UPDATED at 11:59 a.m. EDT

WASHINGTON — Eric Stallmer will leave his position as vice president of government affairs at Analytical Graphics Inc. in late August to become president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), a Washington-based group that advocates on behalf of entrepreneurial space launch companies.

In a July 30 interview, Stallmer said he will replace the federation’s current president, former astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who will leave in September following a monthlong transition period.

Lopez-Alegria said the federation’s search for a new president netted some 50 applicants. The pool was whittled down to eight finalists, and Stallmer ultimately got the nod.

Stallmer has been with Exton, Pennsylvania-based Analytical Graphics, which specializes in orbit-modeling software, since 2001. Prior to that, he spent six years as president of the Space Transportation Association, another Washington-based advocacy group.

Stallmer said that in his new position he will work closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space office in the latter’s formulation of regulatory policies for the emerging commercial spaceflight industry.

Lopez-Alegria joined the Commercial Spaceflight Federation in March 2012, replacing retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Craig Steidle, the former NASA associate administrator for exploration systems whose tenure as federation president was cut short by health problems.

Lopez-Alegria’s departure follows that of Alexander Saltman, who resigned as the federation’s executive director June 26. Lopez-Alegria said July 30 that the search for Saltman’s replacement is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Stuart Witt’s term as the federation’s chairman will conclude in September. When Witt steps down, the federation will elect a new chair from among its members. Witt is the full-time manager and chief executive of the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California.


Dan Leone is a SpaceNews staff writer, covering NASA, NOAA and a growing number of entrepreneurial space companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public communications from the American University in Washington.