Maria Peterson is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Space Technology. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and Lamar University. Ms. Peterson has experience in program management, organizational communications, education, public relations, and marketing. Prior to her position with CAST, Ms. Peterson served as a most dynamic and successful Executive Director of the Kennedy Space Center Support Committee (KSCSC). She was responsible for building a delegation of state and federal legislators who were able to provide legislative support for KSC as well as local NASA programs, including the X-33 program and the development of the Space Life Sciences Laboratory. Since assuming her position with CAST, she has led the organization in a variety of high-end, cutting-edge aerospace technology test and evaluation programs with platforms ranging from launch vehicles, to small satellites, to UAS. She has been instrumental in the success of several space workforce programs including SpaceTEC, CertTEC, and an innovative aerospace technician transition opportunity. Ms. Peterson is currently leading the development of a consortium of space medicine participants including space launch providers, flight hardware developers, and the medical research community.