2017 SPEAKERS

Tom Armstrong

Tom Armstrong

President, Madison River Group, LLC

Thomas R. Armstrong is President of the Madison River Group (MRG). Prior to MRG, Dr. Armstrong served within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Executive Director of the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). He was the lead in the development of the USGCRP’s Ten Year Strategic Plan (2012-2021) and a key player in the Third National Climate Assessment, the President’s Climate Action Plan, and other activities of the Federal climate change enterprise. He also served as the U.S. Head of Delegation to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, the Chair of Sustaining Arctic Observing Systems (SAON) and the Deputy Director of the Community on Earth Observing Systems (CEOS). Before Joining the White House, Tom served as the Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Senior Advisor for Climate Change and helped implement Executive Order S.O. 3289 on climate.

Sirisha Bandla

Sirisha Bandla

Government Affairs, Virgin Galactic

Sirisha Bandla currently works at Virgin Galactic in the D.C. operations office on Government Affairs and Business Development, supporting both LauncherOne and SpaceShipTwo programs, specifically for science and technology payloads. Previously, Sirisha served as the Associate Director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies. At CSF, Sirisha works on various policies with the aim to promote the commercial space industry and make commercial human spaceflight a reality. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from Purdue, and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the George Washington University.

Elizabeth Cantwell

Elizabeth Cantwell

Vice President, Research Development at Arizona State University

Elizabeth R. Cantwell, is vice president for Research Development at Arizona State University. Previously, she was the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Economic Development Office. She has a long career in space systems engineering, from satellite development to life support systems, and sits on the National Academies Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.

Martin Elvis

Martin Elvis

Senior Astrophysicist, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Martin Elvis is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge MA and is the author of over 400 papers on supermassive black holes and quasars that have been cited over 25,000 times by his peers. Now he concentrates on studies of near-Earth asteroids, advocating for “Applied Astronomy” as a new discipline to harness space resources (and save the Earth). The asteroid 9283 Martinelvis is named after him.

Brian Greene

Brian Greene

Director, Columbia’s Center for Theoretical Physics; Co-founder, World Science Festival

Professor Greene is world-renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory, including the co-discovery of mirror symmetry and the discovery of spatial topology change. He is the director of Columbia’s Center for Theoretical Physics.

Professor Greene is known to the public through his New York Times best selling books and numerous media appearances from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to Charlie Rose. The Washington Post called him “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.” Professor Greene has hosted two NOVA mini-series based on his books, receiving the George Foster Peabody award for “The Elegant Universe with Brian Greene.” Greene has had cameo roles in a number of Hollywood films including Frequency, Maze and The Last Mimzy and in 2008, with producer Tracy Day, co-founded the World Science Festival.

Jamie Guined

Jamie Guined

Founder, SeaSpace Exploration & Research Society, Inc.

Jamie Guined is the Founder & Executive Director of the SeaSpace Exploration & Research Society, Inc. The mission of SeaSpace is to further the advancement of the human exploration of the ocean (sea) and space through the development of innovative and multi-disciplinary solutions that are applicable to both environments, while promoting the responsible use of each frontier through targeted education, public outreach, and conservation programs. Prior to moving into the commercial space sector, Jamie served as an Exercise Scientist with the University of Houston supporting research at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The focus of her research was to better understand how spaceflight produces changes to the muscular, neurovestibular, and cardiovascular systems, and the development of effective countermeasures and countermeasures hardware that will facilitate adaptation and maintenance of crew health during long-duration spaceflight, as well as recovery and re-adaptation post-flight.

Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson

Founder & CEO, Fiat Physica

Mark Jackson received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University. He spent 10 years researching superstring cosmology, authoring almost 40 research articles. Recognizing the emerging importance of private scientific funding, he then founded Fiat Physica, a crowdfunding platform devoted to the advancement of physics, astronomy and space exploration. Campaigns on Fiat Physica bring awareness to these fields and important projects, and pave the way for future technology. In a related vein, he then founded the Science Partnership Fund, whose mission is to facilitate foundations and corporations supporting crowdfunding projects and public events in physics, astronomy and space exploration. He is currently faculty at Singularity University and has appeared in video expositions about quantum computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and others. He has delivered lectures in 19 countries, and spoken as an expert on multiple panels. Finally, Jackson serves on the Board of Directors for the BoldlyGo Institute.

Elizabeth Kennick

Elizabeth Kennick

President, Teachers In Space, Inc.

Elizabeth (Liz) Kennick is President of Teachers in Space, Inc. Formerly Vice President of Client Technology at Morgan Stanley, she now splits her time between developing and sharing exciting ways to bring space into the classroom, and speaking at aerospace and education conferences. Here’s a recent appearance on WeatherBrains.

Liz holds degrees in Information Systems / Operations Analysis and Education and is certified as a Project Management Professional and as a Network Engineer. She is co-founder of NYC’s Software Process Improvement Network and a board member of the Lifeboat Foundation. Liz has judged business plan competitions for Space Frontier Foundation and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, tested a commercial spacesuit on a Falcon20 parabolic flight, completed centrifuge and hypobaric chamber training, and climbed Earth’s highest extinct volcano. She is competing in the 2017 Crossfit Open, currently ranking in the top 20% of Women aged 55-59.

Carie Lemack

Carie Lemack

Co-founder and CEO, DreamUp

An experienced innovator skilled in conceiving and building ideas into globally-recognized organizations, Carie Lemack has more than a decade of experience in entrepreneurial endeavors, advocacy and security policy. Currently the Cofounder and CEO of DreamUp, an organization bringing space into the classroom and the classroom into space, she focuses on spearheading programs and partnerships to inspire the next generation of innovators and explorers. Under her leadership, DreamUp has expanded offerings for students conducting research in space, developed and released space-based curriculum for educators, and partnered with the German Space Agency DLR to coordinate the first-of-its-kind university research contest Überflieger.

Lemack co-founded Global Survivors Network, an organization for victims of terror to speak out against terrorism and radicalization. She coordinated and inspired events globally and produced an Academy Award-nominated documentary film, Killing in the Name. In 2001, she co-founded and led Families of September 11.

Carie has testified before Congress and been interviewed repeatedly on national and international media outlets.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Technology Development Lead, Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS)

Jennifer Lopez is the Commercial Innovation Technology Lead at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) identifying, developing, and fostering commercial R&D and breakthrough innovations for the International Space Station. As the Founding Member of NASA’s Datanaut Corps in the Technology and Open Innovation Division of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Ms. Lopez is shaping the direction of the program inspiring future engineers, data scientists, and entrepreneurs who share a passion for learning and exploration to engage with NASA’s open data from NASA missions to research, answering challenges in technology, aeronautics, the space station, the solar system, Earth, and NASA’s Journey to Mars. Ms. Lopez also serves on the Advisory Council for the Physics and Astronomy Department at Johns Hopkins University, a world leader in groundbreaking research in condensed matter physics, particle physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

Alex MacDonald

Alex MacDonald

Emerging Space Program Executive, NASA

Alexander MacDonald is the Senior Economic Advisor within the Office of the Administrator at NASA Headquarters. He is recognized as an expert on the economic history of American space exploration and contemporary private-sector space activities. He was previously the founding program executive of NASA’s Emerging Space Office which conducts economic analysis on the emerging commercial space sector and which established NASA’s first grants program for economics research. His new book, The Long Space Age: The Economic Origins of Space Exploration from Colonial America to the Cold War, was just published by Yale University Press.

Maria Manoli

Maria Manoli

Doctoral Candidate, Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University

Maria Manoli is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL), Faculty of Law, McGill University, where she is also an Erin J. C. Arsenault doctoral fellow in Space governance, and an R. E. Morrow fellow. She is also working as a research assistant for the McGill Centre of Air and Space Law. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Laws from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, two LL.M.’s from the same University, in Civil Law and in Public International Law respectively, and a LL.M. from the IASL, Faculty of Law, McGill University. Maria Manoli is also a registered lawyer at the Athens Bar Association, Greece. She has delivered presentations on space law related topics to a number of conferences, and has worked for several governmental and non-governmental entities. Her current doctoral research focuses on the legal perspectives of space natural resources exploitation and their sharing. She has been coaching the McGill M. Lachs Space Law Moot Court team for three consecutive years.

Gregg Maryniak

Gregg Maryniak

Co-Founder and Secretary, X-Prize Foundation

Gregg Maryniak is the Co-Founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and its original Executive Director. He is the Foundation’s Corporate Secretary and Board Member. He received Russia’s Tsiolkovsky Medal for his work on the energy and material resources of space and the Space Frontier Foundation’s Vision to Reality Award for starting the Lunar Prospector Team which discovered billions of tons of water ice and other frozen volatiles at the Moon’s North and South poles. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Space Studies Institute of Princeton, Senior Scientist of the Futron Corporation, Vice President of the St. Louis Science Center and Director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. He served on the Director’s Council of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is the Vice Chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation. He co-chairs the Space and Energy tracks at Singularity University.

Jon Morse

Jon Morse

CEO and Chair of the Board, BoldlyGo Institute

Dr. Jon Morse is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BoldlyGo Institute, Inc., located in New York, NY. He has more than 15 years of leadership experience in space missions, space-focused organizations, and science and innovation policy, including serving as Director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Project Scientist for the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, Associate Director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Associate Vice President for Research for Physical Sciences & Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a Harvard graduate and earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Matthew Napoli

Matthew Napoli

VP of In-space Operations, Made In Space

After earning his master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mr. Napoli has been researching and developing additive manufacturing technologies for use in microgravity and the space environment. He was a member of the team that built and operated the 1st off-world 3D printer in 2014 as part of NASA’s 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment and currently manages the Additive Manufacturing Facility, a 2nd generation 3D printing system on the International Space Station. Mr. Napoli is leading the path forward for in-space manufacturing of items for NASA, industry, and STEM users.

Sandya Narayanswami

Sandya Narayanswami

CEO, S. Narayanswami Consulting

Dr. Sandya Narayanswami provides consulting services in Corporate & Foundation Relations, specializing in science, to institutions of higher education. Her unique skill-set combines faculty-level research in the life sciences with a 20-year track-record of obtaining grants and gifts from major local, regional, and national foundations, corporations, and corporate foundations. She has successfully solicited support for capital investment, research, scholarships, endowments, operating costs, instrumentation, and education. She helps research universities build strong CFR programs, focusing on policies and procedures, best practices, staff training and development, goal setting, fundraising and evaluation. Her strengths include interfacing effectively with faculty and foundation staff, designing and administering complex programs, stewarding relationships, and developing strategy. She is a real scientist who knows how to raise money for “”Big Science””.

Michael Paluszek

Michael Paluszek

President, Princeton Satellite Systems

Mr. Paluszek is President of Princeton Satellite Systems (PSS). He has an SB in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an SM and EAA also from MIT. He is designing a new satellite under an Army contract and the subsystems for a nuclear fusion power system for space propulsion and terrestrial power. He is co-author of the books “MATLAB Recipes” and “MATLAB Machine Learning”.
Mr. Paluszek designed the ACS for the OSC Indostar-1 satellite and led the design of the TDRS H, I, J momentum management system. Mr. Paluszek developed the Spacecraft Control Toolbox, used worldwide for spacecraft design and simulation.

Prior to founding PSS, Mr. Paluszek worked at GE Astro Space. At GE he designed the GGS Polar despun platform control system and led the design of the GPS IIR and Inmarsat-3 ACS and the Mars Observer delta-V control system. Previously, Mr. Paluszek worked at Draper Laboratory and at MIT.

Tom Prince

Tom Prince

Director, Keck Institute for Space Studies; Professor of Physics, Caltech; Senior Research Scientist, JPL

Dr. Thomas A. Prince is the Ira S. Bowen Professor of Physics at Caltech and holds a joint appointment with Caltech’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a Senior Research Scientist. Between 2001 and 2006, Prince served as JPL’s Chief Scientist. He is currently Director of the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) at Caltech.  The primary purpose of KISS is to develop new planetary, Earth, and astrophysics space mission concepts and technology by bringing together a broad spectrum of scientists and engineers for sustained scientific and technical interaction. KISS links the study elements of a think tank with the implementation elements of designing and developing prototypes. While much of Prince’s current research involves the use of the Palomar Transient Factory Survey to detect small, near-Earth asteroids, he has previously studied low-frequency gravitational wave astronomy, cosmic-ray astrophysics, gamma-ray astronomy, radio-pulsar astronomy, high-performance computation and virtual observatories.

Caleb Scharf

Caleb Scharf

Director, Columbia Astrobiology Center, Columbia University

Caleb Scharf is Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University. His research career spans cosmology, high-energy astrophysics and exoplanetary science. He is a Global Coordinator for the EON origins of life research effort at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a co-founder of YHouse Inc. He is also a best-selling author of popular science books and a regular contributor at Scientific American, Nautilus, and on other science media outlets.

Olivia Scharfman

Olivia Scharfman

Vice Chair, Board of Directors for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space; Student, Yale University

Olivia Scharfman is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for SEDS-USA and a Sophomore at Yale University. She is the SEDS representative to the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, a member of the Yale Debate team, and Director of Development for thinkTANC (Theoretical and Applied Neural Computing) at Yale. She has also been a professional stage actor and member of Actor’s Equity for six years. She is spending this Spring working on the Visioneers team for XPRIZE.

David Thoreson

David Thoreson

Senior Advisor, Geoversiv Foundation

David brings a unique experience of exploring Earth’s changing planetary systems. David made the historic 2007 voyage on the sailboat Cloud Nine, a journey through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage, without encountering sea ice. It was on that voyage that David identified a moment of transition between two great ages of exploration: from the Age of Exploration of the Earth’s surface terrain to the Age of Earth Systems Exploration.

Integral to David’s work is the project of building models and means for citizen scientists to ground-truth earth science data and satellite observations. David was also part of the crew of Ocean Watch, the research vessel that sailed 28,000-miles around both American continents, ground-truthing remote observations and climate models for NASA and NOAA.

David Thoreson is a professional photographer, sailor and explorer. Thoreson is an Explorers Club Fellow and participant in the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

Erika Wagner

Erika Wagner

Business Development Manager, Blue Origin

Dr. Erika Wagner serves as Business Development Manager for Blue Origin, a commercial developer of vehicles and technologies to seed an enduring human presence in space. Prior to joining Blue Origin, Dr. Wagner worked with the X PRIZE Foundation as Senior Director of Exploration Prize Development and founding Executive Director of the X PRIZE Lab@MIT. Dr. Wagner’s interdisciplinary background includes biomedical and aerospace engineering, as well as organizational innovation and prize theory.

Pete Worden

Pete Worden

Chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Simon Peter “Pete” Worden is the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Executive Director of the foundation’s ‘Breakthrough Initiatives’.

Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues, and has been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally.

Worden received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon, and named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium Laboratory Director of the Year, and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award. He served as a scientific co-investigator for three NASA space science missions – most recently the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph launched in 2013 to study the Sun.

In 2015 at the Royal Society in London, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking launched the Breakthrough Initiatives, for which Pete Worden was introduced as the Chairman for the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Anthony Yuen

Anthony Yuen

Resident Physician, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Web Team Co-Coordinator; Space Generation Advisory Council

Anthony Yuen is a mechanical & space engineer and medical doctor. His interests and experience span areas as diverse as ramjets, needle-free delivery of drugs and vaccines, global health, and artificial hearts. Anthony’s eventual goal is to develop innovative approaches at the intersection of medicine, engineering and technology to overcome the challenges of long duration spaceflight on the human body. He currently serves as the Web Coordinator for the Space Generation Advisory Council, a member of the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation team and is a final year medical resident at the NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

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