Join the live broadcast of Mark Dankberg, Executive Chairman, Viasat & Jim Bridenstine, Senior Advisor, Acorn Growth Companies as they present a special Fireside Chat at this year’s SmallSat Symposium.
Presentation will begin at 12:00 PM Pacific Time on February 9th
Mark Dankberg co-founded Viasat Inc. in 1986, and has held the position of Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. Under his leadership, Viasat has consistently been recognized as one of America’s fastest growing technology companies.
Mark is an acknowledged industry expert in communications technology, satellite, aerospace and defense, and is the leading visionary for a new generation of high-capacity satellite systems that are poised to deliver worldwide broadband coverage by 2021. He has co-authored several military standards on satellite networking, and holds a number of patents in communications and satellite networking technologies. He has participated on Department of Defense advisory panels and has testified before a Congressional committee on high technology growth companies and IPOs as well as before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications regarding communications technologies for rural broadband.
Acorn Growth Companies
Jim Bridenstine is a Senior Advisor at Acorn Growth Companies, an Oklahoma City based private equity company that invests exclusively in aerospace, defense, and intelligence.
Before joining Acorn, Jim served as the 13th Administrator of NASA, where he was responsible for managing NASA’s 70,000-person workforce and $23 billion annual budget. Under his leadership, NASA reestablished an American human spaceflight program, which was lost after the retirement of the Space Shuttles in 2011. He also created NASA’s Artemis program to establish the first permanent presence on the Moon with commercial and international partners and enable a path to Mars.
Before being appointed as NASA Administrator, Jim served in the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s First Congressional District from 2013 to 2018. He was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on the Environment.
Prior to Congress, Jim served as a pilot in the United States Navy acquiring 1900 flight hours and 333 landings on an aircraft carrier. He flew combat missions in Afghanistan (2002) and Iraq (2003) off the USS Abraham Lincoln, where he earned an Air Medal and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”. Originally an E-2C Hawkeye pilot, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew as an aggressor (Red Air) at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
Jim serves on the Board of Directors for Viasat, Inc., the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation, and he Chairs the Board of Advisors for Voyager Space.
Jim earned a triple major from Rice University in Economics, Business, and Psychology and an MBA from Cornell University. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Michelle and three children: Walker (15), Sarah (13), and Grant (9).