SWF Welcomes Two New Staff Members and a New Advisory Committee Member in 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Secure World Foundation is excited to welcome Project Managers Ms. Laura Delgado López and Mr. Christopher D. Johnson, and SWF Advisory Committee member Ms. Mazlan Othman, Ph.D. 

Laura joins us from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, a Virginia-based nonprofit promoting science education and collaboration in Earth observations, where she advanced the development of strategies for key program initiatives, performed research, and led the planning and implementation of high-level stakeholder meetings, as well as educational events with an international reach. She also contributed to fostering greater awareness of the value of space-based assets to individuals, businesses and governments. Laura has a master’s degree in International Science and Technology Policy with a focus on Space Policy from the George Washington University and serves as a correspondent for SpacePolicyOnline. This past summer Laura was selected as one of 23 participants from around the world for the MIT/Skoltech - Space Exploration Strategy University Research Group, an international collaborative study where, because of the quality of her contributions, she was selected to join a group invited to attend a workshop in Moscow to discuss the future of international space exploration. Laura is also an active member of several industry-related organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the American Astronautical Society (AAS).

Chris worked as an attorney in New York City beginning in 2006, and in 2010 entered the space industry by receiving his Master of Law in Advanced Studies in Air and Space Law from Leiden University, the Netherlands, with an internship at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna, Austria during the 2010 Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Chris then worked as a professional intern in NASA’s Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and as a legal stagiaire in the International Law and EU Legal Affairs division at the European Space Agency’s Legal Department at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France. He attended International Space University’s 2011 Space Studies Program in Graz, Austria, ISU’s 2012 Master’s program in Strasbourg, France, and returned to ISU as a teaching associate in 2013. He has presented at many international space conferences, and is an active member of many space-related groups, including the International Institute of Space Law, the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Committee, and the Space Generation Advisory Council - where he established the SGAC Space Law Project Group in 2012.

“Laura and Chris will bring energy, expertise and a strong team spirit to our very busy agenda,” says Michael Simpson, Executive Director of SWF.  “I have had the privilege of working with Chris when he served as a Teaching Assistant at ISU, and early 2014 has already brought me the opportunity to work with Laura when she joined Victoria, Natassa and me at the GEO Plenary in Geneva. They are great colleagues.”

Mazlan Othman will be joining us later this year for a three-year term on the SWF Advisory Committee. We have had the pleasure of working with Mazlan in her role as Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna, where she recently stepped down from her second term (1999-2002 and 2007-2013), and are very excited to work with her as a member of our Advisory Committee.  

“I have had the opportunity to work with Mazlan Othman for many years,” says Michael Simpson. “Her knowledge of the international space community, her thoughtful perspective on space policy, and her technical expertise will all be important assets to the work of our advisory committee. I look forward to her joining the SWF team.”

Mazlan was educated in Malaysia and received her doctorate in Physics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. On returning to Malaysia in 1981, she pioneered an academic program on astrophysics at the National University of Malaysia and was appointed Professor of Astrophysics in 1994. She was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Department in 1990 to direct the establishment of the National Planetarium, under the Space Science Studies Division. As its Director-General, she also led the design and manufacture of Malaysia’s first remote-sensing satellite, TiungSAT-1, launched in 2000.  In 1999, she was appointed Director of UNOOSA and, in 2002, returned to Malaysia to set up the National Space Agency. As 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 program that placed the world’s first remote-sensing satellite in the near-Equatorial orbit. She spearheaded the Angkasawan Programme that saw the launch of the first Malaysian astronaut to the International Space Station in 2007. That year, she resumed the post of Director of UNOOSA. In 2009, she was appointed Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). She is a fellow of several professional bodies and is the recipient of several national and international awards.

Please join us in welcoming Laura, Chris and Mazlan to the SWF team!

Last updated on January 21, 2014