7- 11 December 2020 ATCA Annual Conference

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Paul Albuquerque
• Panelist: Track Session 2 - You Down with UPP? How the UTM Pilot Program, NASA, and Industry Came Together to Showcase Capabilities for Commercial Package Delivery and First Responders

Paul Albuquerque is an Aerospace Engineer in the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) Technology and Procedures Division within the Flight Standards Service. His focus areas are policy development for the enabling technologies of UAS beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, with a special emphasis on detect and avoid (DAA) technologies. He participates in both ASTMs F-38 and RTCAs SC-228 committees to help develop industry standards for BVLOS technologies. Prior to joining the FAA, Mr. Albuquerque was a Flight Dynamics engineer with the Navy at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.  At Patuxent River, he worked on both manned and unmanned platforms before becoming an SME for all naval small unmanned aircraft. Mr. Albuquerque holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan, both in Aerospace Engineering.


Hon. Randy Babbitt
• Panelist: To Protect and Defend...and Modernize: Federal Leadership and the National Airspace System (NAS), Past, Present, and Future

Honorable J. Randolph Babbitt. Currently Randy Babbitt is the Principal of Babbitt & Associates, LLC.  This follows his retirement as Senior Vice President of Labor Relations for Southwest Airlines.  Prior to joining Southwest and after confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Randy Babbitt served as the FAAs sixteenth administrator from June of 2009 through December 2011. Babbitt came to the FAA from Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm where he served as partner. Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying 25 years for Eastern Airlines. Later, he served as President and CEO for US ALPA, the worlds largest professional organization of airline pilots. He was recognized by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine with the Laurels Award for outstanding achievement in the Commercial Air Transport and more recently was presented the Aero Club of Washingtons prestigious Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence.


Hon. Marion Blakey
• Panelist: To Protect and Defend...and Modernize: Federal Leadership and the National Airspace System (NAS), Past, Present, and Future

Marion Clifton Blakey is a former president and chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce North America. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, she served as the eighth full-time chief executive of the Aerospace Industries Association, an American defense industry trade association from 2007-2015. Before this, she served a five-year term as the 15th Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Blakey was the second woman to hold the position, serving as a successor to Jane Garvey, the first woman to hold the Administrator title. She was the second Administrator who was not a licensed pilot. She was awarded the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy in 2013.



Mark Blanks
• Panelist: Track Session 2 - You Down with UPP? How the UTM Pilot Program, NASA, and Industry Came Together to Showcase Capabilities for Commercial Package Delivery and First Responders

Mark Blanks is the director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) where he leads both the FAA-designated UAS Test Site and a UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). He has built successful UAS research programs at multiple universities, leveraging his extensive background in aircraft maintenance, flight test, and certification. Mr. Blanks joined Virginia Tech in August 2015, and has guided MAAP through remarkable growth while overseeing and expanding a substantial portfolio of operations and research. He plays an active role in policy and advocacy, serving on multiple unmanned systems-related boards including recently completing a term on the AUVSI board and chairing an ASTM subcommittee on UAS Flight Operations. Mr. Blanks is an instrument-rated pilot and aircraft mechanic.


Matthew Blum
• Panelist: The Pace of Innovation: How the NAS Can Benefit from Technology Accelerators and New Procurement Strategies

Mathew Blum is the Associate Administrator at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, in Washington, D.C.  He manages the development of legislation, regulations, and policies to promote efficient, effective, and innovative acquisition practices.   Mr. Blum is a contributing author to a variety of government contract publications, including articles that have appeared in the Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, Contract Management, The Government Contractor, The Procurement Lawyer, and the Administrative Law Journal of the American University. Mr. Blum is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, the 2017 recipient of the John J. Franke Award recognizing contributions to a more effective and collaborative government, a two-time winner of Federal Computer Weeks Fed 100 Award, and recipient of the Coalition for Government Procurements Unsung Hero Award for Procurement Policy Excellence.  In 2010, Mr. Blum received a Presidential Rank Award for his ongoing work in OMB.    Mr. Blum is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the College of William and Mary. He received a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the George Washington University Law School, where he serves as a member of its Government Contracts Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Virginia Bar.

Martin Bowman
• Presenter - Data: Applying Formula 1 Thinking into ATC Operations - How the F1 Digital Twin Approach is Delivering Superior Airspace Performance
Track Session 4 - Welcome to the Matrix: Aviation Technology of Today for Tomorrow

Martin has spent nearly 20 years in aviation technology, working across airlines, airports and air traffic control to enhance industry collaboration and increase efficiency and effectiveness. Martin was previously Global Airports Director for Lockheed Martin and more recently Aviation Strategy Director for Leidos. Martin has worked across a broad range of aviation clients including Heathrow Airport, Airways New Zealand, NATS, Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines, with his knowledge and expertise spanning multiple areas including airport operations, aviation technology, aviation safety and airworthiness, stakeholder collaboration and complex systems integration. Martin is an active member of the Air Traffic Control trade association CANSO where he sits on their Strategy and Operations Committee.


Muriel Bowser
• Special Remarks

Muriel Elizabeth Bowser is a politician serving since 2015 as the eighth mayor of the District of Columbia. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented Ward 4 as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia from 2007 to 2015.

Elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in 2004, Bowser was elected to the Council in a special election in 2007, to succeed Adrian Fenty, who had been elected Mayor. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2012 and ran for Mayor in the 2014 election. She defeated incumbent Mayor Vincent C. Gray in the Democratic primary and won the general election against three Independent and two minor party candidates with 54.53% of the vote. Bowser won re-election in 2018 with 76.4% of the vote. She is the second woman to serve as mayor, after Sharon Pratt Kelly and the first woman to be re-elected mayor of the District of Columbia.


Teri Bristol
• Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor
• State of the ATO Fireside Chat

As Chief Operating Officer of the FAAs Air Traffic Organization (ATO), Teri L. Bristol is responsible for ensuring safe, efficient and secure air traffic services for approximately 50,000 aircraft operating over nearly 30 million square miles every day.  Bristol provides leadership and direction for 32,000 employees providing the organizations core functions of Air Traffic Services, Technical and Systems Operations, Safety Management, Technical Training, Mission Services, Management Services, Program Management, and Flight Program Operations.  She has made great strides on behalf of the agency on labor relations, and has played a key role in the deployment and integration of NextGen capabilities and other airspace modernization, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and commercial space operations into daily National Airspace System (NAS) operations. Throughout her 27-year career, Bristol has had extensive experience in leading the technically varied missions of the ATO.  Prior to being named COO in 2014, she served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in 2012-2013, assuming greater responsibility for operations domestically and for the agencys role in international air navigation services.  In previous positions, Bristol oversaw the maintenance, monitoring and engineering services in the NAS, directed operational support and integration services across the nations airspace, led acquisition and program management of large automation and surveillance systems, and was directly responsible for the daily operation of air traffic control facilities throughout the Western United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Bristol served as Chair of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Executive Committee from June 2017 to June 2019, and continues to work within CANSO represent the FAA in efforts to harmonize air traffic policies and procedures and develop best practices for the safe and efficient delivery of air navigation services. Bristol represents the ATO on the FAA's Drone Advisory Committee and is a member of the NextGen Executive Board and the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), and an executive leader of the NACs NextGen Integration Working Group. Bristol began her federal career in 1992 when she was recruited into the Department of Transportation's Acquisition Management Training Program, where she worked for the FAA, U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Highway Administration. Bristol holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and transportation from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Program Management Professional. 


Kristen Burnham
• Panelist: Track Session 5 - Managing Increasing Complexity in ATM: New Concepts for NAS Operations that Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges

Kristen Burnham is the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Vice President of the Program Management Organization (PMO) within the Air Traffic Organization. The PMO is responsible for all NextGen program activity; all National Airspace System (NAS) communications, navigation, weather, surveillance and automation modernization programs; and all service life extensions to legacy NAS sensors, communications and navigation aids. Given the tight coupling between successful automation program delivery, and current system operation, the PMO also leads and manages all second-level automation engineering efforts. Lastly, the PMO works with FAA operations and aviation users to ensure globally interoperable solutions for NextGen.

Since joining the FAA in 1993, Ms. Burnham has served as a regulatory economist, an investment analyst, a manager in the FAA's budget office, the Director of Portfolio Management at the Joint Planning and Development Office, the Director of Investment Planning and Analysis, and Deputy Vice President of the PMO. She started her career at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, evaluating federally funded transportation programs. Ms. Burnham received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.


Jose Ceballos
• Moderator: Track Session 3 - Shutting Down the Next FAA Shutdown

Jose Ceballos is the Government Affairs Director for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

Ceballos graduated from Florida State University in 1991, and ran campaign operations for vice-presidential nominee John Edwards. Prior to the campaign, Ceballos served as director of Policy & Strategic Planning at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), where he focused on grassroots advocacy campaigns. Mr. Ceballos has worked for Vice-President Al Gore, Transportation Secretary Rod Slater, and Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.




Diana Cooper
• Panelist: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS

Diana is the Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategy at PrecisionHawk.  Prior to joining PrecisionHawk, Diana led a UAS Practice Group at a leading law firm.  Diana is President of the Drone Operators Federation of the Alliance for Drone Innovation, which represents 40,000 drone operators in the US.  She is the former President of the Small UAV Coalition, and she serves on the Advocacy Committee of AUVSI, the Board of Small UAV Coalition, the Advisory Board of the Energy Drone Coalition, and the UN Working Group on Legal and Policy Frameworks for Geospatial Information Management.  Diana served as a member of the FAA DAC Subcommittee, the FAA UAS Identification and Tracking ARC, the NTIA Multi-stakeholder Process on UAS Privacy.  She is also a member of the DHS UAS Security Working Group. Diana testified on UAS policy before the United States Senate Commerce Committee and the House Aviation Subcommittee.



Hon. Linda Hall Daschle
• Panelist: To Protect and Defend...and Modernize: Federal Leadership and the National Airspace System (NAS), Past, Present, and Future

Linda Hall Daschle became the first woman to serve as FAA Acting Administrator. Prior to holding that position, she helped start a regional airline, worked for the Civil Aeronautics Board, and became a top executive with the American Association of Airport Executives.  Nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed in 1993, Linda began a four-year term as FAA Deputy Administrator and FAA Acting Administrator, where she led efforts to overhaul the agency's air traffic control modernization program and implementation of major safety improvements. She returned to the private sector in 1997 and chaired the public policy practice at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, PC. In 2009, she formed her own consulting company, LHD & Associates, Inc. Among other honors, Linda was the recipient of ATCA's 2018 Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award and two aviation college scholarships have been created in her name. She serves as a board member for Aireon LLC.


Jon R. Damush
• Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor

Jon Damush is director of new business ventures for Boeing NeXt, a business division building the ecosystem that will define the future of urban, regional and global mobility. He is responsible for collaboration with third parties to advance Boeing’s future mobility initiatives, including oversight of the SkyGrid joint venture that is developing a software platform for the safe integration of unmanned and autonomous vehicles into the global airspace.
Jon was formerly the chief growth officer for Insitu, Inc., a Boeing subsidiary whose unmanned products have more than 1.3 million operational flight hours. During his tenure at Insitu, he established the commercial business unit and oversaw the strategy and marketing functions of the company. Damush came to Insitu through Boeing’s acquisition of 2d3 Sensing, where he was president and CEO.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Irvine. He is also a licensed commercial pilot and certified flight instructor.


Stephen Dickson
• Fireside Chat with the Administrator

Steve Dickson was sworn in as the FAA administrator by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on August 12, after being confirmed for a five-year term by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2019. Dickson recently retired from service as the senior vice president of Flight Operations for Delta Air Lines.
In this role, he was responsible for the safety and operational performance of Delta's global flight operations, as well as pilot training, crew resources, crew scheduling, and regulatory compliance. He also flew in line operations as an A320 captain, and previously flew the B727, B737, B757, and B767 during his career. Captain Dickson is a strong advocate for commercial aviation safety and improvements to our National Airspace System, having served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and Federal advisory committees.

A former United States Air Force Officer and F-15 fighter pilot, Dickson is a Distinguished Graduate of the Class of 1979 at the United States Air Force Academy, as well as a graduate of the Georgia State University College of Law, magna cum laude.


Martin Donnan
• Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor

Martin is the Director of the NATS Prestwick Centre site. Responsible for all aspects of the site and its personnel including safety, security and operational performance, and for delivering its central role in the UK national airspace network and its key role in the local Ayrshire community. Martin was previously the General Manager at Prestwick Centre, responsible for the oversight of the strategic and tactical delivery of domestic en route Air Traffic Control in the north of the UK and Oceanic Air Traffic Control over the Eastern part of the North Atlantic. Prior to that, as the Deputy General Manager for London Area Control, Martin was part of the team responsible for the day to day safety and operational service delivery of en route Air Traffic Control in the southern part of the UK. Martin has also worked in the NATS Airports business as an operational Air Traffic Controller and supervisor at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and as General Manager at Bristol Airport. Before joining NATS Martin served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, as a Sea King Observer; this included operational tours on aircraft carriers and search and rescue, as well as roles in tactical development and instructional duties.



Peter F. Dumont
• Blue Skies Initiative Fireside Chat
Fireside Chat with the Administrator
• State of the ATO Fireside Chat

Peter F. Dumont is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), where he serves a global membership of nearly 4,000 in all segments of the air traffic control (ATC)/ air traffic management (ATM) community. In this role, he interacts and collaborates daily with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, as well as federal and international government executives, to develop strategy and policy to drive the future of ATC/ATM. Through his leadership, Mr. Dumont turned ATCA around from a point of near insolvency to what it is today: an organization that successfully represents and creates a conduit that connects the entire aviation community – the providers of ATC/ATM, system architects, manufacturers, suppliers, system operators, and users. Through its renowned domestic and international conferences, ATCA brings together more than 15,000 stakeholders, regulators, and subject matter experts from 136 countries and territories each year to discuss all elements of the global airspace.

Mr. Dumont represents ATCA’s membership on the FAA’s NAC and DAC Working Subcommittee, as well as on the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team and the FAA ARAC on controller training. He also sits on the Policy Board of the U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA). In addition, Mr. Dumont is a past president of the Aero Club of Washington, former chair of the NextGen Institute, and a former co-chair of the Institute Management Council (IMC) supporting the FAA.

Mr. Dumont’s 40-year career in aviation began as an air traffic controller with the U.S. Navy. After retiring from the Navy after 20 years, Mr. Dumont began his private sector career with Serco, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Aviation, and later as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the North American sector of the $3 billion defense contracting services company. During his tenure, he oversaw multiple lines of business in airport management contracts, ATC, ATC equipment installation, meteorology, weather observation, ATC engineering, control tower fabrication and installation, ATM, labor relations, business development, and a number of non-aviation related contracts and corporate management functions.

A recognized expert in the field of aviation, Mr. Dumont has been published numerous times on subjects relating to ATM, policy and procedures, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and other aviation-related issues. He regularly delivers keynote addresses at aviation events and moderates or participates on discussion panels about aviation, UAS, and ATC/ATM. Mr. Dumont holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, a Master of Science in Aviation/Aerospace Management, and a Master of Science in Unmanned Systems (All Domains) with a minor in sUAS, all from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also holds his part 107 drone operator license.


Sebastian Dunne
• Presenter - Cybersecurity: Seven Easy Steps to Better Aviation Cybersecurity
Track Session 4 - Welcome to the Matrix: Aviation Technology of Today for Tomorrow

Sebastian Dunne is a Senior Solution Architect at Red Hat, Inc. and in his fifth year supporting FAA programs. He has over twenty-five years of experience building and managing IT services, specializing in systems architecture, data security, and effective cloud architectures. Sebastian lives with his wife and son in Arlington, Virginia and flies the local skies as a private pilot since 2000.




Jim Eck
• Moderator: Track Session 5 - Managing Increasing Complexity in ATM: New Concepts for NAS Operations that Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges

Prior to joining L3Harris in 2018, Eck served as the Assistant Administrator for NextGen at the FAA where he led the modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS). Previously, Eck held roles of increasing responsibility with the FAA focused on acquisition management, program development, and execution. He also served as vice president, Program Management Organization, where he led all FAA NextGen program activity, infrastructure modernization programs, and engineering services for the legacy NAS infrastructure. Eck is currently a member of the Air Traffic Controllers Association and represents L3Harris in the Aerospace Industries Association Emerging Technology Committee. Eck holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a masters degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Jim Eck is vice president, strategy and business development for the Mission Networks sector within L3Harris Technologies Aviation Systems segment. Eck leads a team of senior professionals in the creation of strategic growth opportunities and the development of pursuit and capture strategies for communications and networking solutions for the Federal Aviation Administration and international air navigation service providers. Eck provides the voice of both the FAA and the global civil aviation customer and strengthens L3Harris' strategic relationships with federal agencies, the aviation industry, and the US airspace user community including both manned and unmanned components. Eck holds more than 30 years of leadership experience with the federal government supporting both the FAA and the U.S. Navy. L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $17 billion in annual revenue and 50,000 employees, with customers in 130 countries.


William D. Eggers
• Keynote Speaker: The Future is Arriving in a Blur, and We Have No Crystal Ball: How Government is Adapting to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Bill is the executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights where he is responsible for the firm’s public sector thought leadership. His latest book is Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies that are Transforming Government (Deloitte Insights, 2016).
His eight other books include The Solution Revolution: How Government, Business, and Social Enterprises are Teaming up to Solve Society’s Biggest Problems (Harvard Business Review Press 2013). The book, which The Wall Street Journal calls “pulsating with new ideas about civic and business and philanthropic engagement,” was named to ten best books of the year lists.
His other books include The Washington Post best seller If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government (Harvard Business Press, 2009), Governing by Network (Brookings, 2004), and The Public Innovator’s Playbook (Deloitte Research 2009). He coined the term Government 2.0 in a book by the same name. His commentary has appeared in dozens of major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and the Washington Post.


Daniel K. Elwell
•2019 Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award Recipient

Daniel K. Elwell is the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mr. Elwell was sworn in to office on June 26, 2017 following his appointment by President Trump. He also served as Acting FAA Administrator from January 2018 until August 2019.

Elwell previously served at the FAA as the Assistant Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Environment from 2006–2008. Most recently, he was Senior Advisor on Aviation to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). From 2013–2015, as Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations at Airlines for America (A4A), Elwell was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major U.S. air carriers.

Prior to A4A, Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008–2013. In this role, Elwell represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing interests of more than 300 AIA member companies.Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While maintaining his proficiency as an MD-80 Captain, he served as Managing Director for International and Government Affairs at American Airlines.
Dan earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs. Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.


Vandad Espahbodi
• Panelist: The Pace of Innovation: How the NAS Can Benefit from Technology Accelerators and New Procurement Strategies
As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Starburst, Van Espahbodi is championing todays aerospace renaissance, uniting early-stage technology innovators with private investment to modernize infrastructure in mobility, communications and intelligence. Van launched Starburst in the US in 2015, operating globally today with offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, San Francisco, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, and Montreal. His team works alongside 500+ technology startups developing new aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, drones, sensors, autonomy, robotics and much more. An entrepreneurial futurist, Van has over 15 years of experience in aerospace, identifying future trends, shaping product strategy and investment trade policies. Having worked in Government and Corporate strategy positions in both defense and commercial aviation markets, Van started his career as a congressional aide before joining Raytheon and later UK NATS, the British air navigation service provider. Following graduate studies at George Mason University, Van participated in executive programs at Thunderbird School of Management in AZ and Cranfield School of Management in the UK. He currently serves as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Council for the City of El Segundo and the Advisory Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum.


Tony Evans
• Panelist: The Art of the Possible: Ushering the NAS into the Age of Automation
Dr. Antony Evans is the Head of System Design Architecture at Airbus UTM. He has 20 years of research experience in Air Transportation, focused primarily on air traffic management and UAS airspace integration. Prior to Airbus he spent time in the Aviation Systems Division at NASA Ames, and on faculty at University College London in the UK. He has two masters degrees from MIT, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge.





Patricia Gilbert
• Moderator: The Art of the Possible: Ushering the NAS into the Age of Automation
Trish Gilbert has served as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's seventh Executive Vice President since she was elected in September 2009. Gilbert was re-elected to a fourth three-year term in July 2018 for an unprecedented fourth term as NATCA executive vice president. Working as a team with NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Gilbert has helped lead and oversee NATCAs comprehensive efforts to build successful working relationships with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), the AFL-CIO, and members of Congress which have resulted in excellent progress on aviation safety. Her efforts include serving on the FAA/NATCA Collaborative Steering Committee, the AFL-CIO Political Committee and Women Workers Committee, on the Drone Advisory Committee, and as the Vice Chair of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Air Traffic Services Committee. Prior to election as NATCA EVP, Gilbert worked 21 years as an air traffic controller at Houston Center, and served in many activist roles within the union including Facility Representative, Southwest Region Chair of NATCAs National Legislative Committee and Chair of the National Legislative Committee. She also chaired NATCAs National Organizing Committee, served as NATCA Charitable Foundation Vice President and then, the Foundations President. Trish Gilbert resides in both Texas and Washington, DC with her husband John, who is a retired air traffic controller. John, also served as NATCA representative at Houston Center, arbitration advocate and the National OWCP Committee Chair. They have a son, John Colby and are proud new grandparents of Oliver Sterling, son of their daughter, Jenna and son-in-law Parker.


Matt Gilligan 
Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor
Matthew Gilligan is vice president of the Navigation and Modernization Solutions (NMS) mission area of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS). Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. IIS provides a full range of technical and professional services to intelligence, defense, federal and commercial customers worldwide. IIS specializes in global Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); navigation; DoD space and weather solutions; cybersecurity; analytics; training; logistics; mission support; engineering; automation and sustainment solutions; and international and domestic Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. Key customers include the U.S. Intelligence Community, the U.S. Armed Forces, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NASA and a number of international customers.
NMS has more than 5,800 employees in 26 countries at 310 locations generating $2.4 billion in annual revenue for Raytheon. The mission area provides modernized and integrated cyber-resilient solutions, a broad portfolio of air traffic management products, and highly advanced electronic toll systems and perimeter detection systems. The team also supports internal and external customers around the globe with robust deployment, logistics, training and support services.
Previously, Gilligan was vice president of the Navigation and Environmental Solutions mission area, which leveraged Raytheon’s expertise in data processing toward satellite ground control for navigation, environmental and science missions, as well as weather analytics for civil and defense missions.
He also served as vice president of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) program. In this role, he was responsible for developing the ground-based command and controls used to launch, track, monitor and update both legacy and modernized GPS satellites.
From 2009 to 2012, Gilligan served as vice president of the NATO C4I business line in Massy, France, as part of the ThalesRaytheonSystems SAS company joint venture. This organization provided integrated air and missile defense command and control (C2) capabilities to the European NATO nations, which includes the NATO Air Command and Control System and its expansion into ballistic missile defense.
His career with Raytheon includes domestic and international large-scale program and product line management; system design and development with emphasis on C2, communications and security systems and radio frequency/infrared sensor technology; complex system integration and program logistics.
Previous positions include vice president and deputy manager for Raytheon Network Centric Systems Command and Control Systems and Integrated Communications Systems product lines. He was also vice president and program manager for the $1.4 billion Amazon Vigilance System, one of the world’s largest environmental management and wide-area surveillance projects.
Gilligan holds both bachelor and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his MBA from Boston University.


Capt. Robert Goldman
Panelist: Track Session 6 - TBO: Setting the Trajectory of the Future NAS
Robert Goldman is a 757/767 captain and a senior manager of Air Traffic Management at Delta Air Lines. Roberts primary focus is on optimizing throughput and capacity throughout the National Airspace System, with an emphasis on Deltas NYC and Northeast corridor hubs. Captain Goldman has over 27 years of aviation experience that includes traffic flow management, airspace and procedure design and airport operations. Rob also has a background in business intelligence and uses this experience to source and correlate operational data and metrics in order to create actionable insight and to advance data driven TFM. Robert has leadership roles and serves on numerous industry groups and committees, including SWIM Industry-FAA Team (SWIFT), NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) Integrated Work Group (NIWG) and Collaborative Decision Making (CDM). Mr. Goldman has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Engineering from The University of Michigan and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University.



Norbert Haslacher
• Panelist: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS
Norbert Haslacher, a successful manager and IT expert, is the CEO of Frequentis Group AG, an international provider of communication and information solutions for safety-critical applications. Before his Frequentis assignment, Haslacher spent more than 15 years at CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation), a global IT services company focusing on application development, systems integration, outsourcing, cloud, big data, and cyber security.

During his tenure with Frequentis, Haslacher has been able to contribute his extensive software knowledge as well as his broad international experience.




Gene Hayman
• Blue Skies Initiative Fireside Chat
Gene Hayman is a Vice President, FAA Account Executive for CACI International Inc. In this position, he is responsible for the companys portfolio within the FAA market. Mr. Hayman brings almost thirty years of experience in the aviation industry serving in several key executive positions throughout his career. He possesses a global perspective on aviation. During his career, he has worked on many policy, operational, and technical issues around developing and executing advanced air traffic management concepts with the FAA and other Air Navigation Service Providers around the world. Mr. Hayman came to CACI from the acquisition of L-3s services division.  There he served as Vice President of the federal civilian market with a primary focus on aviation.  Along with P&L responsibility for his division, he successfully led the company-wide aviation strategy supporting the FAA, DoD, and airline customers. Prior to L-3 he worked at Boeing. Here he and his organization supported the development and execution of Boeings global air traffic management strategy. Before joining Boeing, he held multiple executive positions leveraging his expertise in aviation and strategic planning to develop comprehensive strategies focused on the aviation market.    Mr. Hayman is very active in the aviation community serving in different leadership positions, committees, and contributing to critical initiatives, including: • ATCA Tech Symposium, Blue Skies, Annual Conference Planning Committees • Served as Vice Chair & Chair for AIAs Air Transportation System Committee • Held various board positions for companies in the aviation market • Participated on Blue Ribbon Panels, such as: FAAs Global Leadership Initiative • Worked with aviation organizations on ATC/ATM modernization, such as: FAA, Eurocontrol, ICAO, CANSO, NATO, CAAC/ATMB


Dan Hicks
• Panelist: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS
Prior to joining Spaceport America in 2016, Dan Hicks had a successful 34-year career with the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, where he held positions of increasing responsibility with various directorates. He was the Supervisory General Engineer of the Patriot Missile System, leading the execution of all aspects of developmental and operational testing of that major system. Later, as the acting Division Chief of the Materiel Test Directorate, he managed the activities of the Air and Missile Defense, Tactical Missiles and Targets, and Space, Sensor and Interoperability branches. These programs focused on theater missile and national missile defense, air defense, battle management, U.S. Army directed energy and space programs, space related programs/applications under NASA, DoD, foreign and other commercial programs. In 2013 he was appointed Deputy Executive Director of the range responsible for assisting the Commanding General and the Executive Director in the operations of the range, with over eleven billion dollars of infrastructure and a noontime population of approximately twelve thousand personnel.
A graduate of Las Cruces High School, Mr. Hicks received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University. He is also the recipient of an honorary selection to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Academy at New Mexico State University.


Fran Hill
• Moderator: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor
Fran Hill is the Senior Vice President of Transportation Solutions for Leidos. Ms. Hill is responsible for Leidos U.S. air traffic control automation programs as well as US traffic flow programs such as ERAM, TFDM, TBFM, and ATOP well as the US general aviation and satellite services programs such as AFSS and G7SL. In addition, Ms Hill is responsible for the Skyline international portfolio of air traffic management programs as well as the Leidos Department of Transportation Highways programs. Ms Hill currently serves as the Chairman of the Air Traffic Control Association Board of Directors. Prior to her program management roles, Ms. Hill led the Aviation and Civil Solutions Engineering organization to deliver technology and innovation to Lockheed Martin customers in the US and around the world. Ms. Hill started her career with IBM Federal Systems Division supporting DOD and FAA customers in a variety of system engineering, software development and management positions.



Art Huber
• Panelist: The Art of the Possible: Ushering the NAS into the Age of Automation
Arthur F. Art Huber II is the Deputy Director of the Operations Directorate, Headquarters Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In this capacity he serves as advisor and subject matter expert for test and evaluation and flight operations to the Director and Laboratory Commander.  He leads a 14-member team responsible for the planning, approval, and safe execution of a multimillion-dollar R&D portfolio that includes over 50 active flight test programs each year.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Huber served on active duty with the US Air Force for 30 years attaining the rank of Colonel.  He was commissioned in 1983 after completing studies at the University of Notre Dame in Aerospace Engineering and in Government & International Relations. He completed a variety of assignments specializing in air and space systems acquisition to include development, testing, procurement, sustainment, and tactics assessment. Colonel Huber held commands at the squadron, group, wing, and center levels and is a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School. He was assigned as officer aircrew in 25 different model aircraft accruing in excess of 500 flying hours.


Rob Hunt
• Panelist: Track Session 6 - TBO: Setting the Trajectory of the Future NAS
Rob Hunt is the acting Director of Program Control & Integration in the FAAs Program Management Organization (PMO).  He is responsible for leading an organization charged with overseeing and enabling key enterprise level functions across the PMO, including integrated resource management, acquisition support, program health management, and planning, analysis and integration of PMO programs into the National Airspace System.   Also, as the PMOs Lead for Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO), Mr. Hunt applies his operational, technical, and programmatic expertise to the development and deployment of air traffic capabilities that enable TBO. He collaborates with stakeholders across the community such as Air Traffic Controllers/Managers, Program Managers, Engineers, Labor personnel, Airspace Users, Industry representatives, Standards bodies, and International ANSPs.  Additionally, he serves as the PMOs Lead for the Northeast Corridor initiative and the Performance Based Navigation Time, Speed, and Spacing Tools effort.  Mr. Hunt, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, is also a liaison between the FAA and the Department of Defense (DoD), ensuring DoD access to the NAS in support of military missions while minimizing impact to other NAS operations.  Formerly, Mr. Hunt was the Technical Analysis and Operational Requirements Group Manager in the ATOs Mission Support Services.  He was responsible for collaborating with stakeholders across the community to identify outstanding operational needs, developing and validating NextGen air traffic operational concepts and requirements, and leading new capital investments to execute new concepts.  He managed multiple NextGen concepts, to include terminal sequencing and spacing, path stretch, common support services flight data, unmanned aircraft systems integration, commercial space integration, aeronautical information management modernization, and a number of improvements designed to enhance separation automation platforms, such as the En Route automation modernization and standard terminal automation replacements.  During his career, Mr. Hunt has managed over 20 NextGen projects and initiatives valued at over $20 million dollars annually. Additionally, Mr. Hunt led a 50-person, multi-service unit team to develop the first corporate portfolio framework to describe the path to implement NextGen.  Adopted by the FAAs NextGen Management Board, the NAS Segmentation Implementation Plan has been institutionalized across the FAA and is used to report NextGen progress to senior FAA leadership, other government stakeholders (DOT, Congress, GAO, DOT IG, OMB), and the aviation industry. Mr Hunt has previously served in various technical, programmatic, and operational integration roles, supporting such programs as Traffic Management Advisor, Traffic Flow Management System, and En Route Automation Modernization.  He has also worked closely with the research community, e.g. NASA, Mitre, Volpe, academia, to explore and develop new operational concepts and technologies.  A Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force (USAF) Reserve, Mr. Hunt has over 28 years in the USAF, where he served in various roles, such as air traffic controller, emergency actions office, and airfield operations flight commander.  Mr. Hunt holds a Bachelor's Degree in Professional Aeronautics, a Masters Degree in Organizational Management, and a Juris Doctor Degree.  He is also certified as a Project Management Professional.


Parimal Kopardekar
• Panelist: The Art of the Possible: Ushering the NAS into the Age of Automation
Parimal Kopardekar (PK) serves as the Acting Director of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI). In that capacity, he is responsible for exploring new trends and needs related to aviation in the areas of autonomy, aeronautics manufacturing, and advanced air mobility. He also serves as NASA's senior technologist for Air Transportation Systems and principal investigator for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) project. He was formerly manager of the NASA’s Safe Autonomous System Operations Project, which developed autonomy related concepts, technologies and architectures that will increase efficiency, safety, and capacity of airspace operations. Prior to that, he managed Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen) Concepts and Technology Development Project. He enjoys initiating new concepts and technology ideas that increase airspace capacity and throughput, reduce delays, and reduce the total cost of air transportation. At NASA, he has initiated many innovative research projects including reduced crew operations, net-enabled air traffic management, autonomy for airspace operations, Shadow-Mode Assessment using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System (SMART NAS), and low-altitude airspace management system focused on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations. In 2017, he was named among the 25 most influential people in commercial drone industry. He is the winner of the 2018 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (known as the Oscars for the federal workforce) in the "Promising Innovations" category. He has published over 50 conference and journal papers with three best paper awards, delivered more than 15 keynote talks at national and international conferences, and participates as an expert with media on topics related to unmanned aircraft systems, urban air mobility, and autonomy. He is a Fellow of the American Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and recipient of numerous NASA awards including Outstanding Leadership Medal and Engineer of the Year. He holds a doctorate and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and bachelor’s degree in production engineering. He serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Aerospace Operations.


Natesh Manikoth
• Keynote Speaker: Pace Layering the NAS
Natesh Manikoth is the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Chief Data Officer (CDO) responsible for managing the and exploiting the information assets of the agency. Prior to his role as the CDO, Mr. Manikoth was the FAAs Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor (CSTA) for the National Airspace System (NAS) Software in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) organization, providing expert technical guidance in all software related areas of the FAA system acquisition and development process.  As such, Mr. Manikoths primary focus areas were the sustainable acquisition practices for software intensive systems and cybersecurity. Prior to joining FAA in 2012, Mr. Manikoth was the Chief Technology Officer for the Transportation, Central and Local Government Sector for Xerox services.  He has over 30 years of experience with the development and deployment of large scale systems. He is an electrical engineer with a Masters in Industrial Engineering and an MBA.



Frank Matus
• Panelist: The Art of the Possible: Ushering the NAS into the Age of Automation
Mr. Frank Matus has close to 20 years of experience establishing strategy and development initiatives for emerging air traffic management concepts and solutions in the United States and the global aviation market.   In his role at Thales, Matus leads a team developing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) for customers in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom.  Matus leads collaboration efforts with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC)a program that enables drone pilots to receive authorization to enter controlled airspace.  The platform is used by the FAAs New York Test Site, with the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR).  Matus is also leading an effort investigating UTM Air Traffic Management (ATM) integration activities globally.  Matus plays an important role in developing customer value propositions and integration of technology solutions from other Thales companies.  Matus was an integral part of the DataComm tower automation platform (DTAP) concept development with the FAA.  Matus is a member of the Transport Canada / NAV CANADA Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Traffic Management (RTM) Working Group to define policy and performance requirements for UAS/RPAS integration in Canada.  Matus is also responsible for strategy and business development efforts for air traffic flow management (ATFM) and for air traffic control automation in North America.


Hon. Donna McLean
• Blue Skies Initiative Fireside Chat
• Moderator: To Protect and Defend...and Modernize: Federal Leadership and the National Airspace System (NAS), Past, Present, and Future
Donna has operated her own firm for the past 13 years, providing strategic advice, business development direction, and tactical plans for her clients. She is a professor for Indiana University and teaches their semester in Washington program which focuses on the Congressional budgetary and Executive regulatory processes. In 2006, she was confirmed by the Senate to serve a five year term on the Board of Amtrak. She was the first woman Chair of Amtrak and helped usher in an era of increased ridership, increased revenues and new leadership. In 2001, she was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer of Department of Transportation. After the horrific attacks of 9/11, Donna helped establish the newly formed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) including rapidly establishing TSA's user fees and flexible funding structure which were the only funds provided for the first few months. Donna served as the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Chief Financial Officer and is an expert in federal budgetary treatment. Donna also worked at the Office of Management and Budget, and was a staffer at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the Aviation Subcommittee. During her time on Capitol Hill, she helped shape the flexible procurement and personnel laws that FAA now uses. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.


Greg McNeal
• Panelist: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS
Gregory S. McNeal, JD/PhD, is Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine University.  He co-founded AirMap, whose platform provides airspace information and services to drone operators, drone manufacturers, software developers and aviation stakeholders throughout the world.  Opening airspaces previously inaccessible to drone operations.  Dr. McNeal is an expert on drones and topics related to technology, law and policy.  He is a nationally recognized commentator for Forbes, and a frequent keynote speaker at industry events and academic conferences related to drones, technology, law, and public policy.   He has on multiple occasions testified before Congress and state legislatures about the legal and policy issues associated with drones and has aided state legislators, cities, municipalities, and executive branch officials in drafting legislation and ordinances related to drones.  He served on the Federal Aviation Administrations Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee, and the Federal Aviation Administrations UAS Registration Task Force, Aviation Rulemaking Committee, and the Remote Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee.  He previously served as Chair of the Consumer Technology Associations Industry Standards Working Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (R6 WG 23) and as a voting member of the ASTM technical committee creating scientific standards to govern unmanned aircraft and their operation.  He has advised drone start-ups, sensor manufacturers, law enforcement, consulting firms, insurance companies, and Fortune 500 companies about the legal and regulatory issues and benefits associated with emerging technologies.


Jay Merkle
• Panelist: Track Session 5 - Managing Increasing Complexity in ATM: New Concepts for NAS Operations that Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges
Prior to being named the new Executive Director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, Peter “Jay” Merkle was the Deputy Vice President (DVP) of the Program Management Organization (PMO) within the Air Traffic Organization (ATO). The PMO is responsible for all NextGen program activity; all National Airspace System (NAS) communications; navigation, weather, surveillance and automation modernization programs; and all service life extensions to legacy NAS sensors, communications and navigation aids. Given the tight coupling between successful automation program delivery and current system operation, the PMO also leads and manages all second-level automation engineering efforts. Lastly, the PMO works with FAA operations and aviation users to ensure globally interoperable solutions for NextGen.
Prior to that position, Merkle was the Director of Program Control and Integration, AJM-1, in the PMO for the ATO. In that capacity, he led the PMO in developing effective, timely, and innovative solutions to evolving business needs. The focus areas were program control, cross-cutting analysis and integration, and special initiatives.
Since joining the FAA, Merkle has served as the Manager of Systems Integration for Portfolio Management and Technology Development within the NextGen organization. He also has held positions as the Lead Engineer for tower, terminal, and en route automation systems, as the Chief System Engineer for En Route and Terminal Domains, and as the Chief Architect for NextGen at the Joint Planning and Development Office.
Merkle has over 30 years of extensive experience in engineering and program management. He started his career as an engineer working in cockpit and crew station design on several aircraft, including the C-17 large transport aircraft. Merkle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Michele Merkle
Moderator: Track Session 6 - TBO: Setting the Trajectory of the Future NAS

Michele Merkle serves as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Director for Air Traffic Services Operations Planning and Integration.  She is leading the air traffic community in the integration of new capabilities and emerging technologies into the National Airspace System (NAS).  Michele is responsible for preparing the air traffic controller workforce for change coming through the introduction of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and new entrants.  She leads the field in operational change management to achieve NextGen benefits. Michele previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for NextGen where she was responsible for executing the mission of the NextGen organization and providing cross agency leadership in the development of NextGen.  Prior to that Michele served as the Director of NAS Systems Engineering and Integration for the FAA.  As Director she was responsible for architecting the evolution of the NAS and providing systems engineering leadership in delivering NextGen.  Michele's FAA experience spans every phase of the FAAs Acquisition Management System from concept development through implementation.  She directed the development and evolution of the NextGen Operational Concept, other NAS operational concepts such as the Future of the NAS and Vision for Trajectory Based Operations, and many of the NextGen capabilities currently being implemented. She has measured and mitigated new system impacts on users and ultimately achieved user acceptance of numerous air traffic control systems. Michele has spent over 30 years providing engineering expertise and leadership in the development and evaluation of aviation systems.  She began her aviation career at Douglas Aircraft Company as a human factors engineer on the C-17 military transport aircraft. Michele has a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of South Florida.


Wayne Monteith
• Panelist: Track Session 5 - Managing Increasing Complexity in ATM: New Concepts for NAS Operations that Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges

As the Federal Aviation Administrations Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, Mr. Monteith provides strategic leadership and direction to ensure the protection of public health and safety, safety of property, and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch and reentry activities.  He is also responsible for encouraging, facilitating and promoting the U.S. commercial space transportation enterprise.  Mr. Monteith retired from the United States Air Force in December 2018 after serving 29 years as a Brigadier General and was appointed to his current position on January 20, 2019.  His last Air Force assignment was as the Commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director of the Eastern Range on the Space Coast in Florida.  In these roles, he operated the worlds busiest spaceport and led over 9,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel.  During his three years at the 45th Space Wing, he oversaw the successful execution of 66 launches, 23 booster landings, the successful operational use of autonomous flight safety systems and was responsible for over $4B in infrastructure, and an annual budget of over $400M and $93M in construction projects across three major installations.  Prior to that assignment, he served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force.  Mr. Monteith has also served as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force (Space) and as Commander of the 50th Space Wing where he led over 5,300 personnel serving at 14 operating locations worldwide in support of more than 170 communications, navigation, weather and surveillance satellites with their associated systems valued at more than $66 billion. His career also encompasses a variety of leadership positions to include Director, Navigation Warfare in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Air Staff as Deputy Chief, Space Superiority Division.  Finally, after beginning his career as a Peacekeeper Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile launch officer, he later commanded the Air Forces only space and missile training squadron. Mr. Monteith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of New Mexico, where he earned his commission as a Distinguished Graduate of their Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  He also holds Master of Science degrees in Business Management and Administration from Leslie University, and Resourcing National Strategy from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.


Joel 'Thor' Neeb
• Keynote Speaker: Flawless Execution: A Fighter Pilot’s Secret to Business Success
Joel Thor Neeb, Leadership Speaker CEO, Afterburner Former F-15 Mission Commander, USAF As an F-15 pilot, Thor escorted the U.S. President through the sky and flew missions to ensure the safety of the country after the attacks of 9/11. He was the tactical leader of 300 of the most senior combat pilots in the Air Force and he oversaw the execution of a $150M/year flight program. Thor was named the Top Instructor Pilot at the Air Force Flight Training Headquarters and he's flown thousands of missions teaching pilots from 25 countries around the world. He received his Bachelors Degree at the United States Air Force Academy and is a summa cum laude graduate of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. He is Afterburners expert leadership speaker, sharing his knowledge with organizations across the US.
Reinaldo Negron
• Panelist: Track Session 2 - You Down with UPP? How the UTM Pilot Program, NASA, and Industry Came Together to Showcase Capabilities for Commercial Package Delivery and First Responders
Reinaldo Negron is the Head of UTM for Wing, leading product development for UAS Traffic Management and Operator applications. Reinaldo and his team design and support UTM integration activities in the United States, Australia and Europe. His work explores the role of UTM services in providing safety mitigations by reducing operator risk; standards development including at ASTM; and fostering industry collaboration such as the InterUSS Open Source project. Reinaldo was recently elected co-president of the Global UTM Association (GUTMA).
  Theadora Nuckolls
• Special Introduction: 
Flawless Execution: A Fighter Pilot’s Secret to Business Success 
Lauren Orndorff
• Panelist: Track Session 3 - Shutting Down the Next FAA Shutdown
Lauren is currently a U.S. Senate Legislative Assistant, Office of Sen. Jerry Moran of the US Senate. and was previously a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Roger Marsha is the U.S. House of Representatives and Scheduler & Legislative Assistant for Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer. Prior to her legislative work, Lauren was an executive assistant at McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies.





Sharon Pinkerton
• Moderator: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS
Sharon L. Pinkerton Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Airlines for America (A4A) Sharon Pinkerton was named senior vice president, legislative and regulatory policy for Airlines  for America (A4A) in February 2011, and leads policy development on legislative and regulatory  matters, working with Capitol Hill and the administration. Ms. Pinkerton joined A4A as vice president, government affairs in April 2006, where she was  responsible for overseeing all aviation-related issues before federal, state and local governments.  Before joining A4A, she served as assistant administrator for aviation policy, planning and  environment at the Federal  Aviation Administration (FAA). Prior to her appointment at FAA,  Pinkerton was transportation counsel to House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Fla.)  and served on Capitol Hill for nearly 10 years.



Praveen Raju
• Moderator: Track Session 2 - You Down with UPP? How the UTM Pilot Program, NASA, and Industry Came Together to Showcase Capabilities for Commercial Package Delivery and First Responders
Praveen Raju is an engineer in the in the NextGen Technology Development and Prototyping Division as a project manager. He joined the FAA in November 2015 with The NAS Lifecycle Planning Division as the portfolio analyst for the Separation Management, Time Base Flow Management (TBFM), and Surface portfolios. He also was the Portfolio Manager for Cross Agency Interagency Planning portfolio.  He now works on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM). He holds an Aerospace Engineering degree with a concentration in Astronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is currently pursuing his masters degree in Business Administration in Aviation with a concentration in Leadership from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.



Paul Rinaldi
• Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor
Paul Rinaldi became NATCA’s sixth president in October 2009. He was re-elected by acclamation in March 2012 and March 2015. In July 2018, Rinaldi won re-election to serve an unprecedented fourth, three-year term as NATCA president. Rinaldi is the first in NATCA’s history to serve more than two terms as president.
Rinaldi has dedicated his presidency to building a collaborative relationship between the Union, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the entire aviation industry.
Prior to being elected NATCA President, Rinaldi served three years as NATCA’s Executive Vice President, after 16 years as an air traffic controller at Washington-Dulles Tower (IAD). Rinaldi currently holds positions on the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), the FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC), the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council, and RTCA Policy Board.

In May 2016, Rinaldi received the prestigious Humanitarian Award form the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) at its National Education & Leadership Gala in Washington, D.C. In October of the same year he was honored with the Air Traffic Control Association’s Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award.

Rinaldi is a native of Island Park, N.Y. He resides in Manassas, Va., with his wife, Debra. He has two sons, Anthony and Nicholas, and a daughter, Olivia.



Chris Rocheleau
• Speaker - Window to the World: FAA Leadership for a Safe and Efficient Global Aviation System
Track Session 1 - Around the World in 60 Minutes: International Topics in ATM
Christopher J. Rocheleau is the Executive Director for International Affairs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He develops international policy and provides guidance across the various disciplines of the FAA. He oversees the FAA's international offices in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.   Previously, Mr. Rocheleau was the FAAs Chief of Staff and served as a key counsel to the Administrator, Deputy Administrator and senior FAA leadership.  He provided guidance, oversight, and coordination of activities dealing with aviation policy, operations, and resource management programs.  He also served as Counselor to the Administrator, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Administrator. Before joining the FAA, Mr. Rocheleau served in the military as an officer and special agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and held leadership positions in the U.S. and overseas.  He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 2010.



Ash Shetty
• Panelist: The Pace of Innovation: How the NAS Can Benefit from Technology Accelerators and New Procurement Strategies
Prior to working at Montgomery County, Ash was a Vice President at Gartner, where he worked with Chief Procurement Officers and their teams to address critical functional challenges. Ash is an expert on procurement process improvement, procurement org design and restructuring and procurement technology planning. Prior to working at Gartner, Ash was a Senior Consultant at Ernst and Young. Ash received a degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University and studied International Management at the University of Oxford.





Dr. Willie Smith
• Panelist: The Pace of Innovation: How the NAS Can Benefit from Technology Accelerators and New Procurement Strategies
In October 2010, Willie H. Smith officially assumed the responsibilities of Senior Procurement Executive for the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). He is the official responsible for the management direction of all DOT procurement systems and programs. His responsibilities encompass implementation of the full range of procurement policies, regulations, and standards applicable to the Department.

Prior to this assignment, Willie served as Director, Office of Acquisition Management for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He was responsible for overseeing the full range of greater than one billion dollars of annual procurement services performed by the Office of Acquisition Management, including the development of FHWA procurement policy, planning and procurement programs, the recruitment and development of potential contracting sources, and the provision of the supply items required for the daily operation of the FHWA technical offices.

Before assuming the above assignment, Willie served as a Senior Program Analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In this capacity, he provided acquisition management oversight for Major Defense Acquisition Programs for the Departments of Air Force, Army, and Navy. He facilitated policy development and ensured the successful planning and integration of cost, schedule, and technical aspects of acquisition programs by promoting coordination, integration and mutual understanding within the Department of Defense (DoD), between Defense agencies and other Federal Agencies, and with International Cooperative Programs and Allied Nations.

Just prior to his position with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Willie served as Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air Programs. He provided recommendations and guidance in the evaluation of the politics, institutions, and actors involved in the agenda-setting, formulation, and implementation of Navy and DoD acquisition, procurement policy, and budget.
In addition to the aforementioned, Willie has served in an assortment of other leadership capacities within the Navy including Deputy Program Manager for the Navy's Defense Suppressions Systems Program office, Acquisition Deputy to the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft programs, Operations Officer for the F/A-18 E/F program, and Program Manager for the $3 billion Finland F/A-18 Foreign Military Sales program.
Willie is a graduate of Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management. He holds two Masters degrees; a Master of Public Administration degree with concentrations in Financial Management and Government Contracting; and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy. Willie also holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership. He has received numerous performance and honor awards including the FHWA Administrator's Award for Superior Achievement, the Navy's Civilian Meritorious Service award, the Secretary of the Navy's Acquisition Reform award, and the Department of Defense Acquisition Excellence Award.




Marcel Sobottka 

• Speaker - SESAR Deployment -Delivering Performance Benefits to EU Aviation
Track Session 1 - Around the World in 60 Minutes: International Topics in ATM


Marcel Sobottka is Chief Finance, Partnerships Management and Corporate Services the SESAR Deployment Manager management team. Through his previous position of Head of Funding & Deployment Unit at DFS, Marcel has developed a wide experience of SESAR Deployment framework as well as interacting with SDM.




Jennifer Swindell
• Presenter - AI/Machine Learning: The State of AI Adoption
Track Session 4 - Welcome to the Matrix: Aviation Technology of Today for Tomorrow
Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President Jennifer Swindell leads Booz Allens Transportation, Postal Service, and Justice business, after 15 years of supporting Department of Defense clients. Jennifer drives numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives within the Firm and speaks often on the importance of inclusion and emotional wellness in the workplace. Before joining Booz Allen in 2000 as an Associate in the Honolulu office, Jennifer led organizational change initiatives across multiple industries, including standardizing processes throughout the largest ski resort operator in the U.S., and integrating multicultural and trans-national teams to support a new oil refinery in Thailand. Prior to entering the private sector, Mrs. Swindell served as a Special Operations Officer in the United States Navy, leading an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment on independent operations in hazardous, changing environments. She is a qualified Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer, Diving Officer, Naval Parachutist, and Surface Warfare Officer. A National Merit Scholar, Mrs. Swindell graduated with a B.A. degree in Economics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She earned an M.B.A. degree from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, completing her studies at the Sasin Business School at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nathan Tash
• Moderator: The Pace of Innovation: How the NAS Can Benefit from Technology Accelerators and New Procurement Strategies

Mr. Tash has been with the Federal government for over 25 years in various positions.  He started his career as a Procurement Law Staff Attorney in the FAAs Office of the Chief Counsel.  From there, he moved to the Office of Management and Budgets Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).  At OFPP, Mr. Tash worked on such projects as the FAR Part 15 rewrite (for which he received the Vice Presidents Hammer award) and the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act.  Prior to leaving OFPP, Mr. Tash became a Deputy Associate Administrator for Procurement Innovation.  Since returning to the FAA, Mr. Tash has worked in a number of positions and offices as both a certified Program Manager and a Contracting Officer with an unlimited warrant.  He has served as a manager on the ATOP, ERAM, ATCOTS, and Technical Training programs.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Tash was the Assistant Chief Counsel for Acquisition and Fiscal Law in the Chief Counsels Office.  Currently, Mr. Tash serves as the FAAs Deputy Assistant Administrator for Acquisition and Business Services and is the FAAs Acquisition Executive. Mr. Tash received his undergraduate degree, with general honors, from the University of Maryland and his law degree, with honors, from the National Law Center at George Washington University.


Chris Theisen
• Panelist: Track Session 2 - You Down with UPP? How the UTM Pilot Program, NASA, and Industry Came Together to Showcase Capabilities for Commercial Package Delivery and First Responders

Chris Theisen is the Director of Research and Development for the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. (2003) and M.S. (2006) in Atmospheric Sciences. He became a full-time research staff member of the Regional Weather Information Center in 2007 working primarily in UAS research. Mr. Theisen contributed in North Dakotas efforts to become one of six FAA designated UAS Test Sites and has taken the role of Director of R&D for the Test Site after designation in December 2013. He works closely with clients interested in utilizing the test site to shape research projects and ensures research done addresses FAA goals and objectives to safely integrate UAS into the NAS. Mr. Theisen leads and participates in research efforts regarding DAA, cooperative airspace, UAS support infrastructure, UAS Traffic Management, and other topics leading to UAS NAS integration.



Don Thoma

• Panelist: Emerging Technologies and the Leaders Behind Them: The Changing Face of Our Industry and the NAS

Don Thoma is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aireon. Thoma held various senior leadership positions at Iridium Communications following his arrival in 2001, serving most recently as Executive Vice President of Marketing.






Mike Tien
• Panelist: Track Session 3 - Shutting Down the Next FAA Shutdown

Mike Tien is senior counsel for the Majority staff of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees Aviation Subcommittee. Mikes remit is to advise the Chairman on a wide-ranging set of issues regarding civil aviation, including safety, aircraft certification, consumer protection, and the integration of drones and other new entrants into U.S. airspace. Mike joined the Committee staff in 2017. Prior to joining the Committee, he worked as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation. During his time at DOT, he handled legislative matters related to several of DOTs modal administrations and served on multiple special teams created to advance Secretarial initiatives.  A Michigan native, Mike is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He's admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois.
Michiel van Dorst
• Speaker - Just Culture in Practice
Track Session 1 - Around the World in 60 Minutes: International Topics in ATM

Michiel van Dorst is CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) since May 2016. Van Dorst is committed to ensuring that the organization delivers world-class performance and fulfill its purpose: Enabling aviation together. He leads a major change process to a more adaptive organization with a strong focus on safety, customers and stakeholders. Before joining LVNL, van Dorst worked at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for more than two decades. From 2010 to 2016 he represented companywide operations within KLMs Executive Committee, while being a captain on the Boeing 737 and Boeing 777. Current board positions As Chairman of the CEO Board of FABEC, Van Dorst focusses on incremental steps that enhance performance, such as flight optimization and the improvement of digitization of cross-border aeronautical data. The Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) covers the lower and upper airspace of six countries in the central region of Europe. Michiel van Dorst serves as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital. This hospital is specialized in eye surgery and they focus on innovation, quality and a customer-oriented approach. Van Dorst is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), one of the leading aerospace institutes for applied research in the Netherlands. Prior board positions From 2010 to 2016 van Dorst served at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as Member of the Operations Committee. Van Dorst fulfilled the role of Chairman of the Board of AviAssist from 2011 to 2015. AviAssist is an independent nonprofit foundation that promotes professionalism in African aviation safety.   At KLM, van Dorst served from 2011 to 2015 as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wings of Support, a private KLM employee initiative to help children by facilitating education, shelter and medical care in countries that KLM connects. Personal Michiel van Dorst (1969) is a Dutch national. He graduated from University of Amsterdam with a Masters in Economics. He lives with his partner and children in Amsterdam.



Paul Winstanley
• Panelist: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: ANSPs, Industry, and Labor 
is Chair of the ATCOs' Branch of Prospect , the union representing over 2100 Air Traffic Controllers and ATM specialists in the UK.  Paul was elected to the National Executive in 1993 where he has held positions with specific responsibilities for Terms and Conditions, Working Practices and Salaries and Structures. He was elected Vice Chair in 2003 and became Chair in 2006 - a role he currently holds.  He joined NATS in 1984, graduating with Aerodrome, Approach, Approach Radar, Area and Area control ratings. Additionally Paul became an OJTI, ATC examiner and ATC investigator and still holds an Operational Supervisors ticket at the London Area Control Centre.  Paul was elected to the positions of Chair, Air Traffic Services Committee of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) in 2014 and became the first President of the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance (The Alliance) in 2018.




Jeff Woods
Panelist: Track Session 6 - TBO: Setting the Trajectory of the Future NAS
Jeff Woods is currently the NATCA National Program Management Office (PMO) Representative.  He has over twenty-seven years of air traffic control experience and has worked in a variety of environments including: military installations, towers, en route, and approach facilities.  He began his air traffic control career in the US Navy.  During his ten year enlistment, Jeff served as a controller first on the USS Kitty Hawk during Desert Storm and Shield then on NAS Whidbey Island, where he was certified in tower and approach.  He joined the FAA in 2001 working at the agency's tower in Beaumont, TX.  In 2003, Jeff transferred to Houston ARTCC, working at that facility for 6 years.  From Houston ARTCC he transferred to Houston TRACON. For the last six years, he has been active in a multitude of projects such as Performance Based Navigation (PBN) development and deployment, and decision support tools for controllers.  Jeff has also been involved in the initiative to look across multiple automation platforms to help ensure a successful operation integration.  In addition to his project work, Jeff represents air traffic controllers by serving on numerous panels and workgroups both domestically and internationally.  He is proud to bring his subject matter expertise, controller perspective, and commitment to the best path forward to all assignments.