Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Announces New Vice Presidents of Education and Washington Operations

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Jan. 11, 2024 — Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering information, education and collaboration for the global space ecosystem, today announced the selection of Dr. Melissa Patton as vice president of education for the Center for Innovation and Education and Meghan Allen as senior vice president for Washington Operations.

Remarking on the selections of Patton and Allen, Space Foundation CEO Heather Pringle said, “Space Foundation is thrilled to welcome two seasoned professionals, each bringing more than 20 years of expertise in their respective fields. With their combined wealth of knowledge, we are eager to spearhead transformative initiatives in the Center for Innovation and Education and Washington Operations. Their diverse careers have equipped them with the skills needed to make significant contributions to the organization’s strategic objectives and impact in the global space ecosystem.”

Dr. Melissa Patton is a seasoned educator and product management expert with more than 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams and scaling organizations through product-led growth (PLG). Her accomplishments include enterprise experience which led to a lean start-up that thrived in implementing technology solutions and executing innovative products in a data and customer driven environment. Additionally, she is a higher education executive with 20 plus years as a tenured professor and a C-suite academic administrator.

Meghan Allen is a highly accomplished and forward-thinking governmental affairs executive with an impressive track record in the space industry. Formerly vice president, Washington operations at Sierra Space/Sierra Nevada Corporation, she served as the primary liaison for all space activities, engaging with governmental agencies, the White House, Congress, trade associations, and industry partners. With a wealth of experience, Meghan excels in staying ahead of current political climates and pertinent issues, particularly within the aerospace and defense sectors. Her energetic mediation style, coupled with strong interpersonal communication skills and tactical diplomacy, has consistently enabled her to secure critical partnerships vital to organizational success.

About Space Foundation

Space Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering information, education and collaboration for the global space ecosystem. Driven by partnerships, Space Foundation unites the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through support from corporate members, sponsors, fundraising and grants. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


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Tags: Space Foundation, Center for Innovation and Education, government relations, Dr. Melissa Patton, Meghan Allen, Heather Pringle, space education, space advocate, space ecosystem, Washington D.C.

Media Contacts:

Rich Cooper 
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
[email protected]

Dottie O’Rourke
TECHMarket Communications
(650) 344-1260  
[email protected]