a space explorer

Beyond Global Britain – UK Foreign Policy in Space

12th March 2020

Half a century after the Apollo 11 moon landing, space continues to be one of the foremost areas of foreign policy expansion and the projection of national capabilities. The UK is not alone in launching an ambitious space strategy: in November 2019, NATO foreign ministers recognised space as a new operational domain for the establishment of international governance and infrastructure. As ‘Global Britain’ becomes a reality, space will increasingly become a key frontier for the UK’s redefinition of its role in the world.

Investment in the space sector inherently develops leadership in areas crucial to the UK’s international standing – innovation in technology and R&D, increased national security capabilities, and the opportunity to export the UK’s expertise in governance through establishing international space infrastructure. In honour of International Women’s Day, the British Foreign Policy Group and the D Group bring together a panel of female defence and security experts in discussing the future of the UK’s space strategy, as well as its implications for the direction of the UK’s foreign policy and future economic growth.


  • Michelle Howard (opening remarks) is a Strategic Policy Advisor to Defence, National Security and Space sectors; and a PhD candidate in Defence Studies at King’s College London. She spent over 20 years in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa leading complex, operational programmes in the US government interest. She leads the Space Working Group at D Group, a space policy initiative designed to encourage closer collaboration between government and industry,  strengthen government institutional advocates for the sector and recommend coherent policy development.
  • Dr. Alice Bunn is Director of International Programmes at the UK Space Agency, responsible for international engagement through multilateral and bilateral frameworks. Further, she is vice chair of the Council of the European Space Agency; sits on the Board of Directors at the US Space Foundation; and is a member of the Imperial Space Lab Strategic Advisory Board; co-chair of the World Economic Forum Future Council on space technology; and is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
  • Harriet Brettle is Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale where she works towards commercial solutions to the threat of space debris. She is a co-founder of the London Space Network, organising monthly networking events to strengthen the UK space community. Harriet is also an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) – a global non-profit that supports students and young professionals connect to the wider space industry. Harriet recently completed a masters in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to Caltech, Harriet worked in finance at the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, undertaking risk analysis of global financial institutions. Harriet has a keen interest in public engagement with space science, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the future of the new space economy.
  • Liz Seward is a Senior Strategist for Airbus Europe, the world’s largest airliner manufacturer, and sits on the Board of Women in Aerospace Europe, and sits on the Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee in the International Astronautical Federation. She is a previous vice chair and continuing committee member of the Workforce Development and Young Professionals Committee, and a qualified Mars Rover Driver.
  • Lucy Edge is Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at The Satellite Applications Catapult, a technology and innovation company which helps organisations harness the power of satellite based services. Further, Lucy serves as a trustee on the board of the Royal Mencap Society, and a Non-Executive Director on the board of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
  • Dr. Joanna Hart is the Harwell Space Cluster Development Manager, working with stakeholders to strengthen the Harwell Space Cluster by attracting new companies to Harwell Campus and helping those already there to grow. Since taking up the role, the Harwell Space Cluster has grown to 105 space organisations employing over 1,100 people from 80 organisations employing 800 in December 2017. Previously, Dr Hart was Head of Evaluation and Impact worked at Satellite Applications Catapult, and prior to that spent nine years working in investment banking looking at the telecoms sector.
  • Dr Kierann Shah is the General Manager of the National Space Academy, a not-for-profit organisation which uses the inspirational contexts of space science and technology to increase engagement with science and maths curriculum topics. The Academy raises the profile of the UK space sector amongst young people directly through student masterclasses and careers conferences, and by sharing its knowledge with teachers through CPD sessions. Since it began in 2008 the Academy has worked with over 60,000 students and 7000 teachers across the UK. Kierann is a member of the Institute of Physics’ Outreach and Public Engagement Network Advisory Group and the Royal Astronomical Society’s Education and Outreach Committee.
  • Sophia Gaston (Chair), Director at the British Foreign Policy Group

Please arrive from 18:00 for a prompt start at 18:30.

The event will be livestreamed on our Twitter and photos will be taken. If you have any questions regarding the event, please don’t hesitate to contact katarina@bfpg.co.uk.

You can register for tickets here.

Disclaimer(s): By signing up to this event, you consent to receiving British Foreign Policy Group e-mailings. You are free to opt-out of BFPG updates at any time. Due to high demand, registering to this event does not guarantee you a seat.

By registering for this event, you also agree to our privacy policy. 

23 Grafton Street




Matt Gillow

Matt is the Communications & Events Manager at the British Foreign Policy Group.