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Melanie Stricklan Joins Space Workforce 2030 as its Inaugural Director 

By Rachel Jewett | March 26, 2024

      Melanie Stricklan joins Space Workforce 2030 as the organization’s first executive director. Photo: Space Workforce 2030

      Melanie Stricklan has joined Space Workforce 2030 as the first executive director of the initiative. Space Workforce 2030 is a strategic partnership between Space Foundation and The Aerospace Corporation that kicked off in 2022 as a workforce pledge to increase diversity. 

      Space Workforce 2030 brings together more than two dozen leading space companies including SpaceX, Planet, Maxar, and L3Harris, with a shared goal of increasing diversity and representation across the industry. 

      The initiative started a National Space Intern program, with 332 interns participating in the first year and more than 4,100 undergraduate and graduate students registered for this summer. This spring, Space Workforce 2030 is hosting the first annual National Space Day in partnership with the White House, NASA, and Space Foundation. In addition, all member companies shared their workforce data in the first two years. 

      Stricklan is the co-founder and former CEO of space traffic management company Slingshot Aerospace. Last year, she won Via Satellite’s Satellite Executive of the Year award. Stricklan left the company in August 2023

      “I am eager to leverage my experience and passion to bridge gaps, inspire innovation, and foster a community where every aspiring space professional has the opportunity to be part of the most exciting industry in the world,” Stricklan wrote in a LinkedIn post. “The challenges ahead are significant, but the potential impact is monumental. Together, with our partner companies, team members, and the broader space community, we are poised to make the space industry more innovative than ever imagined.” 

      Space Workforce 2030 founder Steve Isakowitz, Aerospace CEO, said the organization is set to make strides under Strickland’s leadership. “Mel’s track record of leading with insight and innovation is exactly what we need to drive the Space Workforce 2030 initiative forward,” Isakowitz said.