Fielding Center Lecture- The International Crisis of Space Debris

Diane Howard, Ph.D., J.D.

Chief Counsel for Space Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

Howard is Chief Counsel for Space Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to providing space law expertise to the Office of Space Commerce (OSC) and the Department of Commerce as a whole, she is actively involved in the Office of Space Commerce’s implementation of Space Policy Directive-3. She serves as Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and has worked with COMSTAC Working Groups. The U.S. Department of State named her a subject matter expert to work in an Expert Group of the UN COPUOS STSC Long Term Sustainability of Space Activities Working Group. Dr. Howard was legal lead for the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety Suborbital Safety (IAASS) Technical Committee. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Howard was a staff attorney in the Florida Appellate courts.  She later specialized in space law after attending McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law. Her LLM thesis centered upon private space law issues and her doctoral work focused upon effective spaceport regulation.




Christopher T.W. Kunstadter


Head of Space, AXA XL Insurance Company


Kunstadter is Head of Space, AXA XL, the largest space product insurance company in the world.  The company provides insurance coverage for spacecraft launches, deployment and in-orbit damages.  For over three decades, Kunstadter has worked closely with satellite operators and manufacturers, launch providers, government agencies, and others to enhance industry understanding of space risk management, space situational awareness, and mission success best practices, and has served on numerous failure investigation teams for satellites and launch vehicles. Kunstadter is a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and Chair of COMSTAC’s Legal and Regulatory Working Group. He serves on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI), and is a Charter Member of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing (CONFERS).  He joined AXA XL in 2006, after 23 years at USAIG, where he was Executive Vice President in charge of the Aerospace and IT departments.




Stephen Earle


Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation


Earle is the space traffic management lead and orbital debris subject expert for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation. In that role, he is responsible for overseeing a variety of activities to promote and ensure orbital safety, including projects and initiative toward building a civil space traffic capability. He also supports the development of national space policy and advances safety issues for launch vehicles and on orbit safety. Earle holds degrees from the Air Force Academy, the University of North Dakota, and the Air Force Institute of Technology. During his Air Force career, he worked as a Missile Combat Crew Commander for the Minuteman ICBM, performed space surveillance and tracked ballistic missiles, space launches, and all low and mid Earth-orbiting satellites at a space surveillance radar facility, and at Cape Canaveral Air Station he served as the lead Air Force launch controller for numerous rocket launches to include missions to Mars and a Global Positioning Satellite. In addition to a number of headquarter assignments, Stephen’s last active duty assignment was as Chief of the Space Policy Branch on the Joint Staff where he worked countless national level space issues including national strategies, policies, and issues.

With appreciation to the Eisenhower Society for their support.

This event is free and open to the public.


Dial-In Information

Remote / Virtual viewing at:

Thursday, April 8 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm


Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience


Eisenhower Institute, Political Science Department, Public Policy Department
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity