Margaret Abernathy is the General Counsel and VP of Gov't Affairs at Phase Four, an advanced aerospace satellite propulsion company. She concurrently serves on the Boards of the public company Mynaric (a provider of laser-communication terminals to USG and commercial space operators) as well as Duke University. In these roles, it is Margaret's job to stay ahead and help influence the rapidly evolving space industry with an eye toward the three-way intersection of science, law, and policy at the executive and legislative branches.
For Margaret, aerospace is not just a profession it is a passion. As a trained engineer, she co-founded an all-female micro-rocket startup immediately out of undergraduate and then worked as a systems engineer at the Department of Defense before cutting her teeth at two of the industry's most successful start-ups (SpaceX and Orbcomm, formerly Orbital Sciences). Margaret then spent nearly a decade working in the "Big Law" environment at BakerHostetler, Orrick, and in the judiciary appellate circuit. In each role, she represented or litigated on behalf of Fortune 500 high-tech companies as well as mid-stage startups. Margaret spends her free time with her husband and 3-year-old Stella or playing tennis.