Vice President Pence Selects Heritage Expert for National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group


Vice President Pence Selects Heritage Expert for National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group

Feb 23, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence this week announced 29 candidates who have been selected to serve on the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group. Heritage Foundation expert Dean Cheng is on that list, and he’s the only member that comes from a think tank.

Cheng, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, specializes in China's military and foreign policies. He has written extensively on China's military doctrine and the technological implications of its space program.

According to, the candidates must still be approved by NASA’s administrator. Other candidates include former politicians, astronauts, and high-ranking officials from private aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and SpaceX.

“The selected members of the Users Advisory Group will serve to fulfill President Trump’s mandate to ‘foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange’ across our nation’s space enterprise,” the White House announcement said.

Pence, chairman of the council, hosted the group’s second meeting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“President Trump declared that our nation stands ‘at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space’ – and after the first year of our administration, the record is clear: Under President Trump, America is leading in space once again,” Pence said at the meeting.

Below is the full list of the candidates selected to the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group as listed on

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Tory Bruno, President and CEO of United Launch Alliance

Wes Bush, CEO of Northrop Grumman

Dean Cheng, Scholar at the Heritage Foundation

Eileen Collins, 4-time Shuttle astronaut, first female shuttle commander

Steve Crisafulli, Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

Adm. Jim Ellis, Retired 4-star Admiral, former head of STRATCOM, and member of the Space Foundation Board of Directors

Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space

Newt Gingrich, Author, former Speaker of the House

Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation

Homer Hickam, Author of the book “Rocket Boys” and former NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center engineer

Governor Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama

Fred Klipsch, Founder and Chairman of Hoosiers for Quality Education

Les Lyles, Retired 4-star Air Force General and member of the NASA Advisory Council

Pam Melroy, 3-time Shuttle astronaut and former Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of the Boeing Company

Fatih Ozmen, CEO of the Sierra Nevada Corporation

G.P. Bud Peterson, President of the Georgia Institute of Technology

Jack Schmitt, Apollo 17 Astronaut and former Senator

Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX

Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin

Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

David Thompson, Founder and CEO of Orbital ATK

Pamela Vaughan, Board Certified Science Teacher

Mandy Vaughn, President of VOX Launch Company

Stu Witt, Founder of Mojave Air and Spaceport, former Navy pilot, former Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

David Wolf, 4-time Shuttle astronaut and physician

Pete Worden, Former Air Force General and NASA Ames Center Director