Sara Mitran, Director of Partnerships
Mike Sullivan, Chief of Staff
Mike Sullivan serves as the Chief of Staff for the Space Force Association. As an active-duty Guardian, he is currently assigned to the Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters US Space Force. To date, Mike has served over 15 years in the US Military, 13 years as an Airman and 2 years as a Guardian, officially transferring to the Space Force early 2021. Throughout his military career, Mike has held various program management and leadership roles in Joint, Cyber and Expeditionary organizations.
Outside of his military duties, Mike holds positions of impact in non-profits supporting active-duty military & veterans, youth programs and international military communities. Within SFA he supports special projects at local and national levels, guides & implements strategic planning throughout the association and ensures the organization maintains relevancy, appealing to all generations. “GSD”
Gregg Walsh, Director of Events
Gregg Walsh is Director of Growth at Two Six Technologies supporting mission Command and Control (C2) business. He has been engaged in numerous consulting assignments for federal government clients. His experience covers concept development, strategic planning, exercises, mission analysis, program management, and program acquisition. Mr. Walsh supported mission development and the stand-up of missile defense missions in the US, Europe, and Indo-Pacific. He was a foundational member of the team that created a space industry vertical at a global software company. His passion for helping startup companies in defense has led to mentoring more than a dozen companies that have successfully landed contracts with the US government.
Zaheer Ali, Director of Engagement
Zaheer Ali is a respected space technology and policy expert, an agilist, leader, and technologist. He is now COO at Positon Inc., a Managing Partner at New Space Finance, and a Professor of Practice at Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is part of ASU. Previously Mr. Ali has served in executive positions at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, directing strategy for High-Performance Compute, ThinkOrbital, which is building a 4th generation space station, and Space Railway. He speaks worldwide on space, artificial intelligence, the future of work, and how to help enterprises become agile. As a professor and entrepreneur, Mr. Ali advises several companies in the New Space Sector. He also served as a Senior Manager at USRA, leading aviation data sciences, artificial intelligence, quantum sciences, and nanotechnology for the NASA Ames NAMS contract.
Zaheer is a 1st generation American of India ancestry and Muslim faith. He is also a practicing Stoic and has been honored to be part of a Maori Whanau and wears his 3rd generation Punamu with pride. His perspectives on space and the future are a consilience of Eastern and Western ideas with an inherent integration of indigenous wisdom.
Lois Wardell, PhD
Currently, Dr. Wardell is a Senior Space Test Engineer at Galapagos Federal Systems,
LLC. serving USSF and the new Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) in
the standup of the National Space Test and Training Complex (NSTTC). This follows her
work leading concept development to address USAF technology gaps. Lois brings with her
a passion for exploration and innovation and is a broadly recognized as an entrepreneur,
innovator and research scientist. Dr. Wardell worked for over a decade with unmanned
aerial systems R&D and focused on a wide range of vehicle and sensor technology
development and was involved with several technology startups. With the ability to rapidly
transition into different fields of science and engineering, her work has taken her to all
seven continents, reaching some of the most remote regions of the globe, allowing her to
develop a reputation as a creative problem solver who is now focused on space.
Academically, Dr. Wardell’s research is also diverse and highly recognized. As a
Postdoctoral Research Fellow awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada at McGill University, Dr. Wardell developed remote sensor technologies
and techniques to support her research with active volcanoes and atmospheric/climate
issues. This precedes her work as a US Department of Energy Graduate Research Fellow
at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology earning a Ph.D. in Geoscience
where she focused globally on the study of active volcanism and developed her interest in
polar sciences. She has also won numerous awards for her work in the discovery of
potential anti-cancer treatments while at the University of Mississippi and the National
Center of Pharmaceutical Research. The same techniques were also applied by Dr.
Wardell to Antarctic stromatolites in the search for biomarkers as part of a NASA’s
Exobiology Doctoral Fellowship. Lois is also recognized for her work in pollution abatement
and control which included environmental remediation and instigation of complete recycling
programs for US bases in Antarctica. Her education includes BS and MS degrees in
engineering from the Universities of Missouri and Southern Illinois, respectively.
Diane Ward, USAF, Director of Volunteer Support
Diane Ward brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role as the Director of Volunteers. A lifelong educator specializing in emerging technology and innovation, Ms. Ward has dedicated her career to enriching educational experiences for students of all ages. She is the author of “The Complete RFID Handbook” and has contributed numerous articles and presentations on information management, librarianship, and educational outreach. As the Executive Director and Co-founder of Launchpad23, Inc./Homeschool Hives, an online educational startup, Diane has provided innovative learning opportunities to learners worldwide.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Diane is a wife and mother of four sons. She actively serves as a judge for various international STEAM competitions, passionately engaging students in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Dan Dant, Colonel (Ret.), USAF, Executive Committee Director
Daniel “Sphinx” Dant is the Executive Director of the Space Force Association Executive Committee. Dan is a retired USAF Colonel.
He is a graduate of the USAF Weapon School and commanded at multiple levels, culminating as the Commander, 469th Space Wing, Buckley AFB CO. Dan is married to Diana Dant and they have two beautiful daughters and two giant Mastiff dogs. They live in Northern VA. Senior Director at L3Harris Corporate HQ. He manages the corporation’s business development for the United States Space Force.
Michael Martindale, Lt Colonel (Ret.), USAF, PhD, Director, Space Education Committee
Michael served over 27 years in the Air Force retiring in 2018. Michael served in a variety of space and nuclear operations positions to include the US Air Force Weapons School, the Checkmate Division on the Air Staff, and on the Joint Staff, culminating his career on faculty for the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the United State Air Force Academy.
He holds a Master of Science in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Master of Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of South Carolina.
Michael “Ludes” Martindale is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and the Director of the Space Education Committee for the Space Force Association. Michael is also a group analyst with Frontier Technology Inc., delivering decision analysis technologies to Department of Defense customers.
Dr. Manjit Pope, Chief Strategy Officer
Dr. Manjit Pope, is one of Europe’s leading female rocket scientists & executive leaders in space commercialization, leads the U.K. arm of the Global Space Force Association. Dr. Pope has an impressive leadership, science, technology, and aerospace background. Dr. Manjit Pope established and led as CEO of U.K. Space, developing innovation and growth strategies. She is a Future Systems Technologist leading major national transformational organizations and their programs spanning Aerospace, Space, Security, and defense to establish more vital collaboration across Government, Industry, financial, and academia. She has led the commercialization of transformations to aerospace, space, and defense sectors internationally, making her mark on organizations such as BAESYSTEMS (one of the world’s largest defense organizations), her work at Aerospace Security and Defense (the aerospace trade body of Europe), with The World Trade Organization in developing the international commercialization of space, and India’s Ministry of Defense Center of Process Excellence.
Matt Anderson, Colonel (Ret), USAF, Chief Operations Officer
As a volunteer, Matt Anderson serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Space Force Association (SFA).
Matt holds over twenty years of experience working within the Department of Defense (DoD) in aerospace, logistics, training and international affairs. He is consistently recognized for building high performance & high morale teams, his leadership style focuses on building trust, creating a culture of dignity & respect, empowering direct reports and establishing management controls to ensure strategic goals are met. Outside of work, he is totally dedicated to his family, with whom he enjoys international travel, skiing, scuba diving, soccer and hiking. After serving for 24+, Matt retired as a Colonel in the US Air Force, and began working for CACI International as Vice President, US Space Force & Air Force Client Executive in July of 2021.
Join the SFA
The Space Force Association is a way to get involved in the space community, inform policy, network with military, industry, and academic leaders, and create lasting partnerships for both individual and organizational benefit. The Space Force Association combines the expertise of senior leaders, operators, seasoned professionals, young people with fresh ideas, and anyone else on the space spectrum to create an organization that is committed to sustaining US dominance in space.
Benefits of Membership
- Early access to Space Warfighter Talks, Space Innovation Talks, and other audio and video exclusives
- Discount tickets to SFA-hosted events
- Direct access to our network of government, industry, and educational partners
- Vocational education and unique job opportunities from our corporate members
- A chance to amplify your voice in the debate over the future of the national space enterprise!