National Security Space Association Adds Influential Leaders to Board of Directors

ARLINGTON, VA (NSSA PR) — The National Security Space Association (NSSA), a U.S. trade association devoted solely to the U.S. defense and intelligence space enterprise, added 8 new members to their Board of Directors today. Each appointee is a highly regarded member of their respective organization and will bring their individual experience to NSSA’s commitment to the preservation and protection of the National Security Space Community. These additions follow last month’s appointment of General (Ret.) Lester Lyles and Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan to the Board of Directors.

The newest members of the NSSA Board of Directors are as follows:

Maria Demaree, Vice President and General Manager, Mission Solutions, Lockheed Martin Space

Maria Demaree will provide irreplaceable experience to the NSSA Board of Directors. She serves as the Vice President and General Manager for Mission Solutions at Lockheed Martin Space. Previously, Ms. Demaree was Vice President of Engineering, Mission Systems and Operations, for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Space Systems Company. Additionally, she formerly served as Engineering and Technology Director of Mission Systems, for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS). As Director of Enterprise Desktop Services, she was responsible for the Lockheed Martin Service Desk, Unified Communications, Desktop Services and SharePoint implementation.

Michael P. Dempsey, Vice President, Northrop Grumman Corporate, Strategy & Development, Space, Intelligence & Cyber

Michael P. Dempsey will be a vital asset for NSSA. He served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in 2017 and was Deputy Director of National Intelligence (DDNI) from 2014 to 2016, where he served as President Obama’s primary intelligence briefer. In this role, he also regularly represented the Intelligence Community at National Security Council, Principal, and Deputy Committee meetings, as well as in Congressional testimony, and was charged with leading the effort to integrate the 16 agencies of the US Intelligence Community. He began his intelligence career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1990 and served in a number of management and analytical positions. He also served as Deputy CIA Representative to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council.

Joseph D. Fargnoli, Chief Technology Officer, Theia Group, Inc.

Joseph D. Fargnoli provides NSSA with over 30 years of experience in the design and development of commercial and government space systems addressing emerging needs. As a co-founder and CTO of THEIA, he is actively engaged in the development of many aspects of the space industry from launch to spacecraft, remote sensing, computing and communication, navigation payloads as well as ground processing and the development of customer applications. He spent the first 20 years of his career with companies now identified as Northrop Grumman and L3Harris and was also a Technical Fellow at the National Reconnaissance Office. He is a space leader with years of commitment to employing the tools and techniques of entrepreneurship to realizing the full potential of space technology in achieving the potential of American Industry. As a driving force providing advice and guidance to the space community, Mr. Fargnoli will be a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors

Wallis Laughrey, Vice President, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Space & C2 Systems

Wallis Laughrey is an experienced engineer and program leader with a background in the Air Force’s Space Command and Materials Command. Before his current role as Vice President of Space and C2 Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Mr. Laughrey led the Space Systems mission area at Raytheon Company’s Space and Airborne Systems business prior to Raytheon Company’s merger with United Technologies Corporation in 2020. Mr. Laughrey’s long history in aerospace and defense will become a key asset to the leadership of NSSA.

Manny Mora, Vice President and General Manager, Space and Intelligence Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems

Manny Mora will provide essential guidance to NSSA as a member of the Board of Directors. In his current position, he holds a unique portfolio of space- and ground-based systems, products, and technologies, and is also responsible for the delivery of strategic programs, including systems for space-based operations, satellite payloads for NASA, and intelligence systems, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for the U.S. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and government organizations worldwide. Mr. Mora’s extensive experience in strategy and business development includes his previous position as senior vice president for Strategic Business Development and Sales for General Dynamics C4 Systems, now General Dynamics Mission Systems. He is a valued addition to the NSSA family.

Dan Piemont, Cofounder and Chief Financial Officer, ABL Space Systems

Dan Piemont brings the perspective of a venture-backed space startup founder to NSSA. Dan serves as the Chief Financial Officer of ABL Space Systems, which he co-founded in 2017 to develop low-cost resilient space launch systems to serve the national security space community. In his role as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Piemont directs ABL’s corporate strategy, business development, government relations, and business operations. Mr. Piemont also oversees ABL’s portfolio of space resiliency initiatives, including activities supporting the Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, and AFWERX program. Mr. Piemont previously held several positions in the venture capital and investment banking industries.

John “J.R.” Riordan, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Parsons Corporation Space & Geospatial Solutions

John “J.R.” Riordan is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Parsons Corporations Space and Geospatial Solutions. Mr. Riordan transitioned to Parsons Corporation from his government service as a Professional Staff Member at the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he was Staff Lead for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. He is most widely known in the National Security Space community for his work on the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act as the primary architect of the United States Space Force. Prior to his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr. Riordan held a variety of positions in industry and served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Riordan is a highly respected, proven military strategist and policy expert that will serve a vital role for NSSA’s educational outreach and workforce development.

Victoria “Vicki” Schmanske, President, Intelligence Group, Leidos

Vicki Schmanske serves as President of the Intelligence Group for Leidos where she is responsible for providing solutions and services to Intelligence Community agencies. Prior roles include the Leidos Chief Administrative Officer, where she managed key centralized business functions; Deputy President and Chief Operations Officer for Leidos’ Health Group; and Vice President of Operations for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) programs in the Civil, Defense & Intelligence Solutions lines of business. Ms. Schmanske is an accomplished executive whose 35 years of career experience will immediately become an asset to NSSA.

The National Security Space Association is proud to have all of these influential leaders on our Board of Directors. We are looking forward to the bright future ahead, together.