Dr. Ajey Lele is working as a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India. He started his professional career with Indian Air Force and took premature retirement to join the field of academics. He holds a rank of Group Captain. His academic qualifications include a Masters in Physics and a Ph.D. in International Relations. His areas of research interests include issues related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Strategic Technologies and Space Security. He has various publications to his name and some of his book publications include Strategic Technologies for the Military (Sage, 2009), Asian Space Race: Rhetoric or Reality? (Springer, 2013) and Mission Mars: India’s Quest for the Red Planet (Springer, 2014).
Amardeep is a technologist with over 22 years of experience building and managing technology platforms. He has a passion for data analytics and is a specialist in technology infrastructure management with expertise in network engineering. His interest in space is focused on applying analytics, Big Data and Deep Learning methodologies to Earth Observation data to extract business, social and environmental intelligence and insights.
Prior to joining Earth2Orbit, Amardeep served as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs lasting for 17 years. He established technology infrastructure engineering teams focusing on network engineering & operations, configuration management engineering, automation software development, and analytics. He also worked with Evergrowth Telecom (now, Vodafone) leading the design and build-out of their IT network across the Indian state of Punjab.
Amardeep holds an Honors degree in Electronics Engineering from TIET, Patiala and is an alumnus of the Business Analytics & Intelligence programme of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore.
Dr. Archna Negi is Associate Professor at the Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. She teaches courses at the M.Phil., MA and BA levels relating to international negotiations, international organisation and world politics. Her research interests include international law, diplomacy and organisation, with a special focus on international trade and environment. Dr. Negi holds a Masters Degree in Political Science and a Ph.D. Degree in International Law. She has presented papers in various national and international conferences and authored several publications.
Arun Sukumar heads ORF’s Cyber Security and Internet Governance Initiative and is the Co-Chair of CyFy: The India Conference on Cyber Security and Internet Governance. He is the elected Vice Chair of the Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum. By invitation from the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Arun recently served as an independent legal expert to the UN GGE, the intergovernmental forum tasked with conceiving cyber norms. He was also the non-governmental representative in India’s official delegation to the Tallinn Manual consultations to articulate laws of armed conflict in cyberspace.
Arun is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. He has previously served on the editorial board of The Hindu, and is a lawyer by training. He holds a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he was the Douglas Dillon Fellow, and the recipient of the Leo Gross Prize for Outstanding Student of International Law.
Ashok Venkateshmurthy is an Advocate and Partner of Factum Law at its Bangalore office. He represents clients in technology, telecommunications and broadcasting, space and aerospace, among other sectors in domestic and international disputes. He also advises businesses in the commercial space sector in the US, UK, India and the UAE in negotiating launch services contracts, investment funding, Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement, corporate governance, telecommunications and space law, taxation and data privacy.
In his career spanning six years, Ashok has been part of key thought leadership initiatives in the field of satellite communication applications particularly in the field of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity and identifying policy goals for enabling an economy for commercial space activities in India. To this end, Ashok has authored and published papers and articles on the legal framework for commercial space activities in domestic and international publications. He has also delivered talks at premiere technology, management and law schools in India on emerging issues in technology and space law.
Lt. Gen. B.S. Nagal is currently Director of Centre for Land Warfare Studies. He was the Commander of Strategic Forces Command. He retired from the Indian Army where he served for 40 years and held several prominent positions including Chief Strategic Programme Staff, Director General Operational Logistics at the Indian Army HQ etc. He is a war veteran of 1971 Indo-Pak war and has extensive operational experience in Low Intensity Conflict, Operational Logistics and Conventional Military Operations.
Lt. Gen. Nagal was also an instructor at NDA, IMA and Army War College. He is a graduate of Army Staff Course at Camberley UK, Higher Command Course, Army War College, Mhow, and National Defence College, New Delhi. His areas of research are nuclear deterrence, doctrine, strategy and policy. He was awarded Param Vishisth Seva Medal for his distinguished service.
Ben Baseley-Walker is Senior Director for Global Engagement for EMEA for Planetary Resources. With significant experience in international relations, international law, and strategic communications, Mr. Baseley-Walker focuses on government affairs and policy development for space resource management.
Previously, Mr. Baseley-Walker was the Programme Lead of the Emerging Security Threats Programme (EST) at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Having established the programme in 2011, Mr. Baseley-Walker directed the work of the group, which encompassed outer space, cyberspace, environmental conflict, biological threats and the role of emerging technologies in conflict mitigation and prevention. Mr. Baseley-Walker was also Advisor on Security Policy and International Law for the Secure World Foundation (SWF) in Washington DC working on space security issues and has worked in international relations and international law in east Africa.
Mr. Baseley-Walker studied international and European law in the Netherlands and Politics in the UK. He is also a graduate of the International Space University Space Studies Programme in Beijing. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Global Fellowship Initiative of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) with a focus on emerging security challenges.
D.S. Govindarajan is President at Aniara Communications where he is involved in the development of small GEO satellite and creating business in this sector. He is an experienced satellite industry veteran with experience in Sales, Marketing and Business Development functions. He was Executive Director at Loral Orion and Loral Skynet from 1997 to 2006 where he headed sales and marketing for South Asia, Central Asia, and East Africa. He was responsible in introducing satellite services for many new applications in the region. Prior to joining Loral, Govind worked with Hewlett Packard and for Forbes - an affiliate of TATA conglomerate in India.
He was consultant for many leading organisations like Iridium Satellite, RaySat Inc, Availink Inc. and helped them build their business in the region. He is a Fellow of IETE and an active member of various industry associations. He has an Engineering Degree in Electronics and Communications and a Masters in Management.
Daniel Porras is currently an Associate for LMI Advisors (Washington, DC) where he advises clients on a wide range of international legal issues related to space activities, particularly in the fields of telecommunications and experimental equipment. Previously, Mr. Porras was a Project Manager at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (Geneva), focusing on outer space security and law. He was also an Associate Officer for UNIDROIT (Rome) where he worked on the Space Protocol, an international instrument for financing space assets. He has held a visiting fellowship at the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi) and just completed his LL.M in International Business and Economics Law at the Georgetown University Law Center (Washington, DC).
Dr. Dibyendu Nandi’s research interests encompass the fields of astrophysical space sciences, space weather and Sun-Earth system science. Dr. Nandi did his B.Sc. from St. Xavier’s College (Calcutta University), Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), and spent seven years in the USA working at Montana State University and Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on various NASA projects. He returned to India at the end of 2008 and joined the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, where he heads the MHRD established Center for Excellence in Space Sciences India. He is also a Visiting Professor at Georgia State University, Atlanta. He has supervised four graduate students and has more than forty scientific publications, including in leading international journals such as Science and Nature.
Dr. Nandi’s awards and honours include the Martin Forster Gold Medal from the Indian Institute of Science, the United Kingdom British Council’s Research Exchange Programme award, the Ramanujan Fellowship of the Government of India and the 2012 Harvey Prize of the American Astronomical Society. His research has been covered in diverse international media including the BBC, Scientific American, Times of India, The Hindu, Reuters, and the New York Times. Dr. Nandi is currently Vice-Chairman of the Space Weather Panel of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), Chairman of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group on Solar-Stellar Environments and Co-leader of the Solar Evolution and Extrema programme of the SCOSTEP (Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics) and a payload Co-Investigator of the Aditya-L1 mission – India’s first space mission to explore the Sun.
Fermin Romero Vazquez is Internationalist with extensive experience in the federal public service, mainly in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Directorate General for the United Nations, where he served as Director for Space, Telecommunications and ICT Agenda; Director for General Assembly and International Organizations; Director of International Security; Deputy Director of International Organizations; Deputy Director of Political and Social Affairs, and contributed to promoting the development of the aerospace, telecommunications and ICT sectors in Mexico, in addition to promoting the process of establishment of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM).
Currently, he is Senior Consultant on international regulation in aerospace, space security, telecommunications, cybersecurity and ICT, lecturer and article writer on issues of space, telecomm, geospatial technology, ICT, IoT, Cloud and cogniti ve computing, Virtual and augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Big Data, Smart cities and sustainable development with evident impact on political and economic issues, poverty reduction, job creation, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, among others. He is board member of the Mexican Society of Aerospace Science and Technology (SOMECyTA).
During 2015, he was Advisor to the Nicaraguan Council of Science and Technology (CONICYT), for the seventh Space Conference of the Americas held in Managua, Nicaragua, 17-19 November 2015. In November 2010 he was appointed VI Secretary Pro Tempore of the Space Conference of the Americas (SCA) for 2011-2013 by the plenary of the Sixth SCA, commission ended in September 15th 2013.
Francois Rivasseau is the Special Envoy for Space, Head of Security Policy and Space Division, European External Action Service, Brussels. He was selected by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a member of his Advisory Board on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and designated Administrator and Board Member of UNIDIR between 2009 and 2014. He also served as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva; Head of the French Delegation to the NPT Review Conference (2005) etc.
Francois has been a speaker at various universities including Tufts, Princeton, Georgetown, George Washington, John Hopkins etc. He is a Knight of the Legion of Honor, Officer of the French Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Merit German (2nd degree).
G. Satheesh Reddy, Distinguished Scientist & Director, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad has been appointed as the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri.
Dr. Reddy is an Aerospace Scientist well renowned for his R&D in missile systems and sustained contributions towards advancement of aerospace technologies and industries in India. He led the conceptualisation, design, development and production of inertial sensors, navigation schemes, algorithms systems, calibration methodologies, sensor models, simulation along with development of Satellite Navigation Receivers and Hybrid Navigation Systems. Under his leadership, advanced products and varieties of avionics systems have been produced and successfully flight tested in strategic programmes of the country.
For his significant contributions to Defence Science Technology, Dr. Reddy received the prestigious Indian Science Congress Association Homi J. Bhabha Memorial Award from Hon'ble Prime Minister of India. He is the first ever Defence Scientist working in India to receive the Silver Medal of Royal Aeronautical Society, UK and has been selected for the first IEI (India) and IEEE (USA) joint award for Engineering Excellence. He is also a recipient of Aeronautical Society of India Dr. Biren Roy Space Science Design Award, Systems Society of India Vikram Award for realisation of systems of national importance amongst others.
Dr. Reddy graduated in electronics and communication engineering from JNTU, Anantapur and received his MS Doctorate from JNTU, Hyderabad.
George Sibley is the Minister Counselor for Economic, Environment, Science and Technology Affairs at the embassy of the United States at New. His office leads and coordinates all aspects of India-US economic, trade, investment and energy policy, as well as climate change, environmental protection, space policy, and science and research cooperation.
Mr. Sibley was earlier Director of the Office of Environmental Policy, subsequently renamed the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues, at the US Department of State. Mr. Sibley served a year in Iraq as the Senior Advisor for Northern Iraq and as the Team Leader of Provincial Reconstruction Team Ninewa, following two years as the Director of the Office of Iraq Political Affairs at the Department of State.
Prior to joining the US foreign service, he served eleven years in the merchant marine, obtaining a Limited Master/Unlimited Chief Mate’s license.
Guilhem Ravier is Head of Unit "Protection of the Civilian Population" at International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters in Geneva.
He has been with the ICRC since 2000 working mostly on the field as Protection Coordinator (Colombia, Iraq, Indonesia, Guinea Conakry). Before joining ICRC, he worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He studied International Law and Politics at the Universities of Bordeaux (France) and Warwick (UK), and earned an MA in International Humanitarian Aid at the University of Aix en Provence (NOHA network) in 1998.
Hubert Foy is the Founder, Director and Senior Research Scientist of the African Centre for Science and International Security in Ghana. Mr. Foy was previously the Director of McFoys International, a U.S. based Nonproliferation Research Consultancy on nuclear and space developments in Africa and the Middle East. He has worked at the Centre for Accelerator-based Research and Energy Physics of the University of Oslo, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the Institute for Security Studies, and the Planetary System Laboratory of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Research areas of focus are nuclear security, nonproliferation and arms control, disarmament verification, global missile systems proliferation and dual-use space assets.
Jacob Gullish has passionately promoted digital development in more than twenty countries over his twenty five years of experience in government, industry, and civil society across space, telecom, information technology, and cyber sectors. Most recently, he served as a digital policy officer at the US Embassy in New Delhi covering ICT issues including cyber policy, telecommunications, information technology, digital inclusion, and commercial space. He supported a number of US government initiatives within the bilateral space cyber policy arena, and worked closely with India’s emerging NewSpace community.
Jacob is active in The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) and was instrumental in setting up the SSPI-India Chapter, as well as founding the Kalpana Chawla Endowment for Girls and Boys in Space Science. He is also an active member in the India Meteorological Society. He has international technology experience in Southern Africa, Israel, and Vietnam.
Jarmo Sareva is Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research(UNIDIR). Mr. Sareva has years of experience working with the United Nations and disarmament affairs. Until the end of 2014, he served as Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Director of the Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support Branch (Geneva Branch) of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, which post he has held since September 2009.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Sareva served as Chief of the Disarmament and Peace Affairs Branch at the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM)of the UN Secretariat in New York, and as Secretary of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the General Assembly. Prior to joining DGACM, Mr. Sareva was Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York, during which time he served, inter alia, as Chairman of the First Committee. Mr. Sareva served as Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council, from 2001 to 2002.
From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Sareva was Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the President of the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly (Millennium Assembly). During that time, he guided the work of the Cabinet during a record number of major conferences and special sessions of UNGA, including the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Presidency was widely appreciated for
successfully integrating the various UN conferences during that year under the general theme of follow-up to the September 2000 Millennium Summit.
From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Sareva served as Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York. He represented the European Union in the Fifth Committee during the Finnish Presidency of the EU (1999), acting as chief negotiator for the EU during the budget negotiations for the 2000-01 biennium.
Mr. Sareva's prior diplomatic experience includes two tours of duty at the Embassy of Finland in Moscow, including as Deputy Chief of Mission from 1996 to 1998. He has also served as Director of Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki, as First Secretary at the Finnish Embassy in Washington,D.C. and as Counselor at the Finnish Mission to the CSCE (now OSCE) in Vienna.
Mr. Sareva holds an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., and M.Sc. (Political science) from the University of Turku in Finland. From 1989 to 1990, he spent an academic year in postgraduate training on leave from MFA at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
Jaya Singh is an entrepreneur, scientist and author with over 23 years of cross-functional experience in academia, biotech, public health, and environmental sciences in the U.S. and India. Recently named one of India’s most Influential Women in Solar Energy, Dr. Singh currently drives partnerships and R&D at BKC WeatherSys Pvt. Ltd. Dr. Singh has served on the faculty of Harvard University for over eight years and has rich experience in scientific project management across disciplines. She has published widely in areas of chemistry, life sciences, environmental sciences, and is an award winning educator. Dr. Singh is an invited speaker at national and international forums. Dr. Singh is also a founder member of the India chapter of Satellite and Space Professionals International.
Jean Jacques Tortora is Director of the European Space Policy Institute, Vienna. He served as the Secretary General of ASD-Eurospace from 2007 to 2016. He was the Head of the French Space Agency (CNES) office in North America and Attaché for Space and Aeronautics at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. from 2004 to 2007 and served as Deputy Director for Strategy and Programs responsible for the Industrial Strategy of CNES from 2001 to 2004. He badvised the French Ministry of Research for Industrial Policy Funds management aiming at competitiveness support and new space applications and services development and promotion.
Mr. Tortora was based in Kourou, French Guiana from 1990 to 1996 as Head of Arianespace Operations Quality Department where he led the Quality Management of the Ariane 4 launchers final integration and of the launch pad operations and maintenance. He supervised the industrialisation and the implementation of the associated control plans. He started his career in 1984 at the French military procurement agency, DGA, as a naval weapons integration and test engineer, expert in signal processing and warships acoustic discretion.
Jeremy England is Head of Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), New Delhi. Mr. England has worked in the international aid sector for twenty five years, including extended periods in Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Primarily working for the ICRC, he has also worked with non-government organisations and the United Nations. He manages specialist law, policy and humanitarian diplomacy programmes, in addition to supporting partner institutions, including the Indian Red Cross, in dealing with disability, separated families, detained populations, health services and crisis response.
K. Krishna is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Hughes in India. He has been with Hughes and the satellite industry for more than 25 years. He has been one of the founding members of its India operations. He is responsible for the technology roadmap of the company and spearheads its various strategic initiatives. Mr. Krishna represents Hughes and the VSAT industry in various forums. He is President of the VSAT industry association (VSAT Services Association of India) and active member of Society for Satellite Professionals International. In addition to this, he also represents the Global VSAT Forum in India.
Prof. K. R. Sridhara Murthi is currently serving as Director of International Institute for Aerospace Engineering and Management under Jain University and an Adjunct Faculty at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He is also presently the Vice President of the International Institute of Space Law. In a career spanning over three and a half decades Prof Murthi had served Indian Space Research Organisation in various capacities, including as its Scientific Secretary, and also contributed to the growth of Antrix Corporation as Managing Director. He also briefly served as senior expert in the Office of Advisor to PM (Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations). His vast international experience in the field of Space Policy includes representing India in UN COPUOS, serving in past as a Trustee of International Academy of Astronautics, and as a Vice President of International Astronautical Federation. He has over sixty publications and co-edited a book titled Perspectives in Communications
Dr. Laura Grego is Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). She focuses on the technology and security implications of national missile defence and space security. She is the authored thirty peer-reviewed, papers on a range of topics, including cosmology, space security, and missile defence.
Since joining UCS in September 2002, she has been cited by Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, the Discovery Channel, and NPR. She also has testified before the US Congress and addressed the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on space security issues.
Before joining UCS, Grego was a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She earned a doctorate degree in experimental physics at the California Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and astronomy at the University of Michigan.
Laxmesh B.H. is Head, Precision Manufacturing Facility, L&T in Coimbatore. He is experienced in strategy planning, business development, project management and manufacturing. Laxmesh moved to Coimbatore to build a delivery center for defence and aerospace products. The Precision Manufacturing Facility at Coimbatore is the largest missile sub-system manufacturer in the country.
Combining leadership and innovation, he has authored unique business models publications and papers for portfolio churning; international business model; right-man for the right job through human behaviour mapping; leadership versus management and modern organisation structure; amalgamated manufacturing philosophy, among other business multiplier solutions.
A mechanical engineer by degree, he joined L&T in Mumbai. As part of former President A.P.J. Kalam’s dream of building the Indian manufacturing sector, he has undertaken the Indo-Japanese Joint Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing Sector (VLFM) programme.
Leon Prop has been head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Country Cluster Support Team in Delhi since December 2015, overseeing its humanitarian aid and development cooperation in India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives. Prior to this, he was director of the Red Cross EU office in Brussels where he represented the IFRC and National Red Cross Societies of the EU towards the European institutions.
He has also worked as head of operations for Europe and Central Asia, and as head of regional offices for the Pacific and for Central America and the Caribbean. Leon started his career at the Red Cross in 1994, initially as project officer for the Middle East and North African region, and then as a delegate for development programmes in Laos and Guatemala.
Leon holds degrees in chemistry and physics, and has worked in education in the Netherlands and Uganda.
Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, a fighter pilot, retired after 39 years of active service in the Indian Air Force. Prior to his super annuation in March 2014, he was the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (DCIDS – PP&FD) at HQ IDS in the Ministry of Defence. As DCIDS – PP & FD, he handled critical issues of ‘Policy, Plans, and Force Structure’ of the three Services and was involved in Acquisition Policies, Process, Technology Management, Defence Industry, and LTIPP (Long Term Integrated Perspective Plans).
As a very experienced fighter pilot and Test Pilot, the Air Marshal has had extensive experience in dealing with Defence Strategy, Research & Development, Space Strategy, Electronic and Information Warfare. He has pursued keen interest in academics research in National Security and Strategic Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in ‘Defence & Strategic Studies’ from the University of Madras, a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management, and a Senior Fellowship in International and National Security from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Governance. He is an alumni of the National Defence College, New Delhi.
Post retirement, he advised Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. for a year at Bangalore, before moving as President, Aerospace Business with Reliance Group at Mumbai for almost a year. He then decided to shift back to Chennai and function independently as Strategic Analyst and Consultant.
Currently, he is an Executive Council Member of the IDSA (Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis). He is an “Independent Strategic Consultant” and advises various Companies on ‘Defence and Aerospace Business Strategy’ that includes “CYIENT” Hyderabad and the Reliance Group. He is a Senior Advisor on Aerospace Technology to FICCI. He heads the doctoral faculty for the Ph.D. Programme of the Indian Naval War College at Goa. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Geopolitics in Manipal University.
He is a recipient of Presidential awards – AVSM (Ati Visisht Seva Medal) and VM (Vayu Sena Medal).
G. Madhavan Nair is a former Chairman of ISRO from 2003 to 2009. He oversaw successful launch of 25 satellites including EDUSAT and Chandrayaan-1. He played a critical role in the indigenous development and testing of cryogenic engine technology. Prior to this, Dr. Nair worked on the SLV 3 launch vehicle under the guidance of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as well as the PSLV launch vehicle programme.
Dr. Nair emphasised building space applications for societal development in the areas of tele-education and tele-medicine. He was instrumental in building bilateral space cooperation with a number of countries and led the Indian delegation to the S&T Sub-Committee of United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Dr. Nair is also a former President of the International Academy of Astronautics – the first Indian and the first non-American to head this organisation.
He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2009 and Padma Bhushan in 1998 for his services to the nation.
Mazlan Othman is currently Project Director of Mega Science 3.0 at the Academy of Sciences, Malaysia. This project examines global mega trends going to 2050 and aims at positioning Malaysia within these future scenarios.
In 1999, she was appointed Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and returned to Malaysia to set up the National Space Agency (ANGKASA). As its founding Director-General, she established the National Space Centre which houses TT&C, AIT, calibration and research facilities; founded the Langkawi National Observatory; and initiated the programme which placed the world’s first remote-sensing satellite in the near-Equatorial orbit. She spearheaded the Angkasawan Programme which saw the launch of the first Malaysian astronaut to the International Space Station in 2007. That year, she left Malaysia again to resume the post of Director of UNOOSA. In 2009, she was appointed Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). She retired from the UN in 2013.
Marco Aliberti works as a Resident Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria, where he has carried out and published research projects on access to space, human spaceflight, space governance and international relations of space, and Asia’s space programmes – particularly those of China, Japan and India. Mr. Aliberti graduated in Oriental Languages and Cultures at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and obtained a M.A. in International Relations from the Italian Diplomatic Academy (SIOI) in Rome. He also completed a Master of Advanced Studies in Space Policy and Institutions with the Italian Space Agency(ASI), SIOI and the National Research Council (CNR); Security Studies at the Institute of Global Studies – School of Government in Rome; as well as International Asian Studies at the University of Naples “L'Orientale”, with a specialisation in East Asian Relations. Mr. Aliberti is currently finalising a book titled “India in Space Between Utility and Geopolitics” to be published by Springer in the “Studies in Space Policies” book series.
Moriba Jah is the Director of the University of Arizona Space Object Behavioral Sciences Initiative. He has considerable experience in space navigation working for NASA Mars missions and has led research programmes in space object behavior assessment and prediction for the Air Force Research Laboratory (U.S.) since 2007. He directed the Air Force’s Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics, or ASTRIA, on Maui, Hawaii, for eight years, and for the last two years has headed the space situational awareness programme at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
As a spacecraft navigator (a title he shares with few people) for the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1999 to 2006, Jah charted courses for the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He also has participated in missions to the red planet for the European Space Agency and to asteroid Itokawa with the Japanese space agency JAXA.
Jah received his master’s and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a fellow in the American Astronautical Society, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Royal Astronomical Society, an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a senior member and journal associate editor with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems.
Mukund Kadursrinivas Rao is an expert with more than 34 years of unique government/industry/consulting experience in Earth Observation (EO), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and space. He has served ISRO for 24 years and was involved in shaping the Indian Remote Sensing and providing leadership to various national EO/GIS programmes – in village/district/state planning, urban planning and management, undertaking a unique Census of Natural Resources, establishing NSDI and many others. He has actively worked in defining national policies for EO and for National GIS.
Rao now consults for government and industry in space technology. He has helped design India’s National-GIS and implementation of state, nation-wide and many large EO/GIS projects in various countries. He undertakes space technology and policy research at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. He has M.Sc. Geology, M.Phil. in RS and GIS and Ph.D. in RS and GIS.
He was the founding and first President of the international Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association. He has been intensely active in international EO, GIS and Space fora – international Committee of EO Satellites; International Astronautical Federation; International Academy of Astronautics; United National; International Institute of Space Law and many others. He has been honoured with many awards and has over 200 publications to his credit.
Narayan Prasad is Co-founder of Dhruva Space, a NewSpace company based out of Bangalore and also the Co-founder of ReBeam, a wireless energy technology startup based out of Mountain View, California. He has previous experiences with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, DLR Institute of Space Systems, Germany. He is an Erasmus Mundus SpaceMaster graduate and an EGIDE scholar with a Master in Space Technology, Sweden and a Master in Space Techniques and Instrumentation, France.
Neha Satak is the Co-founder and CEO of Astrome Technologies Pvt. Ltd. She is a serial entrepreneur and a researcher. She holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and a Master’s from Indian Institute of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Her Ph.D. dissertation on Behavior Learning in Game Theory received interest from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), USA following which she worked with AFRL as a Postdoctoral Research Associate through University of Florida.
She has worked extensively on various aspects relating to Unmanned/Micro Aerial Vehicle (UAV/MAV), asteroids and satellites. During her Master’s, she designed an MAV platform named Sapthami that has been very successful and has undergone further development through various grants received by her lab. She is an expert in estimation, dynamics & control techniques and differential game theory. She has published a number of journal and conference articles and a book chapter.
Prior to Astrome, she co-founded two space companies. Scientific Preparatory Academy of Cosmic Explorers (SPACE) is a non-profit company based in the Isle of Man that promotes hands-on space education by organizing conferences, virtual internships and joint research. SPACE has organized three international conferences to bring together space enthusiasts and space companies and discuss important issues to be solved in the space industry and the way forward. SPACE also organized a virtual internship in which students and young professional from 7 countries participated and worked on a business and technical plan for asteroid mining business. Neha’s role has been in idea generation and their execution for the organization to promote hands-on space education.
Experimental Center for Applied Physical Systems (ECAPS, LLC) is a for profit Texas based company that develops non-destructive Asteroid deflection technology and Asteroid detection technology. ECAPS received $1million grant to develop asteroid deflection technology that it successfully completed in 2014. Since 2014, ECAPS have been developing STEM education products related to Space. Here she gained experience in various aspects of business, project management and technology development.
Captain Nishant Kumar joined Indian Navy in 1991 and is currently posted as Director Military Affairs in the Disarmament & International Security Affairs (D&ISA) Division at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. His responsibilities include issues of maritime security, Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and multilateral security forums.
Previously, Capt. Kumar has been Officer-in Charge of Signal School at Kochi and commanded Indian Naval Ship Sujata. He also served in Directorate of Naval Signals at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi as well as in Eastern Naval Command Headquarters (Command Plans Officer) at Visakhapatnam. He has also served onboard various Naval Ships as Executive Officer and Signal Communication Officer.
An alumni of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Staff College, Wellington, Capt. Kumar has a MSC (Def Studies) from Chennai University. He has also done Higher Defence Orientation Course from Army War College, Mhow.
Lieutenant General P.M. Bali, VSM, is the Director General of Perspective Planning at IHQ of MoD (Army), New Delhi. He was commissioned into the 19th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment in June 1981 and has also served in 15 PUNJAB & 7 RR (PUNJAB). General Bali has held a number of important command appointments to include Commanding Officer of a Punjab Regiment, while deployed in intense counter insurgency operations, Commander of an Infantry Brigade in the desert sector and General Officer Commanding of a Mountain Division in the Northeast.
He has also held various important staff and diplomatic appointments in India and abroad to include Brigade Major of a Brigade in Counter Insurgency Operations in Kashmir Valley, Staff Officer Logistic Operations in UN mission in Somalia, Defence Attache at the Embassies of India in Japan and in Republic of Korea from 2003 to 2007, Secretary to COSC and DACIDS (MS & SD) in HQ IDS and Brigadier General Staff (China) at HQ Army Training Command. He has been an instructor at the Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai and at the Army War College, Mhow. His last tenure was as MGGS (Doctrine) at HQ Army Training Command, Shimla.
He is a graduate from JNU with M. Sc. in Defence Studies from Madras University, M. Phil. in Defence Management from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore and a second M. Phil. in Defence & Strategic Studies from Madras University. He is also a graduate of DSSC Wellington and has attended the prestigious Higher Command Course at Army War College and National Security & Strategic Studies Course at National Defence College, New Delhi.
Pamela Meredith is Chair, Space Law Practice Group at Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, L.L.P. She advises space clients on transactional matters, including space hardware and service procurements, space asset acquisitions, and space joint ventures and alliances. She drafts and negotiates launch services agreements, satellite procurement contracts, and transponder lease agreements, among other space contracts. She also advises clients on space project risk management and insurance. She drafts policy language and provides coverage opinions.
Ms. Meredith represents U.S. and European clients in consultations with the U.S. government, including the White House, Congress, Department of State, Department of Defense, and NASA, on space-related legislation and policy matters as well as advises clients on U.S. government export controls such as ‘ITAR.’
Ms. Meredith obtains launch licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and advises on FAA regulatory matters, including rulemakings and compliance. She monitors related Congressional legislative developments. She also has advised the FAA on RLV regulatory approaches. She testified before a Congressional subcommittee on human space flight legislation. In addition, she has assisted or advised on some aspect of most of the major FCC rulemaking and licensing proceedings for communications satellites in the 1980s and 1990s, including fixed satellite service (C-, Ku-, Ka- and V-bands), mobile satellite service (geostationary, "Big LEO" and "Little LEO"), and position-location service. She has also testified as an expert witness in litigation concerning the interpretation of FCC regulations.
Ms. Meredith chaired the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) Legal Aspects Committee (2005-2010). She is a member of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), Risk Management Working Group. She is also a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C.
Prashant Butani is the Senior Sales Director of MEASAT’s Sales & Marketing team. In his role, Prashant supports with sales and post sales of MEASAT’s satellite services as well as marketing activities for South Asia.
Prashant joined MEASAT in 2015 and has been the single point of contact supporting the MEASAT-3, MEASAT-3a and MEASAT-3b sales with complete end-to-end customer handholding through partnership with various teleports in South Asia. With a career span over 12 years in the satellite and telecommunications industry, in pre-sales, project management, market research and business development, Prashant plays a key role in building the MEASAT neighbourhood at 91.5 East.
Prashant holds a B.E. (Information Technology with Satellite Communications) from Mumbai University. He has also completed Masters of Science in Satellite Communications Engineering from University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
Prateep Basu is an Analyst at Northern Sky Research, a global market research and consulting firm focused on commercial satellite industry and satellite-based services. Mr. Basu is an aerospace engineer graduating from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Trivandrum and with Masters in Space Studies from the International Space University, Strasbourg. He has worked as a liquid propulsion engineer in ISRO at Sriharikota prior to joining NSR. He has published papers in peer reviewed international journals, and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.
Group Captain Puneet Bhalla is a serving helicopter pilot of the Indian Air Force, with more than two decades of flying experience in diverse roles, covering most regions of the country. He has also served as a member of the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. His areas of research interests include technology and its application in support of national security. He has published numerous papers on outer space, unmanned systems and cyber security. His recently published book is: Space Security: Emerging Technologies and Trends. He is currently serving as an instructor at the Air Force Administrative College, Coimbatore.
Rafal Borek has been working in the ‘space’ area for Inspectorate for Implementation of Innovative Defense Technologies and later joined Polish Space Agency. In both institutions, he is responsible for managing surveys, studies and analysis of Polish involvement in number of space areas: SSA, EO, technology harmonization etc. (at national level and within international context - ESA, EDA, European Commission).
Prior to this, he worked at variety of posts mainly related to aviation technologies as an engineer and chief of metrological laboratory responsible for calibration of aircraft test devices. Later, he served as a specialist dealing with Lessons Learned System establishment and next in the field of development of EU military capabilities working for Polish Representative to the NATO & EU military committees.
Rafal is an engineer in telecommunication area and has M.Sc. in automatics (electrotechnic branch), supplementing education with postgraduate studies in cybersecurity and Ph.D. student at National Defence Academy in security faculty aiming to complete thesis in SST field.
Mr. Rajesh C. Mathur is Advisor, Esri India. Prior to that, he has held the position of Vice Chairman of the Board and President of the company.
As the head of Esri India, India’s premier GIS products and services company, Mr. Mathur spearheaded the growth of GIS deployment in India. He is actively involved with various professional bodies associated with the Indian GIS industry. He is currently Chair of FICCI Committee on Geospatial Technologies. He is also the President of Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Geospatial Today. He is also associated with several academic institutions in an advisory role for their geospatial education Programme. He is a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards Committee on Geospatial Standards. He is also the former President of Indian Society of Geomatics (ISG) and was honored with ISG Fellowship in the year 2012. He has also been honored and acknowledged by the India Geospatial Forum by conferring Lifetime Achievement Award in year 2012 for his pioneering contribution to the Indian Geospatial Industry by creating awareness and demonstrating benefits of this wonderful technology in different walks of life in India.
Mr. Mathur is an Electrical Engineer from IIT Delhi. He has attended general management Programme conducted by Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Mr. Mathur has been associated with the IT industry both in India and overseas for more than 30 years. He has handled assignments in General Management, Marketing, Corporate Planning and International Operations. Prior to his current assignment he has worked with Wipro, IDM and DCM Data Systems in India and USA.
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is Senior Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi. Dr. Rajagopalan convenes the ORF Kalpana Chawla Annual Space Policy Dialogue.
Rajeswari joined ORF after a five-year stint at the National Security Council Secretariat (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan in 2012.
She is the author of four books: Nuclear Security in India (2015), Clashing Titans: Military Strategy and Insecurity Among Asian Great Powers (2012), The Dragon's Fire: Chinese Military Strategy and Its Implications for Asia (2009), and Uncertain Eagle: US Military Strategy in Asia (2009).
Ambassador Rakesh Sood is a Distinguished Fellow at ORF. He has over 38 years of experience in the field of foreign affairs, economic diplomacy and international security issues. He served as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues from 2013 to 2014, Indian Ambassador to France from 2011 to March 2013, Indian Ambassador to Nepal from 2008 to 2011 and Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2008.
He had set up the Disarmament and International Security Affairs Division in the Foreign Ministry, which he led for eight years till the end of 2000. During this period, Ambassador Sood was in charge of multilateral disarmament negotiations, bilateral dialogues with Pakistan, strategic dialogues with other countries, including the US, UK, France and Israel (especially after the nuclear tests in 1998), and dealt with India’s role in the ASEAN Regional Forum, as part of the 'Look East' policy.
He then served as India’s first Ambassador — Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations in Geneva. He also chaired a number of international working groups, including those relating to negotiations on landmines and cluster munitions and was a member of UN Secretary General’s Disarmament Advisory Board from 2002 to 2003.
Since his retirement, he has been writing and commenting regularly in both print and audio visual media on India’s foreign policy, its economic dimensions and regional and international security issues. He is a frequent speaker and contributor at various policy planning groups and reputed think tanks in India and overseas.
R. Ashok is a former secretary level civil servant of Government of India with over forty years of experience in the areas of finance, procurement, information technology, vigilance administration and regulation. His last posting was as a member at Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Riaz Lamak is an International Programme Director at Global VSAT Forum, responsible
for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, network validation benchmarking and
onsite capacity building initiatives.
Mr. Lamak contributes to the Forum's efforts in support of humanitarian aid and disaster
mitigation as well as facilitates performance, quality assurance of satellite-based
communication solutions. Mr. Lamak is also President, Mahdi Bagh Computers, a Satcom
ground service company into satellite communication related services ranging from
consultancy, quality assurance audits, advocacy, onsite trainings, field support; operations,
liaison, among others.
He also serves on various working groups, and project teams where he is involved in
facilitating satellite-enabled disaster preparedness, community engagement,
eGovernance, tele-health, distance education. He is one of the founder members of the
India chapter of SSPI, Society of Satellite Professionals International. Mr. Lamak, who is a
business management graduate has work experience of over twenty eight years, into
business development. He has vast experience in developing and managing multi-nation
assignments across Africa, Middle East, far Eastern regions. He has conducted multiple
trainings and capacity building of Satcom assets and has spoken and presented at
conferences and seminars around the world.
Sachin Bahmba is an Indian born entrepreneur and philanthropist who has been a pioneer in revolutionising the spread of Astronomy and Space Science in sectors from education to tourism and has succeeded in creating a new business dimension in India. His effort has been instrumental in establishing India’s largest private astronomy and space science company. He is also the largest non-government employer in the field of these sciences.
His passion and vision to popularise science and spread scientific temperament among the masses, especially young minds, has led to the creation of the SPACE group of companies. His vision has been instrumental in the growth of SPACE, from the initiation of new programmes in the education sector to the development of astro-tourism as a concept. Mr. Bahmba is a disciple of physics and hands-on science pedagogy; an educationist with more than ten years of experience. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and wild life enthusiast. He is president of India Chapter of Space Tourism Society, USA. He is the Founder of Astronomica and Eca (Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum).
Salem Al Marri is Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). He assumed this position in 2012 and his role is centered on ensuring the vision and mission of MBRSC are achieved through the different technical and scientific programs being run at the Centre. He previously held the same position at the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) before it was integrated into the Centre.
He has over 10 years of experience in the Space field and was part of the team which setup EIAST and MBRSC. He was formally the Director of the Space Programme Department at EIAST and was the Project Manager for MBRSC’s earlier satellite projects DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2.
He is currently overseeing the expansion of the Centre in different scientific and technical fields along with the centers continued development in the space field, and working towards ensuring all initiatives at MBRSC serve the stakeholders with useful value added services, one of his major goals is ensuring the achievement of domestic satellite development through Emirati engineers.
Sandipan Chattopadhyay is Xelpmoc’s Founder and CEO. Prior to this, he was the Chief Technical Officer at Justdial.
Before joining Justdial, he was Founder Director at EDot Solutions. He grew the company to a team of over 100 employees (before its merger with Geodesic). Prior to this, he was Manager of Technology at Tata Interactive Systems, where he was instrumental in setting up the company’s web division.
Sandipan has helped the technology development of several startups, as well as new initiatives of large enterprises, including Hyundai, Nextenders, Wipro, Tata Teleservices, Tata Motors, CRISIL MarketWire, Business Standard, IDBI Capital Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutche Bank and Edelweiss.
Sandipan has a B. Stat. from ISI Calcutta and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.
Sathya Narayanaswamy is Country Manager, India for ViaSat, a global broadband and satellite communications company. He is responsible for business development and growing the ViaSat India R&D center, which he helped establish. In his prior role, Sathya was responsible for the specialist sales and technology strategy of Cisco’s service provider IP routing portfolio, of over $600M in Asia Pacific, where he drove two consecutive years of revenue and market share growth. Sathya was also a satellite products engineer at ViaSat’s Comsat Labs division. Sathya has a BE from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology, an MS from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Sergio Marchisio is Full Professor of International Law and Space Law at Sapienza University of Rome and Legal Expert, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 1997, he is a delegate to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, where he served as Chairman of the Legal Subcommittee (2003-2006). In 2011, he was elected co-chair of the Expert Group D (Regulatory Frameworks) of the Working Group of the COPUOS STSC on the Long Term Sustainability of the Outer Space Activities (LTSSA).
Since 2007, Prof. Marchisio is Chairman of the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) within the European Space Agency (ESA). He is member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Space Law (IISL). In 2012, he was appointed member of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Outer Space Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) established by General Assembly resolution 65/68. In July 2015, he chaired the Multilateral Negotiations on the draft International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities. Since 2014, he is member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Space Agency.
Smita Jha is Head of Group Strategy and Investments at Hindustan Times Media. She has over twenty years of experience working with various media companies in satellite, television, print, radio, film, animation, gaming, music and sports industries. In her previous role with PricewaterhouseCoopers, she led the entertainment and media practice for PwC India. She has led numerous projects in the consulting domain relating to strategy and operations and was responsible for the fastest growing practice within PwC in India. She has been adjudged to be amongst top fifty women in media, marketing and advertising.
A. Sivathanu Pillai is currently Honorary Distinguished Professor at ISRO. Prior to this, he was a Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller, R&D, DRDO and also the CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace. Dr. Pillai has four decades of experience in ISRO and DRDO working under the visionary leaderships of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Of particular interest is his contribution to the successful development of SLV 3 as a core team member and the evolution of PSLV configuration.
Dr. Pillai has also authored several books including The Path Unexplored, Ocean Warfare, Thoughts for Change-We Can Do It among others. For his distinguished service, he was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2013 by the Government of India and the Order of Friendship by the President of Russia in 2014.
Sridhar Ramasubban is an international commercialization expert with over 15 years of experience in various multi-nationals and then as an entrepreneur. His current focus is on the businesses that operate in the US-India Corridor. At Team Indus, he drives business development, new market identification and global partnerships.
Sriram Jayasimha founded Signion (www.signion.com) that designs telecommunications and other products in 1987. From May 1981 to June 1987, he was a member of technical staff at GTE Government Systems Corp. (now General Dynamics), Needham, MA. He has authored 41 peer-reviewed publications and has obtained 20 US patents in signal processing and telecommunications applications. He received his electrical engineering education from IIT, Madras, India; RPI, Troy, NY and MIT, Cambridge, MA and is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. His current interest is smallsat communications applications.
Sunjoy Joshi is Director of Observer Research Foundation. During his career spanning over 25 years in the Indian Administrative Service, Sunjoy has gained experience across the conventional as well as non-conventional energy sectors. He has handled oil and gas exploration as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and was the Government nominated Director on the Boards of ONGC, OVL, OIL and MRPL.
He has been Visiting Associate at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London as well as Distinguished Visitor to the Programme on Energy and Sustainable Development, University of Stanford, USA.
Victoria Samson is the Washington Office Director for Secure World Foundation (SWF) and has nearly twenty years of experience in military space and security issues. SWF, an independent NGO that focuses on the long-term sustainable use of outer space, facilitates discussions of issues that may affect the stability and security of the space domain. Before joining SWF, Ms. Samson served as a Senior Analyst for the Center for Defense Information (CDI), where she leveraged her expertise in missile defense, nuclear reductions, and space security issues to conduct in-depth analysis and media commentary. Prior to her time at CDI, Ms. Samson was the Senior Policy Associate at the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, a consortium of arms control groups in the Washington, D.C. area, where she worked with Congressional staffers, members of the media, embassy officials, citizens, and think-tanks on issues surrounding dealing with national missile defense and nuclear weapons reductions. Before that, she was a researcher at Riverside Research Institute, where she worked on war-gaming scenarios for the Missile Defense Agency's Directorate of Intelligence.
Known throughout the space and security arena as a thought leader on policy and budgetary issues, Ms. Samson is often interviewed by multinational media outlets, including the New York Times, Space News, and NPR. She is also a prolific author of numerous op-eds, analytical pieces, journal articles, and updates on space security matters.
Ms. Samson holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in political science with a specialization in international relations from UCLA and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in international relations from the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.) is a military intelligence veteran of the Indian Army. He has served in infantry for six years and later went on to serve in the military intelligence. He has had varied operational experience in counterinsurgency, high altitude, plains of Punjab and the deserts of Rajasthan. He has studied Chinese and has worked as an interpreter in the Indian Army. He specialises in satellite imagery interpretation and analysis. He mostly works on Chinese PLA and Pakistan armed forces. He is a keen observer of nuclear weapons programs and follows recent conflicts world over through satellite imagery. He is a strong advocate of no first use policy.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat is an Indian scientist who served as Secretary,Deptertment of Defence R&D; Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri. Dr.Saraswat is the Chief Designer of missiles like Agni, Prithvi, Dhanush and Interceptors of Ballistic Missile Defence programme. For his service to the nation, he was conferred Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Bhushan in 2013 from the Government of India. Dr. Saraswat is currently a permanent member of NITI (National Institute of Transforming India) Aayog.
Vladimir Korovkin holds degrees in systems engineering and international business, and has over 20 years of experience in the international and Russian private companies in marketing, internet, retail banking and IT-consulting. Vladimir worked as VP for innovations in Media Arts Group of Cos. (a leading Russian marketing communications holding), VP for Innovations and Organizational Development in “Poidem!” Bank and Head of Department of Business Systems at Asteros Consulting (a major IT and management consulting company in Russia).
Since 2014 Vladimir pursues an academic career being the Head of Research in Innovations and Digital at SKOLKOVO IEMS. In his writing and teaching he focuses on the issues of organizational and business effects of the digital technologies in Russian enterprises, including business process redesign, client service transformation, personnel motivation, change management, internal communications, etc.
Dr. Horikawa is a technical counselor of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He provides advice on international relations and application satellite development and utilisation programmes of JAXA. He was also the Chair of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space for the period 2012- 2013. He is a professor at Tokai University since 2010 and President of Japan Society of Cost Estimate and Analysis since 2011.
During his career, he has assumed various executive and leadership positions and has vast experience in the field of spacecraft design. From 2005 to 2009, he served as Executive Director of JAXA responsible for the development of application satellites such as Earth observations, communications, broadcasting and global positioning satellites as well as the operation and utilisation of these satellites. He contributed to the development of the International Space Station as Japanese Programme Manager and to the successful implementation of Japanese meteorological satellite programs and Earth observation programs. His international experience includes stationing at Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles for two years from 1975 to 1977.
A graduate of the University of Tokyo, he received the PhD from the University of Tokyo on Electronics Engineering. He is member of IEICE, JAAS, AIAA, IAA, JRS, JSCEA and SCEA. He is also Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and a Special Advisor of UN General Assembly Mission of Japan. He is a Fellow of IEICE. He received the NASA Public Service Medal in 2002.