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Debra Facktor

Head of U.S. Space Systems for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.,

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Meta-16: Delivering Capabilities That Match the Speed of the Threat, Wednesday 18 November 1100-1200

Debra Facktor is Head of U.S. Space Systems for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., reporting to the Chairman and President of Airbus U.S. She joined the company in March 2020 and is responsible for managing the two businesses within U.S. Space Systems: National Security Space and Space Exploration. She also serves on the board of the Airbus OneWeb Satellites Joint Venture.

For more than 30 years, Debra has guided new and established companies through unprecedented industry change. Her leadership and strategic vision have enhanced business growth and fostered new paradigms for industry collaboration. A business leader and systems thinker, she is known for her ability to see opportunity in change and for developing proactive plans that anticipate and leverage evolving market landscapes. With an emphasis on teamwork, mentoring, diversity and inclusion, she brings people and ideas together to make a positive impact.

Through January 2020, Debra was Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Operations for Ball Aerospace, where she elevated the company’s profile across multiple stakeholder communities and expanded its strategic capabilities in defense, civil and commercial sectors. Debra represented Ball Aerospace as its senior executive in the Washington, DC area, where she led the company’s Washington Operations, Marketing & Communications, and Strategic Development portfolios. She transformed the strategic planning process and implemented an enterprise-wide integrated strategic plan, leading to tremendous and sustainable multi-sector growth.

Prior to joining Ball in January 2013, Debra served as the president of DFL Space LLC, an aerospace consulting firm focused on developing innovative business strategies for its clients. As an industry professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, she also led its Masters of Engineering in Technical Leadership program, served as Director of Strategic Programs for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) and was Principal Investigator on research sponsored by the U.S. Air Force.

Her extensive business experience includes serving as president and an owner of AirLaunch LLC, a small business that won funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force to develop an operationally responsive small launch vehicle. She served as vice president of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Kistler Aerospace Corporation, which raised over $600M in private capital to develop a reusable launch vehicle for commercial markets and laid the groundwork for commercial resupply of the International Space Station. Earlier in her career, she was chief of Moscow Operations for ANSER’s Center for International Aerospace Cooperation.


Debra is actively engaged as an advisor, mentor and board member in the aerospace community, with organizations such as the University of Michigan Industrial Advisory Board, Intelligence and National Security Association (INSA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Future Space Leaders Foundation, Brooke Owens and Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Programs, Women in Aerospace (WIA), WIA Foundation and the International Women’s Forum. She is a fellow of AIAA and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

Debra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering, both from the University of Michigan, and is an alumna of the International Space University summer session program in Space Policy & Law in Strasbourg, France.[/mpc_textblock][mpc_button preset=”mpc_preset_21″ url=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ascend.events%2Fexperience%2Fspeakers|title:Link||” font_color=”#e0004d” font_size=”16″ font_transform=”uppercase” font_align=”left” title=”BACK TO SPEAKERS” border_css=”border-width:2px;border-color:#e0004d;border-style:solid;border-radius:0px;” padding_divider=”true” padding_css=”padding-top:12px;padding-right:30px;padding-bottom:12px;padding-left:30px;” margin_divider=”true” margin_css=”margin-top:11px;” hover_font_color=”#ffffff” hover_background_color=”#e0004d” hover_background_effect=”slide-top”]

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