Led by Michael O’Brien, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is comprised of representatives from government, industry, and academia from across the United States and is working hard to plan and organize a Congress that will attract the global space community and highlight local space activities.
Michael F. O’Brien, Chair, Local Organizing Committee
Michael F. O’Brien
Michael F. O’Brien is the former Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations at NASA, where he was responsible for NASA’s interaction with U.S. Executive Branch offices and agencies; international relations for each NASA Mission Directorate; administration of
export control and international technology transfer programs; and NASA advisory councils and commissions. Earlier, O’Brien served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for External Relations, Space Flight, during which time he was responsible for the international aspects of NASA’s human spaceflight
activities. He led the team that negotiated the agreements for the ISS with the space agencies of Europe, Japan, Canada, and Russia. O'Brien was also responsible for agreements for international astronauts related to Space Shuttle flights and NASA relations with other space agencies, such as those of
Israel, China, and India. O'Brien came to NASA from the U.S. Navy after serving as a naval aviator in command positions, and working in Washington on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. O’Brien is now an independent consultant in the aerospace industry,
based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Michael E. Lopez-Alegria, Co-Chair, International Program Committee
Michael Lopez-Alegria has over three decades of aviation and space experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including naval aviator, engineering test pilot and program manager, NASA astronaut, and ISS commander. He is a four-time astronaut, having
flown on Space Shuttle missions STS-73, STS-92, and STS- 113, and served as Commander of ISS Expedition 14. He holds NASA records for the most extravehicular activities (EVA), a total of 10, and cumulative EVA time at 67 hours, 40 minutes. Lopez-Alegria is the former President of the Commercial Spaceflight
Federation, where he advocated for favorable public policy on behalf of the commercial spaceflight industry, and led policy position formulation and strategy execution in areas of government funding, regulatory, export control reform, and space commerce policy. Now based in Washington, D.C., Lopez-Alegria
is an independent consultant to traditional and commercial space companies and serves on several advisory boards and committees of public and private organizations.
Madi Sengupta, General Manager, IAC 2019
Madi Sengupta is a Program Manager at AIAA, responsible for managing the planning and execution of the 2019 Congress. A former Space Station Robotics Instructor at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Madi was responsible for training Space Shuttle and Space Station crews for their
robotics operations onboard the Space Station and was lead Space Station Robotics Instructor for the STS-132, STS-135, and Expedition 22 mission. In 2011, at the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Madi left NASA to pursue a graduate degree in Public Policy, focusing on understanding the drivers of
domestic and foreign policy and the interdependencies between the technical and policy worlds, in order to apply this understanding to influence US space policy. To this end, she worked with her home state of Texas to complete an assessment of the economic growth potential of commercial spaceflight in the
state. After graduation, Madi worked as a policy analyst for the City of Houston, before finally making the move inside the Beltway to the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation and, more recently, AIAA.