Debra Facktor Lepore

Debra Facktor Lepore is President of DFL Space LLC and Executive Liaison for Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises. A rocket scientist and “serial entrepreneur,” she has over 20 years experience in the aerospace industry, nearly all of which involved start-up projects or companies. Her company, DFL Space LLC, engineers innovative business strategies, using Debra’s entrepreneurial, technical, and international skills to balance big picture visions with tactical implementation. In her university appointment at Stevens, Ms. Lepore serves at the executive level to advance and grow space systems engineering education and research. In 2005, she became President of AirLaunch LLC, a company (currently in hiatus) developing a small rocket launched out of a C-17 cargo airplane to deploy small satellites into space. Prior to AirLaunch she was Vice President for Business Development and Strategy at Kistler Aerospace Corporation. Ms. Lepore played a key role at Kistler since joining the company in 1997 in raising over $600 million in private capital and setting the stage for emerging space launch companies to provide innovative services to US government customers. Her first entrepreneurial venture came as the Cold War ended, when she lived and worked in Russia as chief of Moscow Operations for the ANSER Center for International Aerospace Cooperation to facilitate joint aerospace partnerships with the former Soviet Union. Ms. Lepore began her career as an aerospace engineer working on strategic defense projects at ANSER (Analytic Services, Inc.) in Arlington, Virginia. Over the course of her career, she has conducted business and interacted with government and commercial entities around the world, including the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Japan, Canada, India, Australia, and South Korea. Ms. Lepore is President of the Women in Aerospace (WIA) Foundation, Past Chair of the WIA Board of Directors, president of the Washington State Women’s Forum (WSWF), and former chair of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Space Council. She is one of the “100 Top Women in Seattle Tech”, one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2008 Women of Influence and 2006 “40 Under 40” Awardees, and recipient of WIA’s 2007 International Achievement Award. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and former Secretary of the IAA Commission on Space Policy, Law and Economics. She is a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Commercial Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and an alumna of the International Space University 1989 summer session program in Strasbourg, France. Debra Facktor Lepore earned a Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) in 1988 and a Master of Science degree in 1989, both in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan.

Broadcast 2566 (Special Edition)

Guest: Debra Facktor Lepore.. Topics: Commercial space value & projects, advocacy, & valuable space industry insights. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

Broadcast 779 (Special Edition)

This is the first of two AIAA Space 2007 conference interview programs. This set of interviews includes discussion by Debra Facktor Lepore, President of Air Launch, LLC, Dr. Eligar Sadeh and his wife Chris, and Dr. Mike Gruntman, professor at USC. Debra updates us with Air Launch LCC news, Eligar is now a professor at the USAF Academy and has also started a private consulting business, and Dr. Gruntman talks about his educational ideas for space engineering improvements at the college level. Each guest provides an email or contact method if you have questions or comments for them.

Broadcast 514 (Special Edition)

Debra Facktor Lepore was the guest for this Space Show program. Ms. Lepore began the discussion with a focused on entrepreneurial space and why the timing now is so superb for success for this space industry segment. We talked about markets, financing, investors including traditional, non-traditional, angel and those contributing to distressed capital. Ms. Lepore outlined the key components for entrepreneurial space business which led to a discussion of the ingredients needed for success, the barriers to entry, and the barriers to success.

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