BlackSky forms a Strategic Advisory Group and appoints three prominent leaders

BlackSky announced the formation of a Strategic Advisory Group and the appointment of three prominent U.S. leaders with diverse backgrounds from the national security, defense and intelligence communities.

BlackSky Strategic Advisory Group

This new advisory group will provide deep insight and guidance to BlackSky’s leadership on business growth, technology investment, and strategic partnership opportunities.

Members of BlackSky’s inaugural Strategic Advisory Group include the following influential thought-leaders from key U.S. military agencies:

  • Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and retired Navy Vice Adm., the Hon. Joseph D. Kernan
  • Former Associate Director for Military Affairs at the CIA, retired Army Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, Jr.
  • Former Space Force Chief Architect, retired Air Force Col. Michael R. Dickey

The Strategic Advisory Group joins BlackSky Director Sue Gordon to expand BlackSky’s network of national security leaders that will inform the company’s long-term strategy for the U.S. and international defense and intelligence markets.

“It’s my pleasure to welcome aboard Mr. Kernan, Mr. Mulholland, and Mr. Dickey to the BlackSky team,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO. “We look forward to their insights and extensive defense and intelligence expertise to help guide our strategy during this important time when commercial space capabilities have a growing and important role in our national security.”

Kernan served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he was the principal intelligence, counterintelligence and security advisor to the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, he served simultaneously as the Director of Defense Intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Kernan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1977 and served as a Surface Warfare Officer and Naval Special Warfare Officer until his military retirement.

Over the course of his career, he commanded SEAL Team TWO, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the Naval Special Warfare Command, and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet. He also served as Senior Military Assistant to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

Mulholland served as the CIA’s Associate Director of Military Affairs, where he served as the senior military advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence. The career Special Forces officer joined the First Special Forces Regiment in 1983 and led Army and joint special operations units from the time he was a captain until attaining the rank of lieutenant general. He served as Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command; as the Commanding General, Army Special Operations Command; and as the fifteenth Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command.

Mulholland led two notable joint special operations “Task Force Dagger” campaigns. He was commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-North during the opening days of Operation Enduring Freedom immediately following 9/11 and commander of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Dickey served a career in both public service and the private sector. His military assignments included research and development leadership positions in missile defense, aviation, and space operations with assignments across the Air Force, Joint Staff and National Reconnaissance Office with a special detail to NASA. In the private sector he focused on the development of space system solutions that leveraged the technology and economics of small spacecraft to meet mission needs.

He returned to the Air Force as a civilian executive in 2016, serving as Chief Architect for the Air Force Space Command, and subsequently for the Space Force, where he oversaw, directed and coordinated efforts to implement a resilient, multi-domain compatible enterprise for DoD space mission areas. He continues to advance commercial and national security elements as an independent consultant.

The members of the non-governing Strategic Advisory Group will each serve a two-year commitment and assist BlackSky in developing and growing the company’s business in various government-related markets.




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