Ms. Bannerman joined SS/L from Ford Motor Company's Office of General Counsel in 1990 when Loral Corporation purchased Ford Aerospace Corporation. At Ford, she handled major litigation and arbitration matters with a focus on Government and international contracts. Prior to joining Ford, Ms. Bannerman was an associate at a national law firm, specializing in Government contracts and litigation.
Ms. Bannerman has a strong background in legal and compliance issues that impact the satellite industry and has worked on legal and transactional matters with lawyers and business partners across the industry. She speaks and writes on satellite-related legal topics.
Ms. Bannerman graduated from Stanford University (BA), Northwestern University (MA), and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (JD). She was an editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and helped found the Hastings Journal of Communications and Entertainment Law.
Ms. Bannerman lives in San Francisco and is married to Ron Bannerman, director of finance and administration for Brandeis Hillel Day School. They have one daughter, Sara, who is entering her junior year at George Washington University in the Elliot School of International Relations. Ms. Bannerman currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Bay Area's Bureau of Jewish Education.
1) How did you get started in the satellite business?
Dumb luck, networking and a desire to be part of a global business. At a Stanford reunion, I met the husband of a college friend, who turned out to be in-house patent counsel for Ford Aerospace in Palo Alto, which was then involved in both Government and global commercial businesses of which satellites and ground systems were just a part. I asked him if the company might be interested in someone with my background in Government Contracts, and he gave me contact information for the chief counsel in Palo Alto. I called the next day and a week later met with Ford Motor Company's chief counsel and joined the company. Some time later, I became Division Counsel for the Space Systems Division, which became Space Systems/Loral, Inc. when Loral purchased Ford Aerospace in 1990.
2) How have you been involved in changes brought about in or by this business (innovations, technologies, services)?
I feel I've ridden the waves of many changes in the industry that have impacted the legal, regulatory and transactional aspects of the industry. In the early days, the major satellite buyers were large consortia like Intelsat or governments; the infusion of commercial operators taking satellite technology to new applications had yet to occur.
As new players entered the industry, and satellite manufacturers like SS/L took on greater risks and responsibilities such as procuring launch vehicles and insurance and assuming more post-launch risk, a small number of us developed many of the terms and concepts for risk allocation that can be seen in industry agreements today. Given the huge dollars involved, and the unique risks of the business, these agreements are quite complicated but do serve to allocate risks among the various parties in ways that reflect at least a basic consensus.
At SS/L, we've also become very creative over the years in supporting our customers in ways other than simply selling them satellites - in our transactions, we try to be as nimble and entrepreneurial as they are.
3) What do you think was the greatest event/situation/opportunity you experienced?
Being part of the industry as new satellite applications and new companies have come on the scene has been exciting. Being part of the creative team in the early days of establishing the Globalstar satellite-based mobile phone network certainly stands out for me. I remember negotiating a key memorandum of agreement in a shopping mall (I was on vacation)! I also remember watching Bob Berry (former SS/L President) decide in a telecon with our partner Qualcomm to use Qualcomm's cutting-edge CDMA technology in the Globalstar system.
4) What was the greatest obstacle?
The changing regulatory landscape for the industry has been challenging. I'm one who believes commercial communications satellites generally do not belong on the Munitions List (for militarily-sensitive products and technologies) and thus subject to complex export controls.
5) What do you see happening in the next five years in this industry?
I see lots of changes in the entities that make up the industry and one constant: continuing development of new applications for satellite technology and new technologies for satellites. In the legal world, I see more focus on intellectual property.
6) What advice do you have for women interested in entering the industry?
Especially in organizations where there might not be many women, I believe it's important to seek out women colleagues and mentors and then be a supportive colleague and mentor if you have the opportunity. In my observation, people are people, but women I've worked with often fit what the studies tend to show: a preference for consensus and consultation. While that style won't work in all contexts, it's a positive influence overall.
Women in Space
Audrey Allison, Dir., Frequency Management Services, Boeing Shared Services Group
Anita Antenucci, Managing Dir. Houlihan Lokey's Aerospace-Defense-Government
Dr. Wanda M. Austin Pres. & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation
Julie Bannerman, Gen.Counsel, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Sharri Berg, Senior V.P., News Operations, Fox News
Leslie Blaker, DataPath, Inc.
Yvonne Brill, Consultant, Satellite Tech. & Space Propulsion Systems
Michelle Bryan, Senior V.P., Human Resources, Intelsat
Dr. Angie Bukley, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering
Catherine Chang, General Counsel & Asst. Company Secretary, AsiaSat
Sabrina Cubbon, Gen. Manager, Marketing, AsiaSat
Yvette Dominguez, Manager, Payload Design Engineering Section, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Chris Ehrenbard, Dir., Broadcast Distribution, CBS
Mary Ann Elliot, Chairman of the Board, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc.
Celeste Ford, Founder & CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.
Mary Frost, former CEO, GlobeCast America
Eilene Galloway, NASA Pioneer
Carmen González-Sanfeliu, V.P., Latin America & Caribbean, Intelsat
Dawn Harms, V.P., Marketing & Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Ellen Hoff, Pres., W.L. Pritchard & Co., L.C.
Polly Rash Hollis, Satellite Industry Professional
Britt Horncastle, Satellite Consultant
Susan Irwin, Pres., Irwin Communications, Inc.
Barbara Jaffe, Senior V.P., Advanced Technology and Operations, HBO
Christine King, Deputy V.P., Technical Services & Engineering, Lockheed Martin
Betsy Kulick, Newsletter Editor & Corporate Secretary, Mobile Satellite Users Association
Penelope Longbottom, Founder & Pres., Longbottom Communications
Joanne Maguire, Exec. V.P., Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
Andrea Maléter, Technical Dir., Futron Corporation
Joan T. Mancuso, Founder & Executive, Broadband International LLC
Dolores Martos, V.P., Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, Vice Commander, Space & Missile Systems Center, L.A. Air Force Base
Eileen McGowan, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Intelsat
Olwen Morgan, Development Engineer
Bridget Neville, V.P. & Gen. Manager, Satellite Engineering & Operations, Sirius XM Radio
Christine Paape, V.P., Space Explorers, Inc.
Rhonda Parson, Manager, Occasional-Use Sales & Traffic Division, EchoStar Satellite Services
Maj. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Deputy Dir., National Reconnaissance Office
Jane Petro, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director
Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart, D.Eng., Pres., Thaicom PLC
Mary Quagliotti, Retired Major General, Army
Radhika Ramachandran, Ph.D., Counsellor (SPACE) & Technical Liaison Officer
Veena Rawat, Pres., Communications Research Centre, Canada
Joslyn Read, V.P., Regulatory Affairs, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Walda Roseman, Founder & CEO, CompassRose International, Inc.
Farah Suhanah Ahmad Sarji, General Counsel, MEASAT
Jacqueline Schenkel, Founder, Schenkel & Associates, LLC
Kay Sears, Pres., Intelsat General
Gwynne Shotwell, Pres., SpaceX
Marcia Smith, Pres., Space Technology Policy Group, LLC
Pascale Sourisse, Gen. Manager, Land & Joint Systems Division, Thales
Andy Steinem, CEO, Dahl-Morrow International
Nicole P. Stott, Astronaut, NASA
Bambi Taskarelli, Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU
Leslie Taylor, Strategic Planning Division Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Synette Tom, Marketing Dir., Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Marjorie Rhodes Townsend, Satellite Communications Consultant
Diane Tryneski, Senior V.P., Broadcast & Studio Operations, HBO
Diane VanBeber, V.P., Investor Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Intelsat
Barbara Warren, Systems Analyst, International Telecommunication Union
Zhang Yan, Gen. Manager, CITICSat and Chief Rep., Asiasat