Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, announced today that it has named Brian Israel as General Counsel. Mr. Israel will oversee the legal, regulatory, and compliance functions for the company, its parent, and Planetary Resources Luxembourg. The company’s vision is to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence into the Solar System by providing resources for people and products in space, with a near-term goal of identification, extraction, and refinement of water from near-Earth asteroids.
Mr. Israel joins Planetary Resources from the United States Department of State, where he served in the Office of the Legal Adviser since 2009. For more than five years, Mr. Israel was the lead lawyer responsible interpreting and applying the United States’ international legal obligations to contemporary and contemplated commercial space activities. He led the U.S. Government’s approach to the international legal dimensions of space resource utilization at home and abroad, including as United States Representative to the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space from 2012 to 2016. Beyond the space domain, Mr. Israel brings deep expertise in the legal dimensions of advanced technology development and regulation. He has published and lectured on public international law, space law, the law of the sea, environmental law, the Arctic, intellectual property law, and innovation policy in the United States, Canada, and Japan.
Chris Lewicki, President and CEO, Planetary Resources, Inc., said, “Brian’s extensive experience and global perspective are unique strategic assets as our operations become increasingly multinational. Our investors are multinational. We now have operations in Luxembourg. And our customer base will be global. Brian is a creative and strategic thinker, and he is uniquely placed to help Planetary Resources achieve its mission.”
Brian Israel said, “I’m thrilled to join this extraordinary team, which has “the right stuff” to make the audacious mission of Planetary Resources a reality. The idea of harnessing the resources of outer space predates spaceflight itself. But path-breaking innovation requires more than an idea. It is about execution. This team knows how to execute.”