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Ms. Patricia Grace Smith, Chair
Patti Grace Smith served as Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation for the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, where for eleven years (ending February 2008) she headed the line of business responsible for licensing, regulating, and promoting the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. Smith joined the Department of Transportation in 1994. Smith has over 28 years of experience and knowledge of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
In an era of unprecedented private sector progress toward commercial human space flight, Smith worked hard to foster an environment where safety always comes first and innovation can flourish. During her career at the FAA and DOT, Smith was instrumental in the growth and change that the U.S. commercial launch industry has experienced, facilitating both technological and infrastructure developments and initiating and fostering greater cooperation and partnerships between aviation and space functions in the agency. During her service at the FAA, key milestones were achieved that include the Mojave Air and Spaceport becoming the first inland Commercial Spaceport licensed by the agency, and the launch of the X-Prize winning, historic SpaceShip One, a launch licensed by the FAA. Smith also oversaw the development of rules for human space flight mandated by congressional passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
Under Smith's leadership at the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, the FAA became the recognized global leader in private human space flight. Smith initiated and helped forge partnerships with the Air Force on common launch safety standards, and kept safety, regulatory matters and insurance issues constantly in the public forum. She worked closely with FAA lines of business to draw on aviation expertise where appropriate to space issues and to address the impact of space flight on the National Airspace System. Smith was named by Space News as one of the top ten people in the U.S. space sector.
Smith also held positions in the private sector at the National Association of Broadcasters, Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation, and Sheridan Radio Network; and in government at the Department of Defense and the Federal Communications Commission; and the United States Congress with the Senate Commerce Committee. Smith is currently an aerospace consultant with Patti Grace Smith Consulting, LLC, working with Virgin Galactic (The Virgin Group), CSSI, Inc., the Tauri Group, United Launch Alliance (ULA), NDTI, and Ball Aerospace. She is on the board of the Space Foundation where she serves as a member of the nominating committee; American Astronautical Society (Executive Committee); the X Prize Advisory Committee Board; and the Conrad Foundation. She was recently appointed Chair of the Commercial Space Committee of the NASA Advisory Committee by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.
Smith is an expert in government licensing and regulatory processes; intergovernmental coordination and strategies; and assisting new space companies in navigating the government process to accomplish their strategic business plans and goals. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her accomplishments in communications and commercial space transportation. Smith is a regular speaker at space industry events.
Col. Joseph F. Boyle USAF (Ret)
Col. Joseph F. Boyle USAF (Ret) is a nationally recognized rocket expert and DoD acquisition professional with 33+ years in multi-discipline program management, systems engineering, laboratory R&D, flight test, vehicle integration, international programs, budgeting/finance, cost analysis, contracts, acquisition strategy, and organizational development.
Col. Boyle has: served as a private consultant to U.S. DOD, U.S. Air Force (USAF) and commercial customers; provided support to the Systems Engineering & Integration (SE&I) contract to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Program Office; led several studies to assess the causes of cost growth on Major Acquisition Programs for Department of Defense Comptroller (OSDC); led development of a case study on the systems engineering processes used for the International Space Station (ISS); led several studies for USAF Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) on organization efficiencies, decision processes and systems engineering; developed safety process and procedures as the Director of Rocket Operations; and executed two different competitions for the X Prize Lunar Lander Challenge.
Col Boyle holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Norwich University, an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, is a graduate of the Program Manager’s Course at Defense Acquisition University and also the USAF War College Air University.
During his Air Force career he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal - Six Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal - Two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Mr. Hoyt Davidson
Hoyt Davidson is the founder and Managing Partner of Near Earth LLC, a Connecticut based investment bank and advisory firm focused on the satellite industry, commercial space and aerospace/defense. Near Earth’s clients include: major satellite companies, large and small aerospace/defense companies, private equity and hedge funds, and early stage entrepreneurial firms seeking private equity capital.
Before founding Near Earth, Mr. Davidson was a Managing Director in the Telecom Group at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Davidson’s 26-year investment banking career began in 1987 at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette where he was a co-founder and Managing Director of the firm’s Space Finance Group, Wall Street’s first dedicated coverage group for the commercial satellite industry. While a member of the Space Finance Group, Mr. Davidson was an integral participant in public and private debt and equity financings totaling over $15 billion.
Mr. Davidson is frequently asked to speak at satellite and space industry conferences on financial and investment matters. He also currently serves on the Board of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES).
Mr. Davidson received his Science Masters in Management (MBA) in 1987 from MIT’s Sloan School where he was awarded the Henry B. duPont III Scholarship for academic excellence. Before entering Sloan, Mr. Davidson worked as a Senior Research Engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (Sunnyvale, CA) from 1979 to 1985 where he held a top secret clearance. Mr Davidson received a BS in Physics from MIT in 1979.
Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr.
Dr. Harris is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invest in early to mid stage Healthcare technologies and companies.
Prior to Vesalius Ventures, Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. Later, as head of the Exercise Countermeasure Project, he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space, which involved the use of telemetry. A veteran astronaut for over eighteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. On his second flight, Dr. Harris conducted the first telemedicine conference from space with the Mayo Clinic and became the first African-American to walk in space.Read more
Dr. Harris served as Vice President and Chief Scientist of SPACEHAB, Inc., an innovative space commercialization company where he directed the company's space science business. There he was involved in business development and marketing of the company's space-based products and services. Dr. Harris' focus was the enhancement of medical devices for use in remote environments. Later, he served as Vice President of Business Development for Space Media, Inc., an informatics company, establishing an e-commerce initiative.
Currently, he is on the board for the Houston Angel Network, Medical Informatics, Technology and Applications Center, Houston Technology Center, BioHouston, the National Math and Science Initiative and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Board of Scientific Counselors. In addition, he was a senior consultant for the NASA Aerospace Safety Panel, a member of the NASA Biological and Physical Sciences Committee, the Council for the NIH National Institute for Deafness and Communications Disorders and the committee for the National Academies Institute of Medicine.
He holds several faculty appointments including Associate Professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Additionally, he is the author and co-author of numerous scientific publications. Dr. Harris is also the founder and president of the Harris Foundation, which supports math and science education and crime prevention programs for America's youth.
Dr. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base. He is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for RMD Networks, U.S. Physical Therapy (Nasdaq: USPH), Sterling Bancshares (Nasdaq: SBIB), The Endowment Fund, Salient Absolute Return Fund, MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund, Monebo Technologies and the Space Agency.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University (SUNY), Morehouse School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and University of Hartford, NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and was the recipient of the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.
Mr. Lon C. Levin
Lon Levin is an executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years' experience in space, new media, and telecommunications industries. Lon is President of SkySevenVentures, which works with, helps manage, and invests in new technology companies. Lon is the cofounder of XM Satellite Radio and played an integral role in the formation and development of other satellite, media, and wireless companies including Mobile Satellite Ventures, XM Canada, Motient Corporation, American Mobile Satellite Corporation, Sentinel Satellite, Slacker Radio, and TerreStar.
Before his corporate career, Lon was a partner in the law firm of Gurman, Kurtis, Blask & Freedman, where he specialized in space, satellite, media, and wireless matters. Lon holds three communication satellite patents. Lon is a member of the DoD Defense Business Board and the NASA Commercial Space Advisory Subcommittee. Lon is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Planetary Society and the Board of Governors of the National Space Society. He was a founding board member of the Satellite Industry Association and was its co-chairperson from 1996-98. Lon was inducted into the Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in 2002.
Mr. Stephen S. Oswald
Mr. Oswald is a former naval aviator, test pilot, astronaut, Navy Rear Admiral, and senior executive with NASA and The Boeing Company. Most recently, he led Boeing's Intelligence and Security organization, and prior to that managed their Space Shuttle Program activities. At NASA, he served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Operations after flying three Shuttle missions as a pilot and commander. Oswald graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He served as a test pilot for both the Navy and, as a civilian test pilot, with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Ms. Franceska O. Schroeder
Franceska O. Schroeder is a Principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Fish & Richardson. She is a member of the firm's Regulatory and Government Affairs group and White Collar Criminal Defense section. Her practice emphasizes export controls and economic sanctions, commercial and government contracts, risk management, insurance, and legislative and policy matters that affect the aviation, space, defense, and national security sectors. Ms. Schroeder's clients include aerospace and defense contractors, satellite manufacturers and operators, launch services providers, systems engineering firms, software companies, and investors in high-technology projects. She also is Legal Counsel to the American Astronautical Society and serves as a Private Sector Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Mr. Wilbur C. Trafton
Mr. Trafton is President of Will Trafton & Associates LLC, an aerospace consulting firm. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of Rocketplane Kistler after the merger of Rocketplane and Kistler Aerospace Corporation. At Kistler Aerospace Corporation, he held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Kistler, Mr. Trafton was Vice President/General Manager of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems and President of Boeing Launch Services. He served as Chairman of the Board and President of Sea Launch Company, LLC. He was also President of International Launch Services.
Mr. Trafton is a former Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for planning, budgeting and execution of the Space Shuttle Program, the International Space Station Program, the Expendable Launch Vehicles Program, and the Deep Space Network. He was also responsible for four NASA centers: Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. In 1997 Mr. Trafton was selected for Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. He was also awarded two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals. Prior to joining NASA, Mr. Trafton was President of Micro Research Industries, a software development company.
Mr. Trafton retired from the United States Navy as a Captain after 26 years of service. He is a decorated combat veteran, having flown 85 combat missions from the aircraft carrier Shangri-la in the Vietnam War. He also served as Commanding Officer of the fast combat support ship Seattle in Desert Storm. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his duty in Desert Storm. He held a number of high level positions in the areas of operations, acquisition of weapons systems, and international affairs, including Squadron Commanding Officer, and advisor to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has over 3000 flight hours and 700 carrier landings.
A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, he received a Master’s Degree in Operations Research and Systems Analysis from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is also a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.