Press Release

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Welcomes New Staff

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2011
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Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Welcomes New Staff

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)–the non- profit entity recently selected by NASA to maximize use of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS NL)–has hired three senior executives to direct the Operations, Marketplace Development and Economic Valuation functions for the organization.

Duane Ratliff will serve as Director of Operations. Ratliff most recently served as Senior Vice President at Dynamac Corporation, with operations expertise in supply chain management, government program management, space-based R&D, biotech facilities support, and payload development and execution. He also served as the liaison between Space Florida and NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for all operations and logistics planning for the Space Life Sciences Laboratory.

Brian Harris will serve as Director of Marketplace Development. Harris is a certified program manager and most recently served as Director of Business and Program Development at Aerojet. He has more than 25 years of experience in the management of NASA and commercial aerospace hardware and technology systems for operational deployment, with expertise in the execution of strategic business growth in engineering services, spacecraft and associated ground support systems, and microgravity materials processing. The CASIS Marketplace will be a community forum to facilitate collaboration and enable the union of creative ideas with sponsorship.

Charles Resnick will serve as Director of Economic Valuation. Resnick is a business executive with more than 25 years of experience in global and financial management, private equity/venture capital, start-ups, and operations and strategic positioning focusing on technology, banking and consumer products. He has expertise in both domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, and he served as a lead in negotiating the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement, as Undersecretary in the Bush Administration. Most recently, Resnick served as the Managing Partner of Inflexion Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm. Throughout his career in both the public and private sectors, he has used integrated economic models to determine the allocation of capital. Resnick will use his experience as well as the economic valuation framework in development by CASIS to prioritize the research portfolio, which will guide the selection and prioritization of projects to ensure return on investment.

“CASIS is growing quickly and we are thrilled to have these high caliber professionals join our team,” noted CASIS Director Dr. Jeanne Becker. “CASIS has a major responsibility to American citizens, the research and education community, and to NASA to maximize utilization of ISS National Lab for enhancing life on Earth. These new executives will help us fulfill that mission.”

CASIS also announces the appointment of two new managers:

Melissa Schwaller, Ph.D., J.D., will serve as Intellectual Property and Compliance Manager. Dr. Schwaller most recently served as Senior Associate at Novak Druce + Quigg LLP, where her practice centered on patent preparation and prosecution, patent reexamination, litigation and portfolio analysis. She has expertise in counseling in the life sciences including biotechnology, with a focus on freedom-to-operate and due diligence analysis and opinion preparation. Dr. Schwaller received her doctorate in Biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine and her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Diane Matthews will serve as STEM Manager for CASIS, promoting education initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Matthews comes to CASIS with more than 20 years of expertise in teaching, curriculum/standards development, grant writing and educator professional development. Via positions in Florida schools, space-industry companies and business incubators, Matthews has coordinated and managed statewide STEM and space-science initiatives. Matthews most recently served as Director of Education for the Florida Technological Research and Development Authority.

About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS NL) through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit

About the ISS NL: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low-earth orbit and varied environments of space. The NASA National Lab Office currently facilitates research initiatives on board the ISS NL, but management of the Nation’s only on-orbit laboratory is now transitioning to CASIS.

Media Contact:

Tina Lange, APR CASIS Communications 321-223-1013

SpaceRef staff editor.