Satellites seemed to follow me in my career, or perhaps more accurately, I have followed them. I became intrigued with satellite communications when I joined the former White House Office of Telecommunications Policy. It was the mid-1970's and people at OTP had grand ideas for satellite communications, which they called Intelsat and Inmarsat. It was still early days in our understanding of the wealth of services that satellites could provide, other than international telephony. We were soon to be shown, though, how valuable satellites would become to the distribution of audio and video services. I went to National Public Radio (NPR)and been there very long before we become the first nationwide broadcasting system to interconnect by satellites our member stations and remotely produce live programming. In 1978 All Things Considered shifted from using a 56kbps circuit to a 15 KHz channel for its evening news. The sound quality was so clear that there was some thought of introducing crackle into the early transmissions so that the listening audience would truly beleive that the story they were hearing was actually being fed from Missoula, Montana, for example.
When I joined Intelsat in 1984, my experience as a broadcaster inspired me to push within Intelsat to make it more broadcaster friendly. It was during this period that the International Satellite Operators Group (ISOG) was formed to work with Intelsat on broadcasting' issues. In 1990 I went from Intelsat to the Federal Communications Commission, where I was handed as my first major task leadership of the FCC's agenda for the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference. The U.S. had a heavy satellite agenda that included gaining worldwide allocation of spectrum for mobile satellite systems. Europe, a formidable opponent to our agenda, was strongly against the U.S. proposals, preferring to allocate that same spectrum to advanced terrestrial mobile communications. I suppose if I were to choose where I was most involved in helping bring changes to the satellite business it would my three years at the FCC, during which time we succeeded in getting the key parts of our WARC-92 agenda adopted and then laying the regulatory foundation for MSS; making significant strides in opening up the international FSS business to competition; and opening our northern and southern borders to satellite newsgathering. My fascination with satellites has continued into my consulting practice, perhaps high points of which have been the roles we played in helping the satellite industry gain the trade conditions it needed as part of the WTO Basic Telecom Agreement, structuring the GMPCS MoU. that is administered by the International Telecommunication Union, and helping gain U.S. codification of the satellite auction exemption.
I began my professional life at a time when there were very few women professionals in the communications industry, or anywhere for that matter. In those early days, I was fortunate to find myself being offered " the first woman who." type positions in an era of awakening women's employment rights. I never held a job, however, that had existed before. This afforded me tremendous opportunity and a chance to hire other talented women. On the other hand, particularly at Intelsat in the mid-1980's, some of my male colleagues worried a great deal about how officials from its international membership would react to a woman representing Intelsat. I must say that when traveled, I was almost always treated with respect, sometimes viewed as a bit of a curiosity, and inevitably was introduced to their most senior woman - often new college graduates. What I came to believe particularly as a result of my international work with satellites, to quote a PTT executive from Egypt in 1984, was "As long as we can communicate, there is a chance for peace."
As I look forward to the next five years for the satellite industry, I see the technical and business conditions taking shape whereby satellites can resume their front and center legacy position of doing good while doing well. The severe bandwidth constraints of developing countries and rapid growth of wireless options offer extraordinary market opportunities for satellite companies that can adapt their service and business models to provide broadband and other services to the challenging economic and other conditions of developing countries. These opportunities translate into prospects for new, creative talent, including line leadership. I would urge women who might be interested in entering the industry to set your sites high and define and seize the new opportunities.
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