Press Release

Alexander Saltman Selected As Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2011
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Alexander Saltman Selected As Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Founding Executive Director John Gedmark Welcomes His Successor Onboard

Washington, D.C., Thursday, November 3, 2011 – Eric Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, is pleased to announce that the Federation has selected Dr. Alexander Saltman as the organization’s Executive Director. Saltman is a physicist who has most recently served as the Legislative Director for Congressman Adam Schiff of California. His appointment will be effective November 14. Saltman succeeds John Gedmark, the organization’s founding Executive Director, who is departing to pursue a new opportunity.

Separately, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is currently conducting an executive search for a new President to replace Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, who stepped down earlier this fall for medical reasons.

John Gedmark said, “I’ve had the privilege to know Alex for several years now, and he is a talented leader with a diverse technical, management, and public policy background. Alex is the perfect candidate to continue and expand the achievements of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation as we move into the industry’s next phase of development and operations.”

Alex Saltman stated, “I feel privileged to join CSF as Executive Director, where I will have the unparalleled opportunity to help create a new industry-one that will open a new frontier to Americans and people around the world. Commercial spaceflight has the potential to transform our world the way the automobile and the airplane did in years past. John Gedmark has done an outstanding job helping to create and grow this organization, and I look forward to adding to his record of accomplishment.”

Eric Anderson, Chairman of the Federation, said, “We have a very exciting future ahead for all of us in the commercial space industry. John Gedmark has assisted in building and leading this organization for the last five years, and has achieved a long list of successes. I am delighted to welcome Alex Saltman on board as our new Executive Director. His talents and the passion he shares for opening space to everyone will serve the Federation well. As commercial space vehicles begin filling the skies, the Federation will continue to become ever more important in the future of human spaceflight.”

Gedmark has served as Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation since the organization was incorporated in 2006 and has overseen the growth of the Federation from the original 10 companies to over 50 members today. The Federation has become well-known to the press, the public, and to policymakers as a leading resource on the growing commercial spaceflight industry, and has presided over 12 CEO-level meetings of the Federation members since 2006.

During Gedmark’s tenure, the Federation played a lead role in the establishment of a number of major space policy changes and new programs, including the United States Government’s policy that commercial spaceflight providers shall be the primary means for transporting American astronauts to Earth orbit. The Federation also played a lead role in the adoption of new FAA regulations for commercial human spaceflight, the establishment of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) Program, as well as funding for the FAA’s spaceport infrastructure program. In addition, state legislation on spaceflight liability has become law in Virginia, Florida, Texas, and New Mexico.

Saltman has a wide range of experience in space policy, government, and scientific research. He most recently served as the Legislative Director for Congressman Schiff, who represents an area of Southern California that includes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and who, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has been a leading figure in space policy and NASA appropriations issues. In that capacity Saltman oversaw a staff of five and led legislative efforts from conception to enactment, while advising the Congressman on science, space, energy, environment, and nonproliferation issues, as well as on relevant appropriations matters.

Saltman joined the Congressional office after receiving an American Physical Society Congressional Fellowship, having previously worked as a scientific researcher at the Stanford Linear Accelerator National Laboratory. Saltman has also worked for Wired Magazine and contributed freelance articles to the publication. A native of Texas, Saltman earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and his doctorate degree in physics from Stanford University.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The CSF’s member companies – which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers and service providers – are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at or at 202.349.1121.

SpaceRef staff editor.