Leading Ladies Of… Defense & Space 2024








Event Schedule

(Order and timing is subject to change)

Careers Fair Booths Open

6:00 PST | 9:00 EST | 14:00 GMT

Interested in learning more about working in defense, or perhaps changing companies? Take the opportunity to get connected with companies before the official program starts. Booths still available.

Note that each company is able to set their own hours for their booths and the careers fair booths remain open for the duration of the Summit and until 17:00 PT.

VIP Speaker & Sponsor Networking Session

7:30 PST | 10:30 EST | 15:30 GMT

By invitation only.

Early Bird Networking Session

8:00 PST | 11:00 EST | 16:00 GMT

Join us for an opportunity to meet other Leading Ladies and Allies ahead of the formal program. Build your community through our structured networking session and get supported beyond the summit!

Careers Fair Workshop

8:00 PST | 11:00 EST | 16:00 GMT

Marika Akers will discuss strategies for when you’re considering a career change. Learn how to master the interview prep, networking essentials, and the art of designing your own career path even if you don’t perfectly match the job description. Whether you’re just getting started in your career or already in a leadership role, these tips are for you.

BONUS: Attendees will receive an exclusive Candidate Advice Handbook filled with valuable tips and resources from an executive search firm with 30 years’ experience.

Marika Akers,  Managing Director & Sr. Partner, Silvester & Co.

Suggestion: Comfort Breaks / Wrap Up

8:45 PST | 11:45 EST | 16:45 GMT

Wrap up those conversations, take care of your needs, respond to those emails and grab a coffee… because it’s almost showtime!

Summit Opening

9:00 PST | 12:00 EST | 17:00 GMT

Get ready for a shot of inspiration to set you up for the day with our Founder & CEO, Fiona McKay.

Opening Keynote: Maintaining Calm Amidst The Chaos

9:10 PST | 12:10 EST | 17:10 GMT

In this brief yet impactful talk, we explore the importance of maintaining composure and inner peace amidst turbulent times and chaotic situations. Our keynote will discuss strategies for staying grounded, centered, and focused when faced with uncertainty and adversity, helping you to uncover the transformative power of remaining calm amidst chaos, enabling you to make clear-headed decisions, foster resilience, and navigate challenges with grace and poise.

Caroline ‘Blaze’ Jensen, Ret FC (USAF) Combat Veteran, Keynote Speaker/Coach, Diamond Echelon

Leading Teams Through Turbulent Times

9:25 PST | 12:25 EST | 17:25 GMT

In times of turbulence, effective leadership is paramount to guide teams through uncertainty and adversity. This panel will explore strategies and best practices for leaders to inspire, empower, and support their teams during challenging periods. From fostering resilience and adaptability to maintaining open communication, and providing direction, you’ll gain valuable insights to navigate turbulent times with confidence and lead your teams to success.

Dr Kyla Tennin, Global Ambassador for Peace, United Nations

Jill Arbertelli, President, Military Engines, Pratt & Whitney

Rachel Woods, Program Director, 737 Wing and Propulsion, Spirit AeroSystems

Carrie Ekrut, Manager, US Capture and Proposal, Bombardier

Defense & Space Market Outlook

10:00 PST | 13:00 EST | 17:00 GMT

Wondering what’s in store for our industry over the next few years in this unsettling time? How might current conflicts impact the outlook, and is the industrial base poised to respond? And what can we expect for the ever growing space industry? Can the commercial side thrive alongside the increasing demand from defense? Hear current perspectives from industry experts in this arena.

Mariana Perez-Mora, VP Equity Research, Aerospace & Defense, Bank of America

Management & Motherhood: Real Talk Over Fairytales

10:15 PST | 13:15 EST | 17:15 GMT

In this candid and insightful panel, we delve into the intersection of management and motherhood, debunking myths and embracing the realities faced by working mothers in leadership roles. From juggling responsibilities and navigating guilt, to finding balance and setting realistic expectations, this panel offers practical advice and relatable anecdotes to empower mothers in management positions. Join us for an honest conversation that celebrates the strength, resilience, and unique perspectives of working mothers in the corporate world.

Aysha Alharam, Chief Satellite Design Department, Bahrain Space Agency

Jillian Brazier, Director of Sales, Aerospace and Defense, Tektronix

Sarah Maguire, Deputy Chief Counsel, BAE Systems


Comfort Break

10:45 PST | 13:45 EST | 17:45 GMT

The Changing Global Landscape: How Technology Must Rise To The New Challenges Ahead

11:00 PST | 14:00 EST | 18:00 GMT

In this engaging panel, we’ll explore the evolving landscape of defense technology and the imperative for innovation to meet the unprecedented challenges of the modern era. From the integration of space-based capabilities, to the emergence of cyber threats and asymmetric warfare, we’ll examine the pressing need for cutting-edge solutions and strategic partnerships. Join us as we discuss how the defense sector must adapt and harness new technologies to safeguard national security in an increasingly complex global environment.

Mary Ellen Jones, Strategic Advisor, JetZero

Vanessa Farsadaki, President & Managing Partner, Space Exploration Strategies

Shelli Brunswick, CEO, SB Global & Former COO of Space Foundation

Cheryl Paradis (Moderator) Vice President & General Manager, FAST Labs, BAE Systems

The Imperfect path: Embracing Chaos In Your Career Journey

11:30 PST | 14:30 EST | 18:30 GMT

In this energizing panel, we explore the notion of embracing chaos and uncertainty as integral parts of your career journey. By sharing personal anecdotes and insights, our panel will delve into the transformative power of embracing imperfection, failure, and unexpected twists in your professional trajectory. Join us as we challenge conventional notions of linear career progression, demonstrate how you can rise after a downfall, and celebrate the beauty and growth that come from navigating the imperfect path with resilience, adaptability, and a sense of adventure.

Adi Ninio Greenberg, Chief Science Advisor, Israel Space Agency

Rebecca Golomb, Director of Supply Chain Weapon Programs, Boeing Defense & Space

Michelle Sadowski, Sr Director & Multi-Site Ops Leader, RTX

Lisa ‘Nikki’ Bell, Director of Program Finance, Tyonek Native Corp.

Comfort Break

11:55 PST | 14:55 EST | 18:55 GMT


Fighting From New Frontiers: The Role Of Space In Current Conflicts

12:10 PST | 15:10 EST | 19:10 GMT

This panel will delve into the increasingly vital role of space in contemporary conflicts, examining the complexities and implications of this frontier. From satellite surveillance and communication disruptions to space-based weaponry and geopolitical tensions, we’ll explore the multifaceted ways in which space assets are both utilized and contested in modern warfare. Join us as we unravel the strategic importance of space and discuss potential pathways for promoting stability, cooperation, and responsible use of space resources amidst evolving global dynamics.

Kristin Houston, President, Space Propulsion and Power Systems, L3Harris

Lt. Col. Stephanie Flowers, Commander, 13th SWS & Clear Space Force Station, United States Space Force

SMSgt Crystal Ebert, Senior Leader, 4th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron (4 EWS), United States Space Force

Sgt. Emily Byrd, Space Operator with 4 EWS, United States Space Force

Lead With Courage & Let Confidence Follow

12:35 PST | 15:35 EST | 19:35 GMT

In this empowering talk, we delve into the transformative power of leading with courage and authenticity, rather than waiting for unwavering confidence to emerge. By embracing vulnerability, taking calculated risks, and staying true to our values, we can inspire others and catalyze positive change in our organizations and communities. Join us as we explore how cultivating courage can fuel our leadership journey and empower us to make a meaningful impact, even in the face of uncertainty and self-doubt.

Gitka Gorthi, Founder and CEO, IgnitedThinkers

Cari Ossenfort, Sr. VP and General Manager, Naval Electronics, Leonardo DRS

Lindsey Delaney, Manufacturing Engineer, Korry

Glassbreaker Awards

13:00 PST | 16:00 EST | 20:00 GMT

Wrap up and close of main stage content - networking & careers fair continues

13:10 PST | 16:10 EST | 20:10 GMT

Careers Fair Continues

13:15 PST | 16:15 EST | 20:15 GMT

Note that each company is able to set their own hours for their booths.

Networking After Party

13:30 PST | 16:30 EST | 20:30 GMT

Careers Fair Closes

5:00 PST |20:00 EST | 24:00 GMT