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Space Security Initiative connects academic expertise to Pacific Northwest leaders

June 8, 2016

Space security panel

In October 2015, Jackson School Space Security Initiative Director Saadia Pekkanen recruited seven area specialists from the School’s Ph.D. Program as Junior Fellows.

SSI Junior Fellows use their regional expertise to gauge space policy trajectories of present and rising major powers around the world: China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, the European Union, and the United States.

Throughout the academic year 2015-2016, the SSI and its Fellows carried out activities to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners, mainly through training exercises, policy writing, briefing sessions, and networking opportunities.

Starting in April 2016, the SSI Junior Fellows began posting policy briefs through the International Policy Institute, which is funded by Carnegie Corporation in New York, at the Jackson School.

At the inaugural capstone event held on June 8, all SSI Junior Fellows briefed the prominent space-related stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest during a two-hour session. Space leaders in the region came from the fields of academia, media, government, military and business spheres. The highlights from their oral briefings are below.


SSI Junior Fellows briefing the Pacific Northwest space community



SSI Junior Fellows mingling with prominent space-related stakeholders

This event was made possible by the UW Jackson School IPI, which is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York aimed at improving the transfer of research and expertise between higher education and the policy world in the area of global affairs. Additional support was provided under the auspices of The Bridge Lab, which is administered by the Jackson School Ph.D. Program and supported by the Jackson School and the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professorship.


Pacific Northwest Stakeholders

  • Alan Boyle, Journalist, GeekWire
  • Sean Connell, Director of Business Recruitment, Economic Development Association Skagit County
  • Andrew Crowder, International Trade Specialist, Department of Commerce, State of Washington
  • Elizabeth Driscoll, Business Development Manager, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Erika Harnett, Research Associate Professor, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington; Associate Director, Washington State NASA Space Grant Consortium
  • Adam Kephart, Aerospace Export Coordinator, Department of Commerce, State of Washington
  • Peter Kelley, Public Information Officer, UW News and Information
  • Cassie Lee, Director of Aerospace Applications, Vulcan Inc.
  • Tabitha Mallory, Director of Corporate Relations and Fellow, National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
  • Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Earth Scientist, Former NASA Astronaut (STS-131, Discovery)
  • Kristi Morgansen, Professor, William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington
  • Geoff Nunn, Adjunct Space History Curator, The Museum of Flight
  • Alex Pietsch, Associate Vice President, Office of Corporate Relations, Washington State University; former Director Washington State Office of Aerospace
  • Jaren K. Price, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
  • Walter Priebe, Space Liaison Officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Greg Scheiderer, Member, Northwest Science Writers Association; Writer/Journalist, Seattle Astronomy
  • John Thornquist, Director, Office of Aerospace, Governor’s Aerospace Sector Lead, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, WA Department of Commerce

SSI Fellows

saadia_SSISaadia M. Pekkanen directs the Space Security Initiative (SSI). At the Jackson School, she is the Associate Director, the Founding Director of the Ph.D. Program, and the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor. Her graduate work includes a Master’s from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University. She works on the international relations of Japan and Asia, with a special interest in outer space governance, security, and policy. Her latest books include In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy (Stanford University Press, 2010); The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford University Press 2014); and Asian Designs: Governance in the Contemporary World Order (forthcoming Cornell University Press). She writes a monthly column for Forbes on these themes.
Ulrichsen_ssiKrisitan Ulrichsen is the Principal Senior Fellow for SSI, and plays a leading role in training the Junior Fellows for SSI. Dr. Ulrichsen is an affiliate professor at the Jackson School of International Studies and a Baker Institute Fellow for the Middle East. Working across the disciplines of political science, international relations and international political economy, his research examines the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, nonmilitary challenges to regional security. Previously, he worked as senior Gulf analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies between 2006 and 2008 and as co-director of the Kuwait Program on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2008 until 2013.


Muyang_ssiMuyang Chen, PhD Candidate and a China specialist, is the Principal Junior Fellow for SSI. In addition to covering China’s space policy, she coordinates all activities and networks of the SSI. Her research interests include East Asia, state-market relations, development banking, and industrial policy. Muyang has an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. clint_ssiClint Work, PhD candidate and a Korea specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. He will be covering the space policy of the United States and also co-authoring a policy brief on South Korea with Seonhee Kim. His research interests include East Asian security, and inter-Korean relations. Clint has an M.A. from the University of Chicago.
Deep_ssiDeep Pal, PhD student and an India specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. He will be covering India’s space policy. His research interests include Indian foreign and security policy, Sino-Indian relations, and Indo-U.S. relations. Deep has an M.A. from George Washington University. seonhee_ssiSeonhee Kim, PhD candidate and a Russia specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. She will be covering Russia’s space policy and also co-authoring a policy brief on South Korea with Clint Work. Her research interests are in state-society relationships in Russia. Seonhee has an M.A. from Seoul National University.
indra_ssiIndra Ekmanis, PhD Candidate and a Baltic Specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. She will be covering the space policy of the European Union. Her research interests include integration in post-Communist states and minority participation. Indra has an M.A. from the University of Washington. oded_ssiOded Oron, PhD candidate and an Israel specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. He will be covering Israel’s space policy. His research Interests include state-society relations and the mobilization of irregular migrants. Oded has an M.A. from Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
JWilliamsBioPhotoJoshua A. Williams, PhD candidate and a Japan specialist, is a Junior Fellow for SSI. He will be covering Japan’s space policy. His research interests include Japanese politics and online political communication. Josh has an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Highlights of SSI Briefs

Russia, Seonhee Kim

  • Structural reforms in the Russian space industry started in 2013 due to launch costs and failures.
  • Russia’s new state space corporation, Roscosmos, was established in 2015, and seeks to consolidate and harmonize space agencies in pursuit of becoming a joint stock company.
  • Roscosmos’ focus will be modernization of the Russian space program’s technology and increased productivity to better attract private capital.

India, Deep Pal

  • India’s space ventures reflect only national development objectives, not strategic or commercial ones.
  • India is now drafting a comprehensive national space policy with inputs from strategic and commercial stakeholders.
  • Possible involvement of private players projected, first for those in India, and then across the world.

South Korea, Clint Work and Seonhee Kim

  • Rapid and deliberate state-led development of South Korea’s space program since late 1980s/early 1990s is evident, with targeting of space industry as potential growth engine of 21st
  • Space program has distinct military/national security orientation, such as C4ISR satellites (military modernization).
  • State-led satellite industry is reorganizing, with focus on bigger local research and economic impact.

The European Union, Indra Ekmanis

  • European space policy makers have invested heavily in programs focusing on data collection.
  • Europe prioritizes worldwide socio-ecological challenges as motivation for space policy.
  • Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises are seen as the competitive driving force of Europe’s role in the space market.

Israel, Oded Oron

  • Israel uses space as an avenue for financial growth.
  • The investment in the civil space industry is part of Israel’s nation branding effort as a “start-up” nation.
  • Military needs dictate priorities and ultimately decide which project will be funded.

Japan, Joshua A. Williams

  • Current Japanese space policy and non-state players provide the potential to competitively develop small satellites.
  • Japan has mentality of experimentation in the production of small satellites, but must start aiming toward active commercialization.
  • Government regulatory policies need to be tailored to grow commercial potential.

China, Muyang Chen

  • China’s space industry has traditionally been dominated by state actors.
  • Reforms to streamline military industries will partially privatize state-owned space enterprises and transform military-use space technology to civilian-use.
  • This provides great opportunities for private actors to enter the space market, but the state will maintain strong control over the industry.

This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.