The Honourable Bill Nelson, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Sen. Bill Nelson was sworn in as the 14th NASA administrator on May 3, 2021, tasked with carrying out the Biden-Harris administration’s vision for the agency.
Nelson chaired the Space Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives for six years and later served as the Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, where he was recognized as the leading space program advocate in Congress.
During his time in Congress, Nelson was a strong advocate for NASA’s Earth science programs and authored numerous pieces of legislation to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change. Nelson was also a vocal proponent for STEM career training and education programs to create and fill the jobs of the future.
In 2010, Nelson and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) passed the landmark NASA legislation that mapped out a new future for NASA and set the agency on its present dual course of both government and commercial missions. In 2017, Nelson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) authored the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which expanded NASA’s commercial activities in space. After leaving the Senate, Nelson continued to be engaged in NASA activities, serving on the NASA Advisory Council under former Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
From president of 4-H to international president of the Key Club in high school, Nelson has always known the importance of investing in your neighbors and community to create a better future. Nelson continued to serve his community and country while in college at the University of Florida, Yale, and University of Virginia Law School through various service organizations, school leadership positions. He served on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army.
Nelson has served in public office over four decades, first in the state legislature and U.S. Congress, then as State Treasurer. He was elected three times to the United States Senate, representing Florida for 18 years. His committees included the breadth of government policy from defense, intelligence and foreign policy to finance, commerce, and health care.
In 1986 he flew on the 24th flight of the Space Shuttle. The mission on Columbia orbited the earth 98 times over six days. Nelson conducted 12 medical experiments including the first American stress test in space and a cancer research experiment sponsored by university researchers.
Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency
Mr Palermo is the second Head of the Australian Space Agency, starting in January 2021 at the Agency’s Adelaide headquarters. As Head of Agency, he is responsible for overall governance and performance, management, policy leadership and strategic direction. Mr Palermo spent the previous 14 years in various roles at Virgin Galactic, including managing a team of over 700 engineers, technicians and professionals responsible for the build and testing of a fleet of Mach 3, crewed commercial spaceships. He went from being the first employee of The Spaceship Company, a Virgin Galactic subsidiary dedicated to the high-tech manufacturing function, to becoming Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange listed public company Virgin Galactic Holdings.
A Perth native, Mr Palermo graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Physics and Applied Mathematics. Mr Palermo also studied at the International Space University in Strasbourg. Mr Palermo has worked and studied in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Netherlands. His experience goes beyond the space industry having also worked in Australian chemical processing, management consulting, onshore and offshore oil and gas, and mining industries. Returning home to Australia with his wife Nadia and two boys, Mr Palermo brings his deep technical background, international network, and business scaling experience to help further develop Australia’s expanding ecosystem of space companies and startups.
Carley Scott OAM, CEO, Equatorial Launch Australia
Carley is a respected industry leader. She is on the CSIRO’s Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee, the Board of the Space Industry Association of Australia is listed in the AFR’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ (2019) and was previously a Telstra Business Women’s Award winner (NT, 2017). Her experience developing companies, assets, and industries provides invaluable insights, and her time living in East Arnhem Land from 2015-2018 has provided a special connection to the region. Carley’s background, passion, and drive provide a rare and unique fit for the growth of ELA within the space industry more broadly.
Terry van Haren, President and Director, LeoLabs
Terry van Haren (TvH) is the inaugural President and Director of LeoLabs Pty Ltd Australia – a subsidiary of Leo Labs Inc.
Terry joins the LeoLabs team after a distinguished 35 years of service to the Royal Australian Air Force as a Commander, Director, fighter pilot, and weapons officer. He has 6000 hours of flight experience, with over 4000 hours flying fast jets. Terry is a veteran who has served in four operational tours and was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Terry recently served as the Air and Space Attaché to the United States in Washington, DC, where he developed his passion for Space by leading the Australian Embassy’s interagency space working group whilst engaging widely with the US Space Force, Government departments and Industry. Terry has also participated in the last three Schriever War Games, leading the Australian contingent in 2019.
Terry believes that cooperation, between Government departments, Space agencies and commercial industry, is the key to Space safety, security and prosperity for like-minded nations such as Australia and the United States. Terry shares the LeoLabs vision of ‘securing safe and sustainable space’ through its innovative space surveillance radars and digital services.
Terry holds a Bachelor of Aviation, Master of Management, and Master of Aviation Management; along with executive certificates in space security, strategic management and regulation, and digital transformation. Terry is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Chelsey Martin, Managing Director (Los Angeles), Bondi Partners
Chelsey Martin has more than two decades of experience in the United States and Australia, spanning international diplomacy, trade and investment, media and strategic communications.
Prior to joining Bondi Partners, Ms. Martin served as Australia’s Consul-General in Los Angeles, with responsibility for Australia’s relationship with the United States South West. This included leading a dynamic trade and investment promotion strategy, managing complex market access issues, and supporting the largest and most diverse concentration of Australian businesses operating in the US.
This followed previous senior diplomatic roles, including in New York and Washington DC, giving Ms. Martin vast and productive networks across the United States and Australia, and a deep understanding of both countries’ economies and operating environments.
Ms. Martin commenced her career as a political journalist with Australia’s leading financial newspaper, The Australian Financial Review. Today she is widely recognized as a highly skilled communications expert with a track record of creating and delivering successful global, national and local advocacy strategies and campaigns.
At Bondi Partners, Ms. Martin spearheads the firm’s strategic communications and management consultancy practice. She also heads up the firm’s Los Angeles office and oversees the growth of the US West Coast business.
Alex Tureman, Founding Partner and CEO , Bondi Partners
Mr. Tureman is a leading strategist and public affairs executive. He has extensive experience developing and executing strategies and building teams that meet and exceed goals. At Bondi Partners, Mr. Tureman manages global strategic growth, strengthening and expanding its services by leveraging his experience in the public and private sectors.
Before co-founding Bondi Partners, Mr. Tureman served as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Joe Hockey in Washington. In this role, he acted as a key thought partner on all Ambassadorial initiatives, providing intelligence, advice and recommendations to the Ambassador on corporate and political landscapes, and their potential impacts on the U.S.-Australian alliance. He identified and strategically aligned Australian and Ambassadorial priorities with external government, media and private sector stakeholders to promote and strengthen the U.S.-Australian relationship.
Prior to joining the Embassy, Mr. Tureman led programming activities at Business Forward, a national business trade group that is active in over 100 cities working with more than 100,000 local business leaders and executives. He spearheaded campaigns to promote Obama-era business policies such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Clean Power Plan, Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure development, and the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Mr. Tureman volunteered on the 2020 Biden for President campaign and has held leadership roles on U.S. Presidential, Senate, House and Mayoral campaigns and at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Mr. Tureman began his career on Capitol Hill, in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).