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2022 ASCEND Adds Preeminent Space Leaders from Government, Academia, and Industry to Event


October 11, 2022 – Reston, Va. – ASCEND, the world’s premier outcomes-focused, interdisciplinary space event designed to accelerate building our off-world future faster, today announced more speakers from across the space ecosystem for the 2022 ASCEND apex event, 24–26 October at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, and online. The packed three-day agenda boasts nearly 400 speakers.

National security space leaders added

  • Asha Balakrishnan, Assistant Director, Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)
  • Col. El Gardner, Director, Space Strategy and Policy, U.S. Space Force (USSF)
  • David Gauthier, Director, Commercial and Business Operations, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Jeremy Leader, Director, Commercial Services Office, Space Systems Command, USSF
  • Maj. Gen. John Olson, Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations and Lead on JADC2 & ABMS, USSF; and Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Col. Joseph Roth, USSF, Director, Innovation and Prototyping Delta and Senior Materiel Leader/Commander SSC Detachment 1, Space Systems Command

Space industry leaders added

  • Uyen Dinh, Vice President, Government Relations and Strategy, BlackSky
  • Bill Gerstenmaier, Vice President, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
  • Jessica Jensen, Vice President, Customer Operations and Integration, SpaceX
  • Michael Mineiro, Vice President, Legal, Regulatory, and Government Affairs, HawkEye 360 Inc.
  • Jamie Morin, Executive Director, Center for Space Policy and Strategy; and Vice President, Defense Systems Operations, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Mark Mozena, Vice President, Government Affairs, Planet
  • Matt Ondler, Chief Technology Officer, Axiom Space
  • Kirk Shireman, Vice President, Lunar Exploration Campaign, Lockheed Martin
  • Al Tadros, Chief Technology Officer, Redwire Space
  • Russ Teehan, Kuiper Government Solutions Principal Solutions Architect, Amazon
  • Jake Thompson, Chief Engineer Novel Nuclear and Head of Innovation, Rolls-Royce

Adjacent industries leaders added

  • Norm Follett, Senior Director, Global Technical Marketing, Space Technology & Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
  • Robert (Ribby) Goodfellow, Director, Corporate Purpose Communications, Colgate-Palmolive Company

U.S. civil space leaders added

  • Robert (Bob) Gibbs, Associate Administrator, Mission Support Directorate, NASA
  • Elaine Ho, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of STEM Engagement, NASA
  • Joseph Pelfrey, Deputy Director, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

International space agency leaders added

  • Peter Gräf, Director Applications and Science, German Space Agency (DLR)
  • Susann Groß, Head of Programme Space R&D, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan, Director General, Space Capability, Australian Defence Force
  • Krunal Joshi, Counsellor, Space (ISRO), Embassy of India
  • Nicolas Maubert, Space Counselor to the French Embassy and CNES Representative in the United States
  • Masami Onada, Director, Washington D.C. Office, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • Jill Smyth, Counselor, Space Affairs, Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
  • Éric Vachon, Director General, Space Science and Technology, Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270 cell

Powered by AIAA, ASCEND, which stands for Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery, is the world’s premier collaborative, outcomes-driven, interdisciplinary community designed to accelerate the building of our off-world future. For more information, visit, or follow ASCEND on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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