Advisory Board

Shelli Brunswick, MBA

Shelli Brunswick, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, offering a gateway to information, education and collaboration for space exploration and space-to-Earth industries that define the global space ecosystem.

Shelli brings a broad perspective and deep vision of the global space ecosystem — from entering the U.S. Air Force as a high school graduate to serving our country in a 29-year distinguished career as a space acquisition and program management leader and congressional liaison — and now serving the world in her current role at Space Foundation, leading three primary divisions: Symposium 365, Center for Innovation and Education, and Global Alliance. She joined in 2015, as the Chief Operating Officer and from 2016 to 2017 was Acting Chief Executive Officer.

Recognized as a trailblazer, Shelli travels the world, advocating for space technology innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity, equity and inclusion. Many of her initiatives result in collaborations with commercial, government and educational organizations that share in her mission to provide access and opportunity to all people. Her work to champion the inclusion of underserved groups stems from staying true to the values instilled while she was in the military: a passion to serve beyond self by 1) sharing her journey, 2) giving back to the space community, and 3) contributing to the development of the next-generation workforce.

Highlights of Shelli’s achievements include:

Other honors include Colorado Springs Business Journal: Women of Influence 2020 award, Diverse In: 146 Inspiring Women Leaders List 2021, I am Woman Global: Top LinkedIn Influencer for 2021, Herrington Publications: Lady Speaker Power Award Winner 2021, Interstellar: Worldwide Space Champion 2021, Pineapple Empire: Top 100 Aerospace and Aviation Professionals to Follow in 2021, and Space Tech Analytics Top SpaceTech Speakers.

Shelli has delivered more than 100 speeches and presentations in 2021 alone on navigating career success and workforce development to audiences in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and North America.

Shelli has been featured in many feature stories and televised interviews of successful professionals:

Shelli is often invited to create, produce and moderate panel discussions. She launched the Space Commerce Entrepreneurship series in 2020, conducting 25+ one-on-one interviews with successful women and entrepreneurs in the global space ecosystem to date. Other highlights:

Shelli has published many articles in consumer, technology and space-related journals, including a series of emerging trend articles on the progress in developing space initiatives around the work, including Africa, Australia, India, Japan and UAE to date:

Shelli endeavors to change the world by unlocking access and opportunity through partnerships and collaboration to ensure all people can participate and benefit from space innovation technologies in their daily lives. She has actively participated in the following organizations:

Shelli is deeply committed to advocating for lifelong learning for all people, and that applies to her own life as well:


U.S. Air Force

  • Personnel Administration / Human Relations Professional from 1985 to 1997
  • Test and Verification Project Officer at the Space and Missile Center in Los Angeles (1997–1999)
  • Project Manager of Spacelift Range Command (1999–2001)
  • Selected as one of three selected from 9,000 program managers in the Air Force to attend the Education with Industry Program at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Led daily meetings between Boeing and the program office during the C-17 follow-on buy of 60 aircraft (2001–2002)
  • Defense Contract Management Agency as the Program Integrator of the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) (2002–2005)
  • Defense Acquisition University as curriculum developer and professor on DoD and space acquisition processes (2005–2009)
  • US Air Force Acquisition as Chief, USAF Acquisition Professional Development Policy, leading a team of 20 and developed implementation guidance and policy on critical leadership positions, ensuring major programs were filled by qualified individuals. (2009–2010)
  • US Air Force Financial Management, Budget, and Comptroller department as a Legislative Liaison representing the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force directly to members of Congress, their staff and committees to advance the department’s interests and achieve Air Force legislative goals. She advocated for and advanced Air Force budget interests for five fiscal years, and promoted key policy initiatives and garnered support for top program funding priorities such as the F-35, KC-46, Long Range Strike Bomber, and Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. (2010–2014)
  • Retired (2014): recognized by U.S. House Members and their staff as a problem solver

Lifelong Education and Certifications

  • Heroic Public Speaking: Core and Grad Training Programs (2022)
  • International Space University: Executive Space Course (2020)
  • SSD Global Solutions: Scrum Master Certificate (2020)
  • Center for Creative Leadership / Strategic Leadership: The Women’s Leadership Experience (2017)
  • Georgetown University, Government Affairs Institute: Certificate in Legislative Studies (2012)
  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA): Financial Management Level II (2014) and Program Management Level III (2003)
  • United States Air Force Space Professional Functional Authority: Space Professional Level III (2011)
  • Project Management Institute: Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification (2002–2024)

The next decade will find Shelli reaching for even greater heights in her career, personal growth, and network as she continues to be a servant leader, breaking down barriers to entry and advocating for more access and equity for all people in the global space ecosystem.

As a champion, mentor and role model, she aspires to greater levels of service beyond self, a mantra she has carried since her career began in the military. Bringing people together with a mission for service is a source of tremendous pride and collaboration is one of the greatest force multipliers of social good. Assembling different viewpoints and inclusion of people of diverse experience maximizes not just potential solutions to our world’s greatest challenges but expands workforce and economic opportunities for everyone to succeed. In Shelli’s eyes, there is no ceiling, and the potential for growth and impact on our daily lives has no limits.

To connect with Shelli Brunswick, visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.