Our Board of Directors is the fuel and fire of the National Security Space Association. These esteemed members bring great knowledge and expertise in supporting the National Security Space enterprise. As we work towards fostering new and exciting relationships that benefit and protect the National Security Space community, our Board of Directors are there to lead the way.

Joe Dodd, Chair of the NSSA Board of Directors, provides NSSA his valuable leadership and knowledge of national security space. In his current position as VP for Corporate Development at Linquest Corporation, Mr. Dodd understands the value of independent thought and leadership. Mr. Dodd has worked at Linquest, a systems integration and engineering company supporting many government space organizations, since 2011. Prior to joining Linquest, Mr. Dodd served in multiple corporate leadership roles in positions at TASC Inc., the commercial remote sensing industry, Hughes Space & Communications, and the Aerospace Corporation. Mr. Dodd will bring to his position as Chair of NSSA’s Board of Directors his valuable experience as an independent leader in the National Security Space community.

Mr. Joseph K. Dodd,

Chair of the Board, NSSA; Vice President, Corporate Development, Linquest

Maria Demaree will provide irreplaceable experience to the NSSA Board of Directors. She serves as the Vice President and General Manager for Mission Solutions at Lockheed Martin Space.  In this capacity, she is responsible for approximately 4,400 employees and an annual sales base of over $1.5B in support of government defense and intelligence agencies. Previously, Ms. Demaree was Vice President of Engineering, Mission Systems and Operations, for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Space Systems Company.  Additionally, she formerly served as Engineering and Technology Director of Mission Systems, for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS).  In that role, she was responsible for all aspects of leading the Mission

Systems Capabilities organization of 3,500 software engineers from March 2014 to December 2015. Ms. Demaree also served in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Enterprise Business Services from August 2011 to March 2014.  As Director of Enterprise Desktop Services, she was responsible for the Lockheed Martin Service Desk, Unified Communications, Desktop Services and SharePoint implementation.  Ms. Demaree graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering.

Ms. Maria Demaree,

Vice President and General Manager, Mission Solutions, Lockheed Martin Space

Mr. Michael P. Dempsey,

Vice President, Northrop Grumman Corporate, Strategy & Development, Space, Intelligence & Cyber

Michael P. Dempsey will be a vital asset for NSSA. He served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in 2017, Prior to that position, he was Deputy Director of National Intelligence (DDNI) from 2014 to 2016, where he served as President Obama’s primary intelligence briefer. In this role, he also regularly represented the Intelligence Community at National Security Council, Principal, and Deputy Committee meetings, as well as in Congressional testimony, and was charged with leading the effort to integrate the 16 agencies of the US Intelligence Community. He began his intelligence career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1990 and served in a number of management and analytical positions there, including Director of the Office of Transnational Issues, Director of the Office of African, Latin America, and Global Issues, and Deputy Associate Director of CIA for Military Affairs. He also served as Deputy CIA Representative to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. Prior to joining the CIA, he served for four years as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Dempsey has received the Presidential Rank Award, two National Intelligence Distinguished Service Awards, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Service Medal.  He earned a Master of International Public Policy from John Hopkins, School of Advanced International Studies, a Master of Diplomatic History from the University of New York at Albany, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Siena College.

The Honorable Martin C. Faga,

Former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Space) & Director,

National Reconnaissance Office

Marty Faga brings the National Security Space Association his incredible wealth of experience and leadership accumulated over decades of service in government and national security space. From 1989 to 1993, Mr Faga simultaneously served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Space) and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Prior to his roles in the Air Force and NRO, Mr. Faga headed the program and budget staff as a staff member on the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Mr. Faga also held the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer at the MITRE Corporation after his government service. Following his retirement in 2006, Mr. Faga has served on several boards of directors within the aerospace industry, giving him the knowledge to help guide the NSSA Board of Directors into the future.

Jerry Howe provides NSSA with nearly 35 years of experience providing counsel to clients in the aerospace, defense, intelligence, and government services sectors. In his current position, Mr. Howe works for Leidos as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Leidos, Mr. Howe was a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, & Jacobson LLP, where he managed aerospace and defense practices. Mr. Howe also previously served as chair of the Washington Space Business Roundtable. As a space leader with years of commitment to providing advice and guidance to the space community, Mr. Howe is a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors.

Mr. Jerry Howe,

Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Leidos

Mr. Steven D. Jacques,

USAF (Ret), Executive Director and Founder, NSSA; Managing Partner, Velos

Steve Jacques, Executive Director and Founder of the National Security Space Association, brings to his role decades of experience in and intimate knowledge of the National Security Space and Intelligence communities. A retired Air Force officer,  Mr. Jacques supported DoD space programs, served as the Secretary of the Air Force’s Congressional Liaison for Space and S&T programs and policies, and served as the Secretary of Defense’s Legislative Liaison for Intelligence, Space, and Airborne Reconnaissance policies and programs. Mr. Jacques is currently a Managing Partner at Velos, where he routinely interacts with space and intelligence leadership in the Executive branch, industry, and Congress. In 2004, Mr. Jacques co-founded the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, preparing him for his role in leading the National Security Space Association as Executive Director.

Mr. Wallis Laughrey,

Vice President, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Space & C2 Systems


Wallis Laughrey is an experienced engineer and program leader with a background in the Air Force’s Space Command and Materials Command. Before his current role as Vice President of Space and C2 Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Mr. Laughrey led the Space Systems mission area at Raytheon Company’s Space and Airborne Systems business prior to Raytheon Company’s merger with United Technologies Corporation in 2020. Before joining Space Systems, Mr. Laughrey was Vice President for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems and deputy of Advanced Concepts and Technology, an internal research and development organization. Mr. Laughrey came to Raytheon from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, where he was director of Strike Systems Advanced Development and held a number of program and functional positions. Prior to Northrop, Mr. Laughrey was with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems as program manager for a family of products employed on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado, a Master’s degree in product development engineering from the University of Southern California and a certificate in advanced project management from Stanford University.

General Lester L. Lyles,

USAF (Ret), Former Air Force Vice Chief of Staff

General Lester Lyles provides unparalleled leadership and experience in National Security Space to NSSA's Board of Directors. Prior to retiring from the Air Force in October 2003 after a 35 year career, General Lyles served as Commander of Air Force Materiel Command, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Commander of Space and Missile Systems Center, and Commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center. General Lyles has chaired or served on several councils related to the U.S. space program, including the Augustine Space Committee. Currently, General Lyles is the Chair of the NASA Advisory Council and serves on the National Space Council Users' Advisory Group. Having previously served on NSSA's Board of Advisors, General Lyles brings extensive knowledge of the organization and the National Security Space community to this position.

Mr. Tim McBride,

Founder and President, Zoic Labs

Mr. McBride is the founder (2013) and President of Zoic Labs, an advanced software development, technology and visualization company focused on the intersection of big data, narrative, design, and emerging technologies, providing R&D, agile software development, UI/UX design, and consulting services for a diverse range of clients including federal Intelligence Community agencies and the Department of Defense. Mr. McBride is also Co-Founder (2002) of Zoic Studios -- a post-production visual effects company with 400+ employees and offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver (Canada) and New York. Zoic provides award-winning visual effects to television and feature film studios (such as Disney, Fox, ABC, Marvel, Netflix, Amazon, NBC Universal, Sony, Warner Bros); advertising agencies (such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Chiat Day, DDB); and video game companies (including Sony, Activision, EA, and Microsoft). Mr. McBride's unique vision and creativity will be a vital component of NSSA.

Mr. Manny Mora,

Vice President and General Manager, Space and Intelligence Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems


Manny Mora will provide essential guidance to NSSA as a member of the Board of Directors.  In his current position, he holds a unique portfolio of space- and ground-based systems, products, and technologies, and is also responsible for the delivery of strategic programs, including systems for space-based operations, satellite payloads for NASA, and intelligence systems, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for the U.S. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and government organizations worldwide. Prior to his current position, he was senior vice president for Strategic Business Development and Sales for General Dynamics C4 Systems, now General Dynamics Mission Systems. In that role, he successfully developed and implemented the company’s strategic plan for continuous business growth and global operations excellence. He also directed merger and acquisition strategies and business development resources to ensure the company remained a market leader in Command, Control, Communications, Computing and ISR (C4ISR) technologies, products and systems. Mr. Mora also served as the vice president and general manager of Battlefield Management Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems and implemented critical enabling technologies and products for tactical networks used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. Mr. Mora has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University.

Mr. Dan Piemont,

Cofounder and Chief Financial Officer, ABL Space Systems


Dan Piemont brings the perspective of a venture-backed space startup founder to NSSA. Dan serves as the Chief Financial Officer of ABL Space Systems, which he co-founded in 2017 to develop low-cost resilient space launch systems to serve the national security space community. In his role as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Piemont directs ABL’s corporate strategy, business development, government relations, and business operations. Mr. Piemont also oversees ABL’s portfolio of space resiliency initiatives, including activities supporting the Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, and AFWERX program. Mr. Piemont previously held several positions in the venture capital and investment banking industries.

Mr. John “J.R.” Riordan,

Senior Vice President of Business Development, Parsons Corporation Space & Geospatial Solutions


John “J.R.” Riordan is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Parsons Corporations Space and Geospatial Solutions. Mr. Riordan transitioned to Parsons Corporation from his government service as a Professional Staff Member at the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he was Staff Lead for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. He is most widely known in the National Security Space community for his work on the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act as the primary architect of the United States Space Force and a senior member of the Committee for the establishment of the United States Space Force, the newest service in the United States Armed Forces. Prior to his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr. Riordan held a variety of positions in industry and served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force. He also earned his MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, as well as a Master’s in National Security Strategy from National Defense University, National War College at Fort McNair, Washington D.C. Mr. Riordan is a highly respected, proven military strategist and policy expert that will serve a vital role for NSSA’s  growth and development.

Mr. Lee Rizzo,

VP of Government Affairs, SAIC


As VP of government affairs and advocacy for SAIC's National Security and Civilian Markets groups, Lee works on behalf of key programs, pursuits, and policies involving the U.S. intelligence community, Air Force, Unified Combatant Command, NASA, and Department of Transportation (Federal Aviation Administration). A veteran of the Air Force, he has more than 25 years of experience and holds a master of science in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. Mr. Rizzo's vast knowledge and experience will help NSSA reach new heights.

Ms. Victoria “Vicki” Schmanske,

President, Intelligence Group, Leidos

Vicki Schmanske serves as President of the Intelligence Group for Leidos where she is responsible for providing solutions and services to Intelligence Community agencies. Prior roles include the Leidos Chief Administrative Officer, where she managed key centralized business functions; Deputy President and Chief Operations Officer for Leidos’ Health Group; and Vice President of Operations for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) programs in the Civil, Defense & Intelligence Solutions lines of business. Ms. Schmanske has a Bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics/computer science from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in information systems from George Washington University. Ms. Schmanske is an accomplished executive whose 35 years of career experience will immediately become an asset to NSSA.

Ms. Kay Sears,

Vice President & General Manager, Lockheed Martin; Former President, Intelsat

Kay Sears brings decades of unique experience in the commercial space industry to her position on NSSA's Board of Directors. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin Space Systems as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development in 2016, Ms. Sears served as President of Intelsat General, where she provided sustainable, cost-effective and secure communications solutions to customers in government and commercial industry. Ms. Sears also helped create government services business units at G2 Satellite Solutions and Verestar before joining Intelsat. Previously, Ms. Sears served on the board of the Space Foundation, making her a valuable asset to NSSA's Board of Directors. With her extensive leadership in the aerospace industry, Ms. Sears is an excellent addition to NSSA's Board of Directors.