Boeing And Lockheed Martin Execs Tapped To Serve
The Coalition for Space
Exploration’s Public Affairs Team officially announced its
leadership for 2009 on Friday.
Dean Acosta of the Boeing Company and Joan Underwood of Lockheed
Martin Corp. have been named the organization's new chairman and
deputy chairperson, respectively. Both will serve a one-year term,
effective January through December 2009.
The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry
businesses and advocacy groups who collaborate to educate and
inform the public and Congress on the value and benefits of space
exploration and to help ensure the United States remains a leader
in space, science and technology.
Acosta will lead the Public Affairs Team, which conducts the
organization's marketing, communications and public outreach
efforts. In this capacity, he will coordinate with the
organization's Government Affairs Team to support its work as
Acosta is the director of communication for Boeing Space
Exploration, supporting NASA's Space Shuttle, International Space
Station and Ares programs. In this role, he is responsible for
setting the internal and external communication strategy and
guiding the marketing and outreach efforts.
Prior to Boeing, Acosta served as a managing director at Qorvis
Communications, a DC-based public relations/communications firm,
and as chief spokesperson, press secretary and deputy assistant
administrator for public affairs at the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA).
"Having served on both the NASA and industry sides, Dean brings
a thorough understanding of the needs and challenges associated
with advocating for a robust space exploration program to this
leadership role," said Mary Engola, the organization's outgoing
Joan Underwood of Lockheed Martin will serve the Public Affairs
Team in a supporting role to Acosta to facilitate activities and
outreach throughout the year. She served in this same capacity for
Underwood is senior manager of communications for the Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Company, where she is responsible for
strategic, external and internal communications for the company's
Human Space Flight and Advanced Space Programs line of business, as
well as site communications support for the company.
Previously, she served six years as a legislative staff member
in Washington, DC, for the US Senate and US House of
Representatives. Underwood is a charter member of the
"Since Joan has previously served in a leadership role, she
already has a strong working knowledge of our organization's goals
and objectives," said Engola. "She's also an asset in the media
relations arena, having solid relationships and ideas to promote
the importance and benefits of space exploration."
In 2008, the Coalition coordinated several grassroots events
across the country targeting a variety of audiences from
Congressional leaders on the Hill to youth at the X Games in Los
Angeles. The organization uses a variety of marketing
communications tools – public relations, advertising, online
media and op-eds – to disseminate messages about the
importance of space exploration.
The Coalition has also sponsored a series of Gallup public
opinion polls, which have shown strong support for America's
investment in space.
"This next year is going to be critical for our space
exploration program," said Acosta. "With the change in
administration and the impending human spaceflight gap, our
organization's efforts must be focused on getting NASA the
additional funding it needs to fulfill its responsibilities."