Press Release

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Announces New President: Karina Drees

By SpaceRef Editor
November 30, 2020
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Commercial Spaceflight Federation announced today that Karina Drees will join the organization as its new president, effective January 4, 2021.


Since 2012, Drees served as CEO and General Manager of Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP) and held several other senior leadership positions at the company. She is currently the vice chair of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and has been an active member of the CSF Board of Directors for five years, including serving as treasurer from 2017 to 2020.


“Karina brings an impressive amount of senior leadership and business acumen to CSF, as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in the policy and regulatory arenas and the proven ability to grow an organization and build strategic alliances with key industry stakeholders,” said Audrey Powers, CSF Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Legal and Compliance for Blue Origin.


Drees will be responsible for all aspects of the CSF operation including working directly with its 85+ members representing every aspect of the commercial space sector to develop and implement a vision and strategy that reflects industry priorities; builds on its successful track record on policy and regulatory issues; articulates consistent, compelling messages nationally and in the global arena; enhances cross-industry coordination; and management of day-to-day activities including overseeing staff and budget.


“Taking on the role of President of CSF at this stage of the industry’s evolution is an incredible opportunity,” said Drees. “I look forward to learning from the members and working with the team and incoming Administration and new Congress to continue advancing commercial space priorities for the nation.”

Drees has more than 20 years experience in a variety of senior leadership positions at space and technology companies. Prior to joining MASP, Drees was a senior member of the strategy and positioning team at SRA International. Before joining SRA, she held leadership positions at two investor-backed high-tech startup companies in the Washington, D.C. area. Drees has a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Drees also completed the International Space University’s Summer Session Program in Beijing, China.


“On behalf of the Board of Directors, members, and staff, we welcome Karina to the organization and look forward to working with her to continue to expand CSF’s position as the leading voice for the commercial space industry and to enhance its results-driven mission on behalf of its members,” said Richard DalBello, Vice Chairman of the CSF Board of Directors and Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs for Virgin Galactic. 


Drees will be located in CSF’s Washington, D.C. office.


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About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 85+ members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians, and businesses. CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars in investment. Through the promotion of technology innovation, CSF is guiding the expansion of Earth’s economic sphere, bolstering U.S. leadership in aerospace, and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.


Media Inquiries: Diane Smiroldo,, 703.819.1963

SpaceRef staff editor.