Meet our Executive team

Located around Australia, our Executive team is responsible for coordinating civil space matters across government and supporting the growth and transformation of Australia’s space industry.

Enrico Palermo — Head of the Australian Space Agency

Enrico is responsible for governance and performance, management, policy leadership and strategic direction of the Agency.

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Christopher De Luis — General Manager, Office of the Space Regulator

The Office of the Space Regulator is responsible for the regulation of Australian space activities and high-power rockets. Its purpose is to provide an internationally recognised regulatory framework that enables entrepreneurship and sector growth, while assuring risks to safety and other national interests are managed appropriately. This includes the implementation of Australia’s obligations under the United Nations space treaties.

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Chris Hewett — General Manager, Space Policy

The Space Policy branch provides policy advice and analysis on the space sector. The branch works across government policy domains, programs and capability development to facilitate decision making and outcomes in the national interest.

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Jarrod Powell — General Manager, National Space Capability, Technology and Programs

The National Space Capability, Technology and Programs branch provides whole-of-government strategic guidance on national space capability and needs through scoping activities, expert advice and technical due diligence on space matters. It supports the growth and uptake of space applications and delivery of the Australian Space Agency's programs in alignment with critical technology priorities, to grow a trusted and respected Australian space sector.

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Meet our Advisory Board

The Australian Space Advisory Board is non-statutory, independent and skills based. 

The Board:

  • advises the Head of the Agency
  • reviews and advises on the Agency’s strategic direction and performance
  • supports the Agency to achieve its purpose
  • is not a decision-making body and has no governing legislation.

Alfred ‘Al’ Wassel


Florida, USA

Current position

Freelance space operations consultant


19802001, member of US Air Force

20142020, Vice-President at Millennium Engineering and Integration. Responsible for executing contracts in space operations, including working with NASA and the U.S. Dept. of Defence

13 years as a senior Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representative, executing Commercial Space Launch Act legislative responsibilities on US Federal launch sites

Represented the FAA on the U.S. National Aerospace Technician Advisory Council.


Masters in Business Management, Cambridge University.


Frank Robert



Current position

Associated Vice President, AT Kearney


Has contributed to NASA planetary missions and leading-edge commercial spacecraft

Leads space practice for Australia, specialising in telecommunications, satellites and technology strategy

Has conducted research and authored a white paper on optimising the economic impact of the Australian Space Agency.


Master of Business Administration, Cornell University

Graduate work in Radio Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Economics and Minor in Astronomy, Amherst College.

Read Frank's full biography

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith


Tasmania and New South Wales 

Current position

Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador and Professor of Practice at UNSW


Astrophysicist with more than 50 research publications on topics including star formation, supernova remnants, cosmic magnetism, planetary nebulae, and black holes.

Global experience in radio astronomy research, facility operations and management.

Former research group leader at CSIRO and project scientist for both the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescopes.

Expert on designing evidence-based equity and inclusion policies and programs to grow the STEM workforce.

Award-winning science communicator, television presenter and author on the topic of astronomy.


PhD in Radio Astronomy, University of Manchester

Master (Hons) of Physics in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Read Lisa's full biography

Professor Peter Klinken AC


Western Australia 

Current position

Chief Scientist of Western Australia


Leading medical research scientist advancing the understanding of genes in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia

Research achievements include discovery of a gene that supresses the growth of tumours

Worked as a researcher at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.


PhD in Biochemistry, The University of Western Australia.

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Professor Steven Freeland


New South Wales 

Current position

Emeritus Professor, Western Sydney University and Professorial Fellow, Bond University


Extensive national and international experience in space law, representing the Australian Government at the UN and advising the Australian and New Zealand governments on space regulation.

Editorial board member of several space-related journals, author of over 300 publications on international and space law

Former positions: Director of the International Institute of Space Law in Paris, faculty member of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law, member of the International Law Association’s Space Law Committee.


PhD in International Law, Maastricht University

Master of Laws, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Bachelor of Law and Commerce, Bachelor of Industrial Relations, UNSW

Marie Curie Fellow in 2013.

Read Steven's full biography

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.