Lori Garver

Lori Garver was named a Belfer Center Senior Fellow in January 2022.

Garver is a leading figure in the U.S. space program. She was the principal civil and commercial advisor on aerospace issues to three presidential candidates and led the NASA transition team for President-elect Obama. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Garver served as the Deputy Administrator of the space agency from 2009 - 2013. Known as an architect of the new era of commercial partnerships that are allowing SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, Garver pioneered innovations that are transforming NASA.

Garver is CEO of Earthrise Alliance, a philanthropic organization, founded to more fully utilize satellite data to address climate change. She serves as an Executive in Residence at Bessemer Venture Partners and is a member of the Board of Directors of Hydrosat. Lori is a former board member of Maxar Technologies, General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association, Vice President of the Avascent Group, and Executive Director of the National Space Society.

She is the founder of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, an internship and mentorship program for collegiate women interested in pursuing aerospace careers. Garver is the recipient of the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Aerospace and has been awarded three NASA Distinguished Service Medals. She holds a B.A. in Political Economy from Colorado College and an M.A. in Science, Technology and Public Policy from the George Washington University.

Garver writes and speaks extensively on space issues and has authored opinion-editorials that have recently been published in the Washington Post and Scientific American. Her memoir, Escaping Gravity, will be released in June 2022.

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia

Nahid Bhadelia is a board-certified infectious diseases physician, the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research. She is on sabbatical from Boston University currently and is currently serving the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response for the White House COVID-19 Response Team. She has previously served as the Testing Coordinator for the White House MPOX Response Team. Over the last decade, Dr. Bhadelia served as the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit (SPU), a medical unit designed to care for patients with highly communicable diseases, and a state designated Ebola Treatment Center. She has health system response experience with pathogens such as H1N1, Zika, Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease, and COVID-19 at the state, national, and global levels, including medical countermeasure evaluation, diagnostic positioning, infection control policy development, and healthcare worker training. She has provided direct patient care, and been part of outbreak response and medical countermeasures research during multiple Ebola virus disease outbreaks in West and East Africa. Dr. Bhadelia has served on state, national, and interagency groups focused on biodefense priority setting, development of clinical care guidelines, and medical countermeasures research. She has served as a subject matter expert to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense (DoD), and World Bank. She was part of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR) before joining the US government. 

Talia Milgrom-Elcott

Talia Milgrom-Elcott is the founder and executive director of Beyond100K, a nonprofit focused on preparing and retaining 150,000 excellent STEM teachers for American classrooms by 2032, with equity and belonging as a central and driving force. In that work, she leads a network of nearly 150 leading organizations that have committed to working together toward the Beyond100K moonshot with the end goal of ending the STEM teacher shortage. Her innovative work has been featured in Forbes, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review, and other publications. Prior to this, she worked at Carnegie Corporation of New York and the NYC Department of Education. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their three fierce, thoughtful, and often hilarious young daughters.  

Denise Baken

Denise N. Baken, PhD, is founder and owner of Shield Analysis Technology, LLC, founder of the Institute for Biodefense Research and founding member of the National Quantum Literacy Network. Prior to founding Shield Analysis Technology, Dr. Baken was Director of Biodefense Programs for the Center for Innovative Technology. Co-author of Al Qaeda: The Transformation of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa (Praeger Security International), Dr. Baken’s primary professional expertise and research interests are threat adversary analysis of North Africa and the Red Sea regions, particularly around emerging biological threat capability identification. Dr. Baken retired as an Army Colonel after 28 years and a career that included positions as Special Detail to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and Chief of Staff for the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Protection where she developed and implemented healthcare policies for chemical and biological warfare. 

Penny Collins

Penny Collins is an experienced multifunctional global technology and business executive with a demonstrated history of building enterprise scale solutions to meet business and technical challenges. She has extensive experience in IT leadership building high performance teams and driving transformational initiatives across multiple industries. Penny has exceptional talent for understanding complex business problems and leading cross-functional teams in the development of innovative and effective solutions while maintaining focus on the overall strategic business plans. Penny Collins is the President and CEO of Women In Technology (WIT) responsible for the execution of WIT’s strategy while delivering program and events to promote increasing the number of women and girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). WIT empowers girls and women to excel in STEAM from the classroom to the boardroom by providing female students in middle school, high school and college with education, exposure and experience. By sharing the stories of successful professionals across the STEAM fields, WIT encourages all generations of girls and women to write their future.  


Deena Pierott

Deena Pierott is a Social Impact Entrepreneur and the Founder of the award winning and nationally recognized STEM+Arts program for youth of color called iUrban Teen which has chapters in four states, and most recently launched Black Women in STEM 2.0. Ms. Pierott is also a diversity strategist and international public speaker. She has served on several boards and commissions including a Gubernatorial appointment to the Commission on African American Affairs in the State of Washington.