Advisory Council

Dr. Pete Worden

Pete Worden is the Executive Director at Breakthrough Starshot. Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. He was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues and has been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally. Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers in astrophysics and space sciences. He served as a scientific co-investigator for three NASA space science missions – most recently the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph launched in 2013 to study the Sun. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon. Dr. Worden was named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium ‘Laboratory Director of the Year’ and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award.

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Dr. Pete Worden

Mr. Steve Kitay

Mr. Stephen Kitay is the Senior Director of Azure Space at Microsoft. Before this position, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Space Policy where he had a key leadership role in the establishment of the U.S. Space Force. As the DASD Space Policy, he was responsible for establishing policy and guidance to assure U.S. and allied warfighters the benefits of space capabilities and to guide the Department’s strategy for addressing space-related issues.  He also led Departmental activities in international space cooperation. Mr. Kitay was also an active duty Air Force military officer, and held civilian positions in the Intelligence Community and on Capitol Hill.

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Steve Kitay

Cristina T. Chaplain

Cristina Chaplain recently retired from the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she directed congressional reviews related to space and missile defense. The GAO’s recommendations on space have helped to shape the establishment of the Space Force, strengthen DOD and NASA procurement and program management practices, increase attention to cyber security for satellites and weapons, and provide the Congress with sustained insight into numerous high risk programs. Cristina has testified before the Congress on many occasions. She was a journalist who covered government finance before coming to the GAO.

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Cristina Chaplain