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Karlton D. Johnson is the new Chairman of the National Space Society’s Board of Governors.

The National Space Society is a nonprofit educational membership organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. It is the principal organization advocating space development and space settlement.

The National Space Society announcement dated March 26 said  Johnson will lead the Governors Council, a subset of the Board of Governors. In addition to serving as the spokesperson for the Board of Governors to the Board of Directors, he will strengthen the Board’s effectiveness and performance in support of the National Space Society’s (NSS) strategic goals.

Johnson has served on the Board of Governors since 2016. He brings 31 years of experience in strategic leadership, space operational support, and organizational excellence. A decorated combat veteran, the retired U.S. Air Force Colonel has held a variety of senior leadership and command positions in the Air Force to include space operational support, counterdrug missions, and cyber support to the Joint Staff supporting Combatant Commanders via the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While serving at Onizuka Air Force Base, he assumed communications support responsibility for 11 satellite remote tracking stations globally and enabled a record 37,000 satellite support actions with a zero-error rate reducing risks to U.S. space vehicles supporting national space programs.

Recently Mr. Johnson served as the Global Cyber and Data Risk Officer at Arconic Inc. He also held the position of Vice President, Business Development, Alcoa Defense, where he was responsible for the existing relationships with defense prime contractors and the Department of Defense. Additionally, he represented Alcoa as a Council Member on the Aerospace Industries Association Space Council, supporting related matters to foster U.S. leadership in space programs, technologies, space-enabled capabilities, and systems.

“It’s a true honor to follow in the footsteps of a legendary icon like Hugh Downs, and have the remarkable opportunity to be on this spectacular team of professionals,” Johnson said in a statement. “The Board of Governors bring a strategic perspective that is second to none, and they serve as a vital function towards the Society’s long-term success.”

The National Space Society (NSS) publishes the space interest magazine, Ad Astra. Additionally, they organize and host the International Space Development Conference. As of 2017, NSS initiated a new space conference – The Space Settlement Summit. NSS has an international network of chapters that anyone can join. The NSS project Enterprise in Space is focused on launching an educational satellite and developing space-related teaching materials.

To further raise awareness and promote space development, NSS has organized and sponsored a number of contests. NSS organizes a variety of projects to raise public awareness and promote space development. NSS honors leaders in space exploration, development, and settlement with a variety of awards.

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