2023 Space Acquisition Forum

2023 Space Acquisition Forum

Recorded on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 9:00am-12:30pm EST   Virtual, ON24

Space is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing and most highly contested domains in the world today. The proliferation of commercial space satellites, the increasing militarization of space and the growing number of actors in the domain have contributed to boosted investments and a larger federal focus on space. 

However, many of the Department of Defense’s space programs are behind schedule and over budget today. In response, the U.S. government is working to update and redefine its space acquisition processes — a critical undertaking as the DOD’s existing space systems near completion and need to be replaced by new ones. Today, space acquisition leaders are looking to the Space Development Agency’s rapid development-to-acquisition cycle as a model for what space procurement and contracting could look like in the future. 

GovCon Wire’s Space Acquisition Forum brings together prominent space acquisition officials, government leaders and industry executives to examine the global challenges, technological developments, emerging best practices and new threats shaping the space acquisition industry today.

  • Barbara Baker
    Barbara Baker -
    Deputy Program Executive Officer, Space Systems Command, U.S. Department of the Air Force

    Barbara Baker is the Deputy Program Executive Officer (DPEO) for Military Communications (MilComm) & Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Space Systems Command, Los Angeles AFB, CA. As the DPEO, she manages and oversees development, production, delivery, and maintenance of critical and innovative MilComm and PNT systems worth more than 22.3 billion dollars. She is responsible for multiservice, multinational systems, as well as training and equipping of more than 1800 military and civilian personnel. She provides enterprise-wide leadership that guides daily operations and policy implementation through strategic thinking and decision-making. She builds and leads high-performance teams to manage, implement and deliver complex space systems. Previously, Barbara was the Senior Materiel Leader, Command and Control Systems Division who led the development, integration and fielding of eleven Command and Control (C2) ground and mobile systems worth 8.5 billion dollars. During her tenure, she delivered 5 systems into operations. Barbara has over 29 years of DoD experience of which 24 years is direct DoD acquisition experience. She has experience in the following mission areas: Space Control; Position, Navigation and Timing; Military Satellite Communication; Nuclear Detonation Detection System; and Missile Warning; and four years in a key strategic staff functional position. She has also been a government employee for 21 years and a DoD support contractor for eight years. Barbara has a broad experience across the acquisition lifecycle, including acquisition planning, development and production execution, capability fielding, and disposal. She has experience on a wide breadth of programs that include space vehicle and satellite systems, space command and control, ground antenna deployables, ground mobiles, software, and information technology, with experience spanning unclassified and classified systems and organizations. Raised in Bradbury CA, Barbara enlisted in the Air Force in April 1993 and separated in September 2000. Prior to accepting a position in May 2008 in the Civilian Service ranks, she worked in industry for BAE Systems and AT&T Government Solutions. She is a Department of the Air Force civilian and is currently assigned to the United States Space Force as of December 2019.

  • Hon. Frank Calvelli
    Hon. Frank Calvelli -
    Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, U.S. Department of the Air Force

    Frank Calvelli is the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisitions and Integration. He is responsible for all architecture and integration with respect to acquisition of space systems and programs in the armed forces, chairing the Space Acquisition Council, and overseeing and directing the space acquisition centers in the Department of the Air Force. He also serves as the DAF Service Acquisition Executive for Space Systems and Programs. Mr. Calvelli has more than 34 years of experience in national security space acquisitions, operations, and leadership in the National Reconnaissance Office and the Central Intelligence Agency. He has held a variety of senior positions including satellite and ground system acquisitions, systems engineering, and mission operations. Prior to joining the Department of the Air Force, Mr. Calvelli served for eight years as the Principal Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office where he managed the day-to-day operations of the 3,500+ person Intelligence Community agency.

  • Col Edward Ferguson
    Col Edward Ferguson -
    Deputy Director of Space and Missile Defense, OUSD A&S, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

    Colonel Edward G. Ferguson is the Deputy Director, Space and Missile Defense programs for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)). In this role, he is as a key member of the A&S Strategic, Space and Intelligence Portfolio Management acquisition team, providing guidance and recommendations on more than $9 billion in acquisition programs. Col Ferguson began his Air Force career in 2001 as a Physicist after graduating from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his commission through ROTC Detachment 105 at the University of Colorado – Boulder. He has held a variety of acquisitions, ICBM combat crew and staff positions. Col Ferguson was a CSAF Blue Horizons Fellow, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Service Chief’s Fellow, is a graduate of Naval War College Navy Command and Staff program as a Gravely Scholar, and graduate of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Col Ferguson has deployed as the Executive Officer, 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, and as an Operations Analyst in the Strategy Division of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Air and Space Operations Center in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.

  • Dr. Kelly Hammett
    Dr. Kelly Hammett -
    Director and Program Executive Officer, Space Rapid Capabilities Office, U.S. Space Force

    Dr. Kelly Hammett, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director and Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. As Space RCO’s senior acquisition officer, Dr. Hammett is responsible for and oversees space-based research, development and acquisition activities for classified space acquisition programs assigned to the Space RCO. In this position, Dr. Hammett serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, for the rapid development and fielding of classified critical space capabilities for the United States Space Command and Space Force. In his PEO capacity, he is responsible for a robust portfolio of major acquisition programs providing operationally dominant space capabilities that strategically enhance the nation’s warfighting capabilities in the space domain. Dr. Hammett entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1988, receiving his commission through the ROTC program at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. His 20-year active-duty career spanned a variety of positions mainly focused on directed energy weapon system technology development and acquisition, and culminated after serving as the Director of Engineering for the $7 billion Airborne Laser Program. His civilian career started at Kirtland AFB where he served in various positions to include the Chief Engineer for the Directed Energy Directorate’s Optics Division and the Directed Energy Directorate’s Chief Engineer, where he led engineering and program management activities and provided technical oversight of more than 30 science and technology programs valued at over $300 million. Dr. Hammett has published more than 14 technical papers in national and international journals and conference proceedings. He was directly responsible for the development and flight test of more than 10 first-of-their-kind, world-record setting directed energy technologies. He is a member of the Acquisition Corps and held multiple critical acquisition positions over the last 12 years. He is a Level III Space Professional, and previously commanded an operational space surveillance detachment. Throughout his career, he has led more than 30 successful field demonstrations of optical and directed energy technologies for space surveillance, missile defense, force protection, air superiority, and global precision attack mission needs. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Hammett was the Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2016.

  • Mark Henrie
    Mark Henrie -
    Division Vice President, Deputy General Manager of Missile Defense Group, Jacobs

    Mark Henrie is Deputy General Manager of Jacobs Missile Defense Group, and Deputy Program Manager for the Integrated Research & Development Enterprise Solutions (IRES) contract, which supports concurrent testing, training and operations conducted by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with engineering, test planning and execution, information technology, and facility operations and maintenance. Mark came to Jacobs in 2015 following his retirement from a 23 year career in the US Army. During his time in the Army, Mark was commissioned as a Signal Officer and served in a number of company grade positions before transitioning to the Acquisition Corp. He then served as Assistant Program Manager responsible for the $2.6B Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) delivering IT services for enhanced Army power projection capabilities throughout the continental United States. Following those assignments, he transferred to MDA as a Ground Test System Integration and Test Manager. He then joined the MDAs Space Systems Directorate, where he led a campaign enabling an Aegis ship to launch on remote using space tracks from demonstrator satellites. After joining Jacobs in 2015, Mark consulted and supported the Sales team on the IRES contract. With the successful win of the IRES contract in 2017, Mark was assigned Director for Events and Warfighter Support and successfully led that Department for five years, with customers ranging from Directors for Space Systems, Engineering, Test, Command and Control, and other Operational elements. He was promoted to his current position in November 2022.   Mark earned his a Bachelor of Architecture from Penn State, and a Master of Science in Space System Operations Management from Webster University in Colorado Springs. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Stephanie, and has four adult children: Austin, Nathan, Dakota, and Jake.

  • Dr. Joy Kelly
    Dr. Joy Kelly -
    Vice President and General Manager, Clear Lake Group, Jacobs

    Joy Kelly is Vice President and General Manager of the Jacobs Clear Lake Group which provides design, development, and testing of spacecraft and associated systems for human spaceflight and astromaterials curation and basic research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). Joy has responsibility for approximately 1500 personnel and annual revenues of $280M. From 2008 – 2019 Dr. Kelly served as Deputy General Manager of the Clear Lake Group. From 2004 to 2008, she served as the ESC Group’s Director of Engineering and Chief Engineer on the contract, supporting the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station programs. In addition to her work for Jacobs, Joy also served as the Director of Systems Engineering and Analysis for two start-up companies, Time Domain and Alereon, where she was responsible for executive leadership for all systems engineering and analysis efforts. These corporations developed technologies and products for ultrawideband wireless communications. During this time, she led the systems engineering work for the world’s first 480Mb/s UWB physical layer chipset. Joy serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Space Center Houston (SCH), a Smithsonian Affiliate and Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. SCH has a significant STEM outreach program with special emphasis on providing opportunities to underserved communities and girls. She also serves on the Houston Council of Girlstart, an organization whose mission is to increase girls’ interest and engagement in STEM through innovative, nationally-recognized informal STEM education programs throughout the year.

  • Gordon Kordyak
    Gordon Kordyak -
    Deputy Director, Space Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of the Air Force

    Mr. Gordon Kordyak is the Deputy Director of Capability Delivery, Officeof the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, VA. Mr. Kordyak is responsible for ensuring support for, and advocacy on behalf of, all U.S. Space Force materiel capabilities across the unclassified and classified Space Enterprise from initial development through to operations and sustainment. Prior to his responsibilities within the Assistant Secretary’s office, Mr. Kordyak was the Senior Materiel Leader overseeing the development and sustainment of Space Domain Awareness programs for Space Systems Command. Mr. Kordyak was also the U.S. Space Force Executive Agent for Space Domain Awareness (SDA), leading end-to-end integration of the SDA enterprise on the behalf of the US Space Force Chief of Space Operations. Mr. Kordyak attended the University of Redlands and has a double bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Political Science. He also has a Master’s degree in both International Relations/Diplomacy and in Business. Mr. Kordyak was commissioned in 2002 through the California State University San Bernardino Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp program. Upon separating from the Air Force in 2007, Mr. Kordyak served as a contractor providing technical advisory support to (now) Space Systems Command before transitioning to be a senior civilian leader in the Department of the Air Force.

  • Stacy Kubicek
    Stacy Kubicek -
    Vice President and General Manager of Sensors & Global Sustainment (S&GS), Lockheed Martin

    Stacy Kubicek is Vice President and General Manager for the Mission Solutions line of business within Lockheed Martin Space. In this role, she is responsible for approximately 4,400 employees and an annual sales base of over $1.5B in support of government defense and intelligence agencies. Mission Solutions develops, delivers and operates mission critical solutions including development of innovative enterprise, cloud and application-based solutions for mission management, command and control, collection orchestration and tasking, processing, and data analytics, along with premier operations and sustainment of space-based programs. Previously, Stacy was the Deputy VP/GM and Vice President of Intelligence & Analytic Development within Mission Solutions, where she was responsible for approximately 2,500 employees and an annual sales base of over $525M, in addition to driving cross line of business synergies and strategic investments. Stacy has an extensive background in program management, capture management and execution of portfolios spanning the software development lifecycle. She has run programs for multiple customers across both the defense and intelligence communities, including negotiating and execution of international business. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona with a minor in Electrical Engineering. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Information Technology from the University of Denver. Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Stacy began her career with Lockheed Martin in Northern Virginia as a Software Engineer and has had the opportunity to work across several locations, including Colorado, Arizona, Maryland and Virginia.

  • Robert Lightfoot
    Robert Lightfoot -
    Executive Vice President of Space, Lockheed Martin

    Robert Lightfoot is the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space and an officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading the Space business, which is more than $11 billion enterprise employing nearly 22,000 people and provides advanced technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. The Space portfolio includes integrated systems for satellites, human spaceflight, strategic and missile defense, satellite command and control, sensor and data processing including predicative analytics and big data applications, space observatories and interplanetary robotic spacecraft, and a range of sensing, communications, and exploration payloads. Previously, Mr. Lightfoot served as vice president of Operations for Lockheed Martin Space responsible for production operations, including assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO), supply chain, quality, program management and all facilities, logistics, and security services. He also served as vice president of Strategy and Business Development within Lockheed Martin Space. In this capacity, he was responsible for growing the Space business with a comprehensive strategy to develop new markets and while maintaining the current portfolio. Lightfoot also led strategic planning, advanced technology concepts and new business acquisition efforts for each of the five lines of business. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2019, he served as the president of LSINC Corporation. He spent 29 years at NASA, where he served as associate administrator, the agency’s highest-ranking civil service position. He held other critical leadership roles to support space operations, exploration and science missions including director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and director of Propulsion Test at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. He also focused on strategies for key missions including the Space Shuttle’s return to flight following the Columbia tragedy, then initial transition and retirement efforts for shuttle infrastructure. He was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2010. He also received numerous awards during his NASA career, including the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executives, the highest honor for federal government work, in 2006, 2010 and 2016. Mr. Lightfoot received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama where he is a Distinguished Departmental Fellow for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a College of Engineering fellow, and previously served on the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board.

  • Karla Smith Jackson
    Karla Smith Jackson -
    Senior Procurement Executive and Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

    Karla Smith Jackson is the Senior Procurement Executive, Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer & Assistant Administrator for the Office of Procurement at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In this role, she provides senior executive leadership and oversight of NASA's procurement functions, policy, and initiatives to an acquisition workforce of over 4,000 personnel. Ms. Jackson serves on the Federal Acquisition Institute Board of Directors and on the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council. She is one of only three signatory authorities that can execute procurement policies and procedures on behalf of the United States Federal Government. In addition, she represents NASA’s enterprise procurement organization across the Federal Government, industry and international organizations. A seasoned acquisition professional with over 30 years of extensive experience, Ms. Jackson previously served as the Acting Director for Acquisition at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). As the senior advisor and authority on all aspects of acquisition, contract planning, and management she provided guidance and oversight to programs that successfully integrated a single missile defense system into a layered missile defense capability. From 2016 to 2020, she served as the Director of Contracts at MDA, responsible for all agency contracting actions. Ms. Jackson began her Federal service career in 1991, as an Acquisition Management (AM) intern at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, formerly the Defense Nuclear Agency. After graduation, Ms. Jackson joined the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), which later became the Missile Defense Agency, as a senior contract specialist. During her tenure at BMDO, Ms. Jackson held several positions, including, Director of Technology, Test, and Targets Contracting and Director of Contract Policy, Pricing, and Review. Ms. Jackson moved on to serve as the Director for Acquisition Policy and Legislation in the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, she managed the development and promulgation of Government-wide acquisition regulation and policy and represented DHS on all acquisition legislation decisions. Previous assignments include Chief/Deputy Chief of Contract Operations for the U.S. Coast Guard, Chief of Staff/Executive Officer to the Director of Acquisition at MDA, Chief of Acquisition Operations at the Headquarters of the Defense Logistics Agency, and Deputy Executive Director for Contracts at the Headquarters of the Defense Contract Management Agency. Ms. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University and a Master of Science degree in contract and acquisition management from the Florida Institute of Technology. She also holds a Master of Science degree in national resource strategy with a concentration in acquisition from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (Defense Acquisition University). Ms. Jackson became a Certified Professional Contracts Manager in 1997 and is Level III–certified in the Contracting (Acquisition) Career Field. She is a graduate of the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Program and the Defense Leadership and Management Program. Ms. Jackson has received numerous awards and is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, and the OSD Medal for Humanitarian Civilian Service. Ms. Jackson is married and has two daughters.

  • 9:00am - 9:05am EST

    Welcome and Introductions

  • 9:05am - 9:55am EST

    Keynote Fireside Chat: Hon. Frank Calvelli and Robert Lightfoot

  • 9:55am - 10:55am EST

    Space Acquisition in Times of Heightened Geopolitical Conflict and Inflation Panel: Dr. Kelly Hammett, Gordon Kordyak and Stacy Kubicek (moderator)

  • 10:55am - 11:55am EST

    Collaborating with Industry to Accelerate DoD Space Capabilities Panel: Barbara Baker, Mark Henrie (moderator) and Col Ed Ferguson

  • 11:55am - 12:25pm EST

    Closing Keynote: Karla Jackson
    Keynote Introducer: Dr. Joy Kelly

  • 12:25pm - 12:30pm EST

    Closing Comments

Platinum Sponsors
Silver Sponsor