BERNARD F. BURKE is the William A.M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also a principal investigator (PI) at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. His research career has covered a wide range of activities, including the co-discovery of Jupiter radio bursts and the discovery of the first “Einstein Ring,” a manifestation of the warping of space-time by matter that was predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity. Dr. Burke was president of the American Astronomical Society and served as a member of the National Science Board. He is a member of the NAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of AAAS, and a recipient of the NASA Group Achievement Award for Very Long Baseline Interferometry. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Dr. Burke has served on numerous NRC committees, including the Committee on the Assessment of Solar System Exploration, the U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union, and the International Space Year Planning Committee.
MARY LYNNE DITTMAR is president and executive consultant for Dittmar Associates, Inc., an engineering and consulting firm in Houston, Texas. Previously, Dr. Dittmar managed International Space Station (ISS) Flight Operations and Training Integration for the Boeing Company and later served as chief scientist and senior manager for Boeing’s Commercial Space Payloads Program before advising on business development and strategic planning for the company’s Space Exploration group. More recently she has acted as senior advisor to executives in a variety of aerospace companies, at NASA, and at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) where she was instrumental in developing the strategic plan for utilization of the ISS National Laboratory. Dr. Dittmar’s areas of practice focus on strategic planning, public/private partnerships, strategic communications, systems engineering, and change management. She is published in a variety of fields including operations, engineering, artificial intelligence, human factors, communications, and business, and has authored several papers on the impact of regulatory frameworks and investor engagement with emerging sectors such as the commercial spaceflight industry. She also has served as a member of the Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee’s Space Operations Working Group and holds a number of industry and academic awards, including Meritorious Inventions and the Chief Technology Officer’s Award for Technical Excellence from Boeing and NASA’s “Silver Snoopy” Award for significant contributions to human spaceflight, and is a fellow of Sigma Xi, the research honor society of scientists and engineers. Dr. Dittmar earned a Ph.D. in human factors from the University of Cincinnati.
PASCALE EHRENFREUND is research professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute of George Washington University. During the past 15 years Dr. Ehrenfreund has contributed as PI, co-investigator, and team leader to experiments in low Earth orbit and on the ISS, as well as to various European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA space missions, including astronomy and planetary missions. She is a lead investigator with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, a virtual institute that integrates research and training programs, and her research experience and interests range from biology to astrophysics. Dr. Ehrenfreund served as the project scientist of NASA’s O/OREOs satellite, the first mission of the NASA Astrobiology Small Payload program currently in orbit. She has served on several committees dealing with space strategy issues, including the European Space Science Committee, ESA’s Life and Physical Science Advisory Committee, and ESA’s Life Science Working Group. Since 2010, she has chaired the Panel on Exploration of COSPAR. Dr. Ehrenfreund is president of IAU Commission 51 (Bioastronomy) and a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics. She serves as member of the NRC Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences and served on the Committee on Planetary Science Decadal Survey: 2013-2022. Dr. Ehrenfreund was a member of the FP7 Space Advisory Group of the European Commission and has been reelected in the Horizon2020 Space Advisory Group and started her term in November 2013. Since 2013 she has served as president of the Austrian Science Fund. She holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Vienna (Austria), a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University Paris VII/University Vienna (Austria), a Habilitation in astrochemistry from the University of Vienna (Austria), and a master’s degree in management and leadership from Webster University (Netherlands). She authored and co-authored more than 300 publications.