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Coalition For Space Exploration Names New Leadership

Joan Underwood, 2007 Deputy Chair, Public Affairs Team, Coalition for Space Exploration.
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Jan 24, 2007
The Coalition for Space Exploration's Public Affairs Team today officially announced its new leadership for 2007. Joe Mayer of The Boeing Company has been named the organization's new chairman, and will be serving a one-year term effective January 2007 through December 2007.

The Coalition for Space Exploration is a collaboration of space industry businesses and advocacy groups dedicated to increasing public understanding and support of the nation's Vision for Space Exploration -- a focused plan of space exploration taking America back to the moon and on to Mars.

Mayer will preside over the Coalition's Public Affairs Team, which manages the organization's marketing, communications and public outreach efforts.

"Joe has been actively involved in the Coalition since its inception in 2004, and his leadership will be invaluable to achieving our robust goals and objectives in the coming year," said Jeff Carr, outgoing chairman.

Mayer has 29 years experience in government, communications and aerospace. He spent more than a decade on Capitol Hill working for the U.S. Senate and in the Washington D.C. offices of Rockwell International and The Boeing Company. He is currently a Manager for Business Development for Boeing in Houston.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the Coalition's Public Affairs Team in support of the Vision," Mayer said. "Our focus will be to communicate with Americans the value and benefits of space exploration and enable them to become vocal advocates. The Coalition's recently launched initiative will be an important tool in helping accomplish this objective. We'll also place a special emphasis on younger generations and building their support for space exploration."

The Coalition also named a deputy chair for 2007. Joan Underwood, Senior Manager of Communications for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, will support Mayer in formulating an annual public outreach plan, supervising project teams and managing operations of the Public Affairs Team.

Underwood has served in the aerospace industry in communications and public relations for more than 17 years, and is a charter member of the Coalition. Previously, she served six years as a legislative staff member in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

"Joan's significant experience in media, communications and public outreach arenas supporting space science, robotic and human space flight programs will be a tremendous asset to our organization," Mayer said.

Previous Coalition efforts have included city visits across the United States, including New York, Maryland, Missouri, Louisiana, California, Washington and Alaska. Senior aerospace executives participated in these visits meeting with local media, teachers and students, elected officials and the general public.

In addition, the Coalition has sponsored a series of Gallup public opinion polls showing strong support for the Vision and recognition of the value of America's investment in space.

"Our nation is moving forward opening a new era of discovery and exploration," Mayer said.

"The Shuttle is flying successfully performing missions to complete the International Space Station. Next generation spacecraft and launch vehicles are being developed to take us far beyond our explorations of the past. Robotic and space science missions are charting a pathway for future exploration and new discoveries, and opportunities for commercial space business are expanding. It truly is an exciting time to be part of America's space program."

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