Hawaii, and now supports STM in Washington, DC.

For eight years, he supported the US delegation to the UN COPUOS Working Group on the Long Term Sustainable use of outer space in the development of guidelines and best practices, as an expert on space debris and SSA.

Ruth Stilwell, Executive Director, Aerospace Policy Solutions

Session Two

Dr. Ruth Stilwell is the Executive Director of Aerospace Policy Solutions LLC, adjunct faculty at Norwich University and member of the MPA advisory board, and one of the world’s leading authorities on integrated space and aviation policy and governance.

A 25-year air traffic controller, experienced labor leader and policy expert, Dr. Stilwell is also an accomplished researcher and lecturer. Her numerous publications and presentations, which cover a wide range of space and aviation, public safety, human factors, administration, financing, and industry reform topics, have influenced key U.S. legislation and in many cases been required reading for administration officials. Dr. Stilwell’s specific areas of expertise include: integrating commercial space operations in civil airspace; projecting air traffic controller retirement and staffing requirements; FAA funding and financing structures, workers’ rights and more.

Dr. Stilwell served from 2010-2015 as the industry expert representing air traffic controllers on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Navigation Commission in Montreal. Her air traffic control experience includes 25 years of operational duty at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, two years as liaison to the FAA Requirements Service, and six years as Executive Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

The founding chairperson of the Air Traffic Services Committee of the International Transport Workers Federation, a position she held for four years, Dr. Stilwell currently serves on the Technical Committee on Human Spaceflight Safety of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, which is working to develop safety guidelines for human commercial spaceflight. She is also a lead drafter of McGill University’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary study,Global Governance of Outer Space, to be published in 2017.

Dr. Stilwell earned her BA in Labor Studies at the National Labor College and her MPA and DPA at the University of Baltimore.

Florence Tan, NASA HQ, Chair, Small Spacecraft Coordination Group (SSCG)

Session One

Florence Tan is the Chair of the Small Spacecraft Coordination Group (SSCG) at NASA Headquarters. She is also the Deputy Chief Technologist (DCT) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In her role as SSCG Chair, she leads the SSCG to coordinate and develop NASA’s strategy and vision for small spacecraft in science, exploration missions, and technology activities and provide advice to the Associate Administrators of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and SMD. As the DCT for SMD, she supports the SMD Chief Technologist to survey and assess technology needs for NASA’s science. Previously, Florence worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for 32 years. She has been the lead electrical engineer, cognizant designer, integration and test engineer, manager, and operator for multiple NASA spaceflight projects including seven mass spectrometers launched to Mars, Saturn, Titan, and the Moon. Florence has received numerous awards including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Achievement, the Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement for Outreach, Goddard Division Excellence Award, multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards including the NASA Silver Achievement Medal, Goddard Special Act Awards and Goddard Peer Awards. Florence has made it a personal goal to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and she actively engages in outreach activities with students and the public to promote NASA science and technology advancements multiple times per year in the last 15 years. Florence holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and MBA in E-Commerce from Johns Hopkins University.


Merissa Velez, Federal Communications Commission, Satellite Division

Session Two

Merissa L. Velez is the Chief of the Satellite Policy Branch within the Federal Communications Commission's International Bureau, Satellite Division.  In this role, Ms. Velez reviews legal issues associated with satellite applications, and works on Commission rulemaking proceedings and other policy issues.  While at the FCC, Ms. Velez has particularly focused on orbital debris mitigation and non-geostationary orbit satellites, including small satellites.

Max Vozoff, Chief Technology Officer, X-Bow Systems

Max has over 30 yrs of experience in engineering, program management and business development in
multiple industries, including aerospace, telecommunications and finance. He has worked and
consulted for NASA, SpaceX, Vulcan (Stratolaunch) and numerous other employers and clients, both large traditional companies and small startups. At NASA JPL, he contributed hardware to multiple missions, technology development programs and led advanced
concept studies. He won and managed the Dragon spacecraft development program for SpaceX, bringing it from a whiteboard to launch in under 4 years. He has also served as a consultant and Subject Matter Expert for NASA, DARPA and numerous commercial clients, providing technical review, business and technical strategy and implementation, program formulation and management.

Session Three

Tom Williams, Senior Director, Federal Sales, Astra

Session Three

Dr. Williams previously performed the duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, as well as working as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). At OSD, Dr. Williams established the first office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy.

Before OSD, Dr. Williams served on the National Security Council as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, as well as Acting Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy. At NSC, Dr. Williams coordinated the establishment of the United States Space Force and elevation of the United States Space Command.

Dr. Williams earned a doctorate in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelors degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2021.

Bruce Yost, Director, Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute, NASA Ames Research Center

All Sessions

Bruce Yost is currently the director of NASA’s Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI), which is jointly funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and Science Mission Directorate.  

Prior to this position, Bruce was the program manager for the Small Spacecraft Technology program within STMD.  He began his aerospace career working on the space shuttle at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and also worked at NASA Headquarters prior to moving to NASA’s Ames Research Center. Bruce has worked on a number of space shuttle, International Space Station, and more recently, small satellite missions and programs for over 30 years.