Updated: Apr 21
SpaceLink, a company that is building an information superhighway for the space economy, today announced that it added three top space industry executives to its team. They bring deep expertise in finance, program management, and the U.S. government intelligence community, to drive forward the relay service that provides secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between LEO spacecraft and the ground.
The company named Alan Khalili as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Khalili brings experience from mobile satellite services provider Iridium and he helped found Aireon, a company that leveraged hosted payloads to provide a global air traffic surveillance system. Jim Schwenke joined the team as Vice President, Intelligence Community, bringing experience from BAE Systems, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force. Erik Levine is now Vice President, Space Segment Program Management. He spent much of his previous career at satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral and more recently he was a senior program manager for robotic-assisted surgery company, Intuitive.
“As the pace of growth at SpaceLink accelerates, we continue to attract the industry’s top professionals who are inspired by our business strategy and the opportunity to contribute to our game changing data relay service,” said David Bettinger, Chief Executive Officer at SpaceLink. “Alan, Jim and Erik each bring the background and experience we need to drive our business forward in response to the demand for fast and continuous communications to and from near Earth orbit.”
The SpaceLink relay network is designed to pick up where the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) leaves off, and go beyond with unprecedented capacity that leverages today’s technology advances. It helps close the business case for Earth observation companies, commercial space stations, satellite servicers and tugs, and meets requirements for the U.S. government and close allies that need to leverage industry solutions to maximize capabilities.
Alan Khalili spent a decade in the satellite industry where he successfully co-founded a start-up and raised capital through both equity and debt offerings. He is a Certified Public Accountant with broad finance experience and a deep understanding of investment banking, corporate development, and project financing. Before joining the space industry, Mr. Khalili spent time at Reuters, Ernst & Young, and Credit Suisse. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and has Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering.
Jim Schwenke brings more than 30 years’ experience working closely with senior leadership in the Defense and Intelligence communities. He was most recently Director of Business Development at BAE Systems and formerly the NRO Account manager at Leidos. Previously, he spent four years at Northrop Grumman providing technical support for intelligence agency programs. He began his active duty career in the U.S. Air Force and completed his military career as a Lt Colonel with his last assignment supporting the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense where he was the Deputy and Acting Director for Space Policy. Mr. Schwenke has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Systems Management from USC.
Erik Levine has nearly 30 years’ experience in the aerospace industry and has been involved with the successful build, launch, and testing of over 40 spacecraft. At Space Systems Loral, he held various positions in spacecraft systems engineering, launch vehicle mission management, advanced systems engineering, and program management. He was Executive Director of Program Management for U.S. government civil and defense programs before leaving to join the robotics company. He has two patents and earned a BS in Applied Mechanics from UC San Diego and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University.
SpaceLink continues to build its team and is recruiting satellite and network engineering talent, as well as experts in ground infrastructure, RF and optical terminals, and a range of business functions.