© 2023 - NPEC

2023 Applications Now Open

This spring, NPEC will offer a six-lecture virtual fellowship on the fundamentals of civil and military space policy followed by an additional round table policy discussion and a space war game. The nation’s leading space policy practitioners and experts would teach the course. It would offer 1. a brief history of space exploration and an overview of current and planned space programs; 2. an analysis of the debates over alternative proposed military and civil space strategies; 3. an overview of existing and planned U.S. and allied military space programs and what challenges they face from Russia, China, and other countries; 4. an assessment of the military and commercial benefits and costs of the most significant civil and commercial efforts now being proposed; 5. a brief history of space diplomacy, the current issues and players, and most important proposed space control ideas; and 6. an assessment of China’s space programs. These lectures and a policy round table session would be followed by a war game that would play out what might emerge from a credible North Korea threat to detonate a nuclear weapon in low-Earth orbit.

The course is designed for full-time legislative staff (including fellows detailed to the Hill); executive branch staffers working space policy issues; the military; embassy staff from friendly space-faring nations; and journalists working national security and space-related beats.

Applicants should submit a current resume and a cover letter (no longer than two pages). The cover letter should explain the applicant’s interest in the seminars and how the seminars would help them do their jobs.  Applications for the spring 2023 session of the NPEC Space Policy Fellowship must be submitted by 5:00 pm on February 24, 2023, for early decision, and by 5:00 pm on March 24, 2023, for regular decision. Only complete applications will be considered. If you have any questions, please reach out to Brooke Buskirk (brooke@npolicy.org). Click here to apply.


Course Description: NPEC plans to hold six lunchtime seminars between April and June 2023. Sessions are held on Friday afternoons. Individuals who complete the program will also have the opportunity to participate in NPEC’s spring space war game set to take place in June. All events will take place virtually. The seminars are taught by the following lecturers:

Kevin O’Connell (course kick-off) is a recognized expert on space commerce, the global space economy, international intelligence and U.S. national security matters. For almost four decades, he has focused on space commercialization and technological competitiveness and how to advance them in global markets. He has also focused on how these innovations impact U.S. and allied national security. His U.S. government assignments include the Department of Commerce (SES), The Department of Defense, The Department of State, The National Security Council, The Office of the Vice President, and The Office of the Director of Central Intelligence.

Scott Pace (lectures 1 and 2) is the former Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Space Council. Dr. Pace, who worked at RAND and as a NASA associate administrator, currently runs the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. He is well-known as one of the nation’s top space policy analysts and administrators.

Douglass Loverro (lecture 3) is a highly regarded national space thinker and leader who currently serves as President, Loverro Consulting, LLC. He has served in a variety of very senior government positions including at NASA where he led Human Exploration, in the DoD where he lead space policy, and in multiple DoD and NRO space program leadership roles over a more than 40-year career. Mr. Loverro holds a Master of Science in Physics from the University of New Mexico, a Master of Political Science from Auburn University, and an MBA from the University of West Florida in addition to his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the US Air Force Academy. He was a distinguished graduate from the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College and Squadron Officer School and was the top graduate from DoD’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards including the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Public Service, AIAA’s Durand Lecture for Public Service, the National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Bob Hope Distinguished Citizen Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Galaxy Explorers, the Society of Satellite Professional Engineers Stellar Award, and the Armed Forces Communicants and Electronics Association’s (AFCEA) Benjamin Oliver Gold Medal for Engineering amongst many other civilian and military honors.

Peter Hays (lecture 3)  is a Senior Space Policy Analyst at U.S. Department of Defense. Peter has been helping develop and implement all major national security space policy and strategy initiatives since 2004 and serves as a senior advisor on policy, strategy, governance, and strategic messaging issues. Dr. Hays was presented the National Intelligence Professional Award by the Director of National Intelligence in 2014.

Pete Worden (lecture 4) is the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Executive Director of the foundation’s ‘Breakthrough Initiatives’. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Astronomy for the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, USA until his retirement on March 31, 2015. He has held several positions in the United States Air Force and was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues – both civil and military, and has been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally. Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers in astrophysics space sciences, and strategic studies. He served as a scientific co-investigator for three NASA space science missions – most recently the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph launched in 2013 to study the Sun. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon. Dr. Worden was named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium Laboratory Director of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award. On July 20, 2015 at the Royal Society in London, UK, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking launched the Breakthrough Initiatives. At the press conference Pete Worden was introduced as the Chairman for the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In this capacity he leads the Breakthrough Initiatives. On April 12, 2016 in the One World Observatory in New York, NY, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announced the Breakthrough StarShot Initiative to develop and launch Earth’s first interstellar probe within a generation.  Pete Worden leads this Initiative as its Executive Director.

Chris Kemp (lecture 4) leads Astra’s overall strategy. He previously served as CTO of NASA and founded OpenStack. At NASA, he partnered with Google and Microsoft, helped create Google Moon and Mars, and worked with the White House to develop the cloud computing strategy for the U.S. federal government.

Henry R. Hertzfeld (lecture 5) is a Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at GW. He also served as Director of the Space Policy Institute from 2017-2021. Dr. Hertzfeld is an expert in the legal, economic, and policy issues of space and advanced technological development and has served as a Senior Economist and Policy Analyst at both NASA and the National Science Foundation. He is the author of many articles on both legal and economic issues concerning space and technology and teaches courses in Space Law and Space Economics.

Jack Beard (lecture 5) is the Director of the Space & Cyber Law Program at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Before coming to Nebraska, he was a member of the faculty at the UCLA School of Law. He previously served for 14 years as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he was responsible for a variety of legal matters related to arms control agreements, defense cooperation and basing agreements, programs assisting states of the former Soviet Union in dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction and other nonproliferation activities.  He was the senior lawyer on numerous U.S. delegations negotiating international agreements on a wide range of U.S. military operations and activities.

Namrata Goswami (lecture 6) is an independent scholar on space policy and Great Power Politics. She is a Faculty Associate at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University for their Executive Masters in Global Management, Space Policy, Leadership and Finance degree. She is a consultant for Space Fund Intelligence and a guest lecturer at the seminar on “India Today: Economics, Politics, Innovation & Sustainability”, Emory University. She was subject matter expert in international affairs with Futures Laboratory, Alabama. She worked as Research Fellow at MP-Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi; a visiting Fellow at Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway; La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; University of Heidelberg, Germany; Jennings-Randolph Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; and was a Fulbright Senior Fellowship Awardee. She was awarded the Minerva grant by Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to study great power competition in outer space. In April 2019, Dr. Goswami testified before the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China’s space program. Her co-authored book, Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space was published 2020 by Lexington Press; Rowman and Littlefield. Her book on The Naga Ethnic Movement for a Separate Homeland was published in 2020 by Oxford University Press.  She has published widely to include in The Diplomat, the Economic Times, The Washington Post, Ad Astra, Asia Policy, Live Encounters Magazine, Cairo Review. She was invited in November 2019 to share about her life and her work at a Tedx event held at the Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery, Alabama. She is currently working on two academic book projects, one on China’s Grand Strategy and Notions of Territoriality and the other on Spacepower Theory and Practice: Case Studies of U.S. China, India, Russia and Japan.

Brian Weeden (lecture 6) is the Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation and has nearly two decades of professional experience in space operations and policy. Dr. Weeden directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation’s goals and objectives, and conducts research on space debris, global space situational awareness, space traffic management, protection of space assets, and space governance. Dr. Weeden also organizes national and international workshops to increase awareness of and facilitate dialogue on space security, stability, and sustainability topics. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, a member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Executive Director of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS). Prior to joining SWF, Dr. Weeden served nine years on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force working in space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations. As part of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), Dr. Weeden directed the orbital analyst training program and developed tactics, techniques and procedures for improving space situational awareness. Respected and recognized as an international expert, Dr. Weeden’s research and analysis have been featured in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, National Public RadioUSA Today, The BBC, Fox News, China Radio International, The Economist, The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, academic journals, presentations to the United Nations, and testimony before the U.S. Congress. Dr. Weeden holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, a Master of Science Degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and is also a graduate of the International Space University Space Studies Program (2007, Beijing).  He has a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University in the field of Science and Technology Policy.


Tentative Schedule:

 April 27  Course Kick-off
 April 28  Why and How We Went Into Orbit
 May 5      What Do You Do After You Go to the Moon?
• May 12    America’s Military Space Force: What Is It and What It’s Up Against
• May 19   How We All Might Get Rich: Alternative Civil and Commercial Space Futures
• May 26    Statecraft and Spacecraft: The History and Future of Space Diplomacy
 June 2     China: Why Its Space Programs Matter


Seminars will address the following questions:

  • To what extent, how soon, and how much should the United States and its space-faring allies invest in geo and low-Earth orbit space systems designed to support economic, environmental, and military operations on earth versus cislunar and deep space systems designed to support operations on the moon and beyond?
  • What military and civil space systems and services should U.S. and allied governments buy from commercial space firms and which ones should they build themselves?
  • Should the United States prioritize spending to militarily dominate space now or focus more in the short-run on terrestrial military challenges (e.g., defending Taiwan)?
  • What should the ideal Space Force general officer be — an accomplished space “fighter pilot” operator (General Patton) or a space diplomat-soldier (a space George Marshall)?
  • What weaknesses in China and Russia’s military space efforts could the United States and its allies best exploit?