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Crisis Stability in Space: China and Other Challenges

Join Bruce MacDonald, SAIS, for a panel discussion on the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute's report, Crisis Stability in Space: China and other Challenges. So much has happened in the dynamic and rapidly evolving space domain of the past few years, and this timely publication features contributions from ADM Dennis Blair (USN, Ret.), Brian Weeden, Victoria Samson, Dean Cheng, Karl Mueller, and Bruce MacDonald.


Bruce MacDonald, SAIS


*Please note there is a last minute change in panelists, where Audrey Schaffer (Director for Space Policy, National Security Council) will be replaced by Karl Mueller.

Karl Mueller, The RAND Corporation

Brian Weeden, Secure World Foundation, and

Kari Bingen, Director, Aerospace Security Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)


Bruce W. MacDonald has taught and lectured at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on Nuclear Nonproliferation and consults on nuclear, military space, and cyber security policy issues. He is the editor and co-author of the 2016 report Crisis Stability in Space: China and Other Challenges. He was Senior Director to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, the commission led by former Defense Secretaries William Perry and James Schlesinger. He has participated in numerous Track 1.5 and Track 2 dialogues with Chinese, Russian, and other counterparts and supported advanced technology program managers at DARPA and CIA. MacDonald worked on ballistic missile defense (BMD) and strategic nuclear issues in the Clinton White House as Senior Director for Science and Technology on the National Security Council staff and in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He was a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee responsible for oversight of military space, Air Force, BMD, and strategic forces acquisition budgets. At the State Department he analyzed strategic forces, BMD, and arms control, served on the U.S. START delegation in Geneva, and chaired the Reagan-era Interagency START Policy Working Group. MacDonald has a BSE and MSE in aerospace engineering and MPA from Princeton University and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and AIAA.

Dr. Brian Weeden is the Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation and has nearly two decades of professional experience in space operations and policy. He directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation's goals and objectives, and conducts research on space debris, global space situational awareness, space traffic management, protection of space assets, and space governance. Dr. Weeden also organizes national and international workshops to increase awareness of and facilitate dialogue on space security, stability, and sustainability topics. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Space Technologies, a former member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Executive Director of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS).

Prior to joining SWF, Dr. Weeden served nine years on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force working in space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations. As part of U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), Dr. Weeden directed the orbital analyst training program and developed tactics, techniques and procedures for improving space situational awareness.

Respected and recognized as an international expert, Dr. Weeden's research and analysis have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, USA Today, The BBC, Fox News, China Radio International, The Economist, The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, academic journals, presentations to the United Nations, and testimony before the U.S. Congress. Read Dr. Weeden's publications.

Dr. Weeden holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, a Master of Science Degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and he is also a graduate of the International Space University Space Studies Program (2007, Beijing). He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University in the field of Science and Technology Policy.

(No longer participating) Audrey M. Schaffer is the Director for Space Policy at the National Security Council. As the lead for national security space policy matters within the Executive Office of the President, and lead for space policy on the National Security Council staff, she advises the President of the United States and the National Security Advisor on military, intelligence, civil, and commercial space policies and strategies. She works closely with the National Space Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of Management and Budget, and a range of U.S. government departments and agencies to develop and oversee implementation of national space policies and strategies.

Ms. Schaffer previously served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for over a decade, most recently as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. While serving in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Ms. Schaffer developed the legislative proposal that established the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces; led the U.S. team that negotiated the first-ever United Nations space sustainability guidelines; drafted two national security space strategies; and planned and executed several Cabinet-level space tabletop exercises.

Ms. Schaffer also has served in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the Department of State, where she established and led the Bureau’s first cyber international security policy team and cross-Bureau cyber security working group. Ms. Schaffer began her government career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of the Air Force.

Ms. Schaffer holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University.

Kari A. Bingen is the Director of the Aerospace Security Project and a Senior Fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).Her research interests include national security space, intelligence, and emerging technology issues across the public and private sectors. She joined CSIS from HawkEye 360, an innovative space technology company creating a new class of radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, where she was the Chief Strategy Officer.

Prior to HawkEye 360, Kari served as the U.S. Senate-confirmed Deputy UnderSecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, overseeing the defense intelligence and security enterprises, comprising more than 120,000 personnel and an annual budget of over $54 billion. Before that, Kari served as the policy director on the House Armed Services Committee and staff lead for its Strategic Forces subcommittee, advising members of Congress on defense policy, program, and budget matters. Prior to entering government, Kari specialized in national security space issues, working with U.S. defense and intelligence community clients, first as a space systems analyst at SRA International’s Adroit C4ISR Center, and then as a senior space policy analyst at The Aerospace Corporation.

In addition to her work at CSIS, Kari is passionate about “paying it forward” as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and as a member of the Common Mission Project Advisory Board. She is a member of the U.S. Strategic Command Strategic Advisory Group, was a commissioner on the CSIS Task Force on Technology and Intelligence and serves on a number of corporate and non-profit advisory boards. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a 2002 NRO Technology Fellow.

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