Mr. Steve Kitay

Mr. Stephen Kitay is the Senior Director of Azure Space at Microsoft. Before this position, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Space Policy where he had a key leadership role in the establishment of the U.S. Space Force. As the DASD Space Policy, he was responsible for establishing policy and guidance to assure U.S. and allied warfighters the benefits of space capabilities and to guide the Department’s strategy for addressing space-related issues.  He also led Departmental activities in international space cooperation. Mr. Kitay was also an active duty Air Force military officer, and held civilian positions in the Intelligence Community and on Capitol Hill.

Emily Calandrelli

"The Space Gal"

Emily Calandrelli, known as @TheSpaceGal online, is an MIT engineer turned science communicator. She earned bachelor's degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University and master's degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Technology and Policy from MIT. Today, Emily is a co-Executive Producer and host of the Netflix original series Emily's Wonder Lab, the Executive Producer and Emmy-nominated host of FOX's Xploration Outer Space, and a correspondent on Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World.

Emily is the author of the science chapter book series the Ada Lace Adventures. Her third book in the series was launched to space and read on the International Space Station as part of the Story Time from Space program.

Emily has given talks about the importance of science literacy, the benefits of space exploration, and women in STEM at Google, Pixar, CERN, MIT, Draper Laboratory, as well as dozens of K-12 schools across the nation. Her first two TEDx talks, “I Don’t Do Math” and “Space Exploration Is The Worst,” have garnered over a million views on YouTube.

On social media, Emily shares her love of science and space to an audience of over 800,000 followers across TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF (Ret.)

General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF (Ret.) currently serves as the Chair of The Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA) and its related enterprise, 5Star Life Insurance Company.  The AFBA Board of Directors appointed Ed Eberhart as President of AFBA December 1, 2004, and as Chairman of AFBA February 19, 2009.  He retired as President of AFBA on March 6, 2020.   In 1987, Ed Eberhart became a member of AFBA and then served on AFBA's Board of Directors beginning in 1997.

A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, Ed Eberhart's active duty military career spanned 36 years with his last assignment as Commander, U.S. Northern Command, and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He is also a command pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours.

Ed Eberhart has been praised for bringing together the five military branches of service, including the National Guard and Reserve forces to ensure the security of our nation in the aftermath of the tragic September 11, 2001 attacks.

Ed Eberhart serves on the boards of several privately and publicly held companies, including TERMA, Jacobs, Triumph Group, and VSE, and non-profit organizations such as Segs4Vets and the American Air Museum in Britain (AAMB).  Additionally, he serves as the Chair of AAMB, VSE, and Triumph Group.  He has previously served on the U.S. Air Force Academy Association of Graduates Board of Directors.  He is currently a Trustee for the Falcon Foundation and serves on the board of the USAFA Endowment.

Ed Eberhart is the recipient of the Pacific Air Forces Able Aeronaut Award (1971); the Air Force Association General Jimmy Doolittle Award (1997); the National Football Foundation’s Tom Lombardo Leadership Award (2001); the General Thomas D. White United States Air Force Space Trophy (2001); the General James V. Hartinger Award (2002); the El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence (2004); the General Bernard A. Schriever Award (2007); the Jim Otis “Hustle” Award (2008), the Kent Leadership Award (2008); the Air Force Order of the Sword, Air Force Space Command (2008); the United States Air Force Academy Distinguished Graduate Award (2011); the American College Soldier-Citizen Award (2015); and, the Segs4Vets Battle Flag Award (2018).  He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ed Eberhart, and his wife Karen, reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Cristina T. Chaplain

Cristina Chaplain recently retired from the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she directed congressional reviews related to space and missile defense.

The GAO’s recommendations on space have helped to shape the establishment of the Space Force, strengthen DOD and NASA procurement and program management practices, increase attention to cyber security for satellites and weapons, and provide the Congress with sustained insight into numerous high risk programs. Cristina has testified before the Congress on many occasions. She was a journalist who covered government finance before coming to the GAO.

Brig. General Richard "Scott" Stapp, USAF (Ret.)

Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard S. Stapp is Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), for Northrop Grumman Corporation, a premier provider of manned and unmanned aircraft, space systems and advanced technologies critical to our nation’s security. Stapp reports to Kathy Warden, Chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman.

In his role as CTO, Stapp, works with the executive leadership team to further the company’s technology strategy and ensures that Northrop Grumman leverages current technology and identifies new solutions to create new business opportunities and strengthen its position on existing programs. Stapp will also drive the development of the company’s technical talent.

Stapp has served with Northrop Grumman for more than six years. Most recently, Stapp served in the Aerospace Sector as the Vice President for Resiliency and Rapid Prototyping, leading the development of new prototype systems and resiliency programs across critical space missions. Prior to that, Stapp served as Vice President of Applied Research & Technology Development for Aerospace Systems.

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Stapp was Director, Special Programs, for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His core responsibilities included the governance, acquisition and oversight of Department of Defense (DoD) Special Access Programs (SAP). Additionally, he served as the principal staff assistant to the undersecretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and was the primary DoD liaison to agencies of the executive branch and Congress regarding all SAP matters.

Previously, Stapp served as chairman of the Tri-Service Committee, overseeing the national disclosure policy and transfer/export of technologies crucial to the international community. He established and administered governance of the DoD’s SAP information technology policy, strategy, requirements and execution in coordination with the DoD’s chief information officer.

Stapp holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Mexico. He also holds a master’s degree in national resource management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and completed the Advanced Program Managers Course at Defense Acquisition University. Distinguished honors he received during his esteemed Air Force career include the CIA’s Agency Seal Medal, the Director of National Intelligence Award for Collaboration Leadership; the National Reconnaissance Office’s Silver Medal for Superior Service; and the Air Force Weapons Laboratory’s Outstanding Technical Achiever of the Year Award. Stapp is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and began his Air Force career in research and development and flight test engineering. 

Robert Curbeam

Mr. Curbeam leads space capture at Maxar Technologies. Prior to joining Maxar, Mr. Curbeam was the Vice President of Business Development for the Space Systems Group Northrop Grumman Innovative Systems. Before joining Northrop Grumman, Mr. Curbeam was Mission Area Director for Civil Space and International Business at Raytheon, where he led civil space and international business areas and provided oversight, as needed, for other Space Systems programs at SAS. Before joining Raytheon, he was president of the Aerospace and Defense Division for ARES Corporation.

Prior to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, Mr. Curbeam was an astronaut with NASA. He held a wide range of positions with NASA as director of Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance for the Constellation program, deputy director of Flight Crew Operations; and Spacecraft Communicator (CAPCOM) branch chief. Curbeam was second-in-command for safety across NASA, as the deputy associate administrator of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA headquarters.  During his tenure with NASA, he served on three space shuttle missions and seven spacewalks.

Mr. Curbeam retired from the U.S. Navy after 23 years of service. He is a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and Navy Test Pilot School. He was lead project manager officer for the F-14 Air-to-Ground Weapons Separation Flight Test Program, and he logged more than 3,000 flight hours in 25 different aircraft and spacecraft.

Mr. Curbeam holds an advanced degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. He received his bachelor’s degree with merit in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Dr. Pete Worden

Pete Worden is the Executive Director at Breakthrough Starshot. Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. He was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona. 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.

Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers in astrophysics and space sciences. 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. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon. Dr. Worden was named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium ‘Laboratory Director of the Year’ and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award.

Billy "Sensei" Starkey

Billy serves as board chairman of Palladion Signature Import (PSI), a global trade company, and was the founder of Nellis Edwards Associates, a government advisory firm. He served on active duty in Air Force space and special access programs leadership roles, followed by two decades serving federal missions from private industry in GM, COO, CFO, and staff roles across organizations with annual revenues spanning $32B, $2B, and $150M. He served in corporate development and M&A leadership roles involving two $100M acquisitions, a $1.5B divestiture, and a $6.2B spinoff, and spent several years as an executive-in-residence for a leading global private equity firm.

For the majority of his private industry time, Billy and his teams provided engineering and advisory support to Air Force Space Command, US Strategic Command, US Cyber Command, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, and National Security Council, as well as classified testimonies support to the US Senate. Later, Billy and his contractor teams provided IT and cybersecurity programs support to the Dept of State, Dept of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dept of Energy, US Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Reserve Board, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Dept of Homeland Security, and Immigrations & Customs Enforcement.

Billy is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and is a graduate & former space instructor of the US Air Force Weapons School. He served as an Industry Fellow at National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington DC, and for several years was a guest lecturer at the Eisenhower School for National Security & Resource Strategy.

For six years, Billy served as an inaugural member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Nebraska College of Law for its Space Law & Cyber Law graduate programs. Billy is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the ABA’s Space Law Committee, PACC (Cybercrimes & Cybersecurity) Committee, Public Contract Acquisition Reform Committee, and Battlespace & Contingency Procurement Committee