Organization establishes new structure, undergoes name change and announces its first executive director
The Coalition for Space Exploration, an ad-hoc organization of space industry businesses and advocacy groups, today announced it is taking formal steps to provide a single, unified voice for the deep-space exploration industry. The organization is seeking 501 (c) 6 status, appointing an executive director and changing the name of the organization to the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.
“Continued investment in deep-space exploration systems and science missions is critical to U.S. leadership at home and abroad. Because it is multi-faceted, it requires long-term assurance from the nation, industry, suppliers and advocacy groups to push for future missions and to sustain robust support,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, the Coalition’s new executive director. “This new approach is the first step in a major reinvigoration and expansion of the Coalition to allow us to accomplish that task. We will use our collective voice to build on past successes and demonstrate our firm, ongoing commitment to the exploration of deep space.”
Dittmar is a 25-year veteran of the space industry specializing in strategy, public engagement and space policy. She was a member of the Human Spaceflight Committee at the National Research Council, and currently serves as a member of the Space Studies Board of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. As CEO of her own consultancy firm, she has guided defense, aerospace and technology firms while providing insight into legislative, regulatory and political processes at national and regional levels. In her role as executive director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Dittmar will oversee day-to-day operations, advocacy and outreach. She will also guide the ad-hoc organization through the formalization process into a 501 (c) 6 entity.
The changes were announced today at the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) von Braun Symposium in Huntsville, Ala. Founded in 1954, the AAS has long been recognized for its impact on shaping the U.S. space program.
”We are pleased to host the roll-out of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration and to welcome Mary Lynne Dittmar as the executive director,” said Jim Kirkpatrick, executive director of the AAS. “Dr. Dittmar previously served as vice president of strategic communications for AAS. As executive director of the Coalition, she will bring the breadth of her experience and unique perspective as it continues its important work advocating for NASA’s deep-space missions.”
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