Space Weather as a Global Challenge 2019

When: Thursday, September 26, 2019

Time: 5:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC,2nd Floor

Since 2016, Secure World Foundation (SWF) has partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host multiple Space Weather as a Global Challenge events to facilitate discussions on the impacts of space weather across the globe, and plans to collaborate in observation, modeling, prediction, and mitigation of harmful effects. This year’s Space Weather as a Global Challenge will be held in coordination with the Next Step Benchmarks Town Hall, an event that supports the U.S. National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan, on September 26, 2019. 

The Next Step Benchmarks is an effort funded by NSF and NASA, and led by the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), that has gathered 32 of the world’s leading space weather scientists to develop recommendations for improving the characterization of extreme space weather events. Initial characterizations of 1-in-100-year and theoretical maximum events for five space weather phenomena were described in the Space Weather Phase 1 Benchmarks report, released by the White House’s National Science and Technology Council in 2018. The Next Step Benchmarks team is developing a public report that will provide recommendations to improve the estimates found in the Phase 1 report. The Town Hall was an opportunity for the space weather community to provide feedback on proposed recommendations and priorities for studies, data acquisition, and long-term research that would improve the characterization of extreme space weather events.

Following the Town Hall, SWF and the U.S. Department of State hosted an evening panel discussion and networking reception to share the general outcomes of the Town Hall and other U.S. and international space weather initiatives.


Jean-Luc Bald 
First Secretary, Space Global Issues & Innovation Section
Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America 

Mr. Jean-Luc Bald is the First Secretary in charge of Space at the European Union Delegation to the United States of America. In his role, he works inter alia on cooperation between the European Union and the U.S., in particular for space-based navigation, Earth observation, space surveillance and tracking and space research. In his previous role, from 2008 to 2014, he worked on Galileo,Copernicus, European space policy, and defence and security industries within the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry. Previously, he was at the European GNSS (Galileo) Agency in 2007.

Mark Harvey
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Resilience Policy
National Security Council Staff

Mark Harvey coordinates efforts to develop and implement integrated national strategies and policies that mitigate the risk of catastrophic events on the American people. These include efforts to heighten the protection of critical infrastructure, prepare communities for emergencies, facilitate effective response to disasters, and foster long term recovery from large-scale incidents. Over the past 15 years, he has helped author a wide variety of plans, policies, and doctrine to foster resilience through effective risk management. He has been the lead author for critical infrastructure security and resilience programs, especially those in the Government Facilities Sector, provided physical security and risk management training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and developed and assessed continuity programs for the U.S. Intelligence Community. Mr. Harvey received his Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies with High Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Jeff O'Neil
Legislative Director, Office of Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)

Jeff O'Neil serves as Congressman Ed Perlmutter's (CO-7) Legislative Director overseeing the Congressman’s legislative and policy agenda.  Colorado's 7th District encompasses the northern and western suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area. In this role, Jeff manages the legislative staff and serves as advisor for the House Rules Committee and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Originally from Massachusetts, Jeff moved to Colorado and attended Boulder High School.  Jeff later attended Connecticut College where he received a B.A. in Government and Economics, with a focus in American Politics.  He became involved in several municipal, congressional and statewide political campaigns during and after college.  Jeff began working in Congressman Perlmutter's Colorado office in 2009 focusing on constituent casework and outreach.  Jeff then moved to Washington, DC and managed the office's correspondence program and became a part of the policy team. 

Geoffrey Reeves
Research Fellow, Los Alamos National Lab

Geoffrey Reeves is a Research Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab where he has worked since 1989 studying the near-Earth space environment, space weather effects on commercial and military satellite systems, and radiation hazards from nuclear explosions in space. He has been active on a number of NASA, DoE, and European satellite systems including GPS, Polar, Cluster, MMS, and the Van Allen Probes. He has published over 500 papers on geomagnetic storms and substorms, radiation belt dynamics, energetic neutral atom imaging, the effects of nuclear explosions in space, and the use of space-based electron beams to study wave-particle interactions. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Physical Society, the American Meterological Society, and the Union of Radio Science International.

Moderator: Josh Wolny
Project Manager, Secure World Foundation

Event Materials

For questions regarding the Space Weather as a Global Challenge event, please contact Josh Wolny at

Last updated on November 18, 2019