Christopher M. Hearsey, Chair, Board of Directors - Secretary & Treasurer
Christopher M. Hearsey is the Founder & CEO of OSA Consulting, LLC. Chris has over ten years experience in the aerospace and nonprofit sectors previously serving as the Director of DC Operations and Corporate Counsel for Bigelow Aerospace and Deputy CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Astrosociology Research Institute. Chris also served as Special Assistant to the Director in the Office of Space & Advanced Technology at the US Department of State and has managed political campaigns at the state and federal level, including a run for Congress in Maryland in 2018. Chris holds a BA in Mathematical Economics & Political Science and minor in Physics from Temple University, a MS in Legal Theory from The American University, a MS in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a JD with honors in Air & Space Law from the University of Mississippi School of Law. As a student, Chris held a graduate fellowship in space history at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, and studied Public International Law at Downing College, Cambridge University.Since law school, Chris has served as a coach, advisor, and judge for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and as a student competitor, coach, advisor, and judge of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. Chris lives in Maryland with his family.
Nathan Johnson, Vice-Chair, Board of Directors - Executive Director
Nathan Johnson is an attorney licensed in Washington, DC, and publishes the blog and podcast AstroEsq. He graduated with his Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School, and received an LL.M from the University of Nebraska College of Law in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law. He worked at the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation during SpaceX’s first berth with the International Space Station, and for the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology during deliberation on human spaceflight regulation. He has published articles on orbital debris removal, on-orbit liability, and outer space property rights. He is also the Regional Organizer for the Manfred Lachs North America Space Law Moot Court Competition.
Nivedita Raju, Director of Legal Affairs and Research
Nivedita is presently Deputy Representative to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation at McGill University. Her research examines legal and policy implications of cross-border sub-orbital flights between the US and Canada. Additionally, she is a member of the research team for the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) Project, where she reviews commentary and rules for the Manual. Her experience in the aerospace industry stems from her three years as primary legal Associate on aircraft finance and leasing transactions at Gagrats Advocates & Solicitors, a Tier-1 aviation law firm in Mumbai, India. She recently acquired further experience in aviation policy after a stint with the Indian delegation at ICAO, where she co-presented reports at the 40th Assembly in Montreal regarding aircraft emissions. Nivedita is keen to facilitate dialogue on air and space law, evident from her role as Conference Coordinator for the inaugural Qatar Airways/McGill Rising Scholars in Air and Space Law Conference, 2019, as well as her publications with Wolter Kluwer’s Journal of Air and Space Law and the McGill Annals of Air and Space Law. She has also been actively involved in moot court competitions, winning Best Memorial at the World Final of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, and winning both Best Team and Best Oralist at the Qatar Airways/McGill Intramural Speed Moot Court Competition. Nivedita graduated First Class from Gujarat National Law University in 2015, pursuant to eleven internships with law firms, Senior Counsels and non-profit organizations in various Indian cities. She continues to contribute to discourse in space law, and aims to engage in international and domestic space policy-making.
Joyeeta Chatterjee has acquired specialised professional experience in the space sector spanning governmental agencies, private industry and nonprofit organisations. She has assisted policymakers at the Indian Space Research Organisation headquarter in Bangalore, and has worked on issues related to international trade in launch services during her stint at the Washington, DC, office of Arianespace, Inc. While engaged in private practice, she has advised on corporate transactional matters, particularly financing transactions and export-credit based projects, to enhance the competitive advantage of her clients. Joyeeta has considerable experience in international multidisciplinary research projects involving space law and policy. She routinely contributes to the discourse on industry developments and related legal challenges by participating in high-level international conferences and events, and through academic research and writing. In 2014, she won the Diedericks-Verschoor Award for the best scholarly research paper by a young author at the Annual Symposium of the International Institute of Space Law. Owing to her passion for space advocacy and international space collaboration, Joyeeta has worked with the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a United Nations-affiliated youth organisation addressing international space policy. Serving in a variety of roles, she was responsible for managerial, operational and liaison activities with members and organisations from diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds. She also co-founded the SGAC Space Law and Policy Working Group to analyse and comment on issues at the intersection of law and policy within the space sector. In recognition of her contributions, she was awarded the 2011 SGAC Young Leader Award. Joyeeta earned her BA and LL.B, with first-class honours, from India. She received her master’s degree in aviation and space law from McGill University in Montreal, where she was an Arsenault fellow and where the Faculty of Law awarded her the N.M. Matte Prize for outstanding performance in space law. She is also an alumnus of the International Space University.
Chris Tkach is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. While serving overseas Chris worked with many NGO’s and other international organizations. Upon his return to the states he spent a decade serving his local populations as a firefighter and emergency medical technician. Chris received his education from the Ohio State University College of Engineering.
Jessica Noble serves as in-house counsel for NanoRacks, LLC, a leader in the commercial utilization of low-earth orbit. She advises on a variety of topics including contract drafting and negotiation, corporate structure, and export control. Prior to her time with NanoRacks, Jessica advised on space policy on Capitol Hill, served as a prosecutor in Southern New Mexico, and worked on satellite regulatory affairs for SES Networks and as a consultant with LMI Advisors. Jessica has been an active member of the space law community for the past eight years through activities such as volunteering as a judge for the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, serving as the Research and Outreach Coordinator for the American Society of International Law’s Space Law Interest Group, and serving as Vice-Chair of the AIAA’s Legal Aspects of Aeronautics and Astronautics Outreach Committee. Jessica is a proud alumnus of the University of Florida and the Catholic University of America. She is also a proud dog-mom of a Weimaraner named Sandra Day O’Barker.