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Maureen C. McLaughlin
Vice President, Public Policy
Iridium Satellite, LLC
Iridium operates the only satellite communications network that spans the entire globe and is in the midst of launching on SpaceX rockets its $3 billion second generation satellite constellation. A technology innovator and market leader, Iridium uses low-earth orbiting satellites to provide low latency voice and data communications among people, organizations and assets to and from literally anywhere. The Company serves, among others, first responders; the U.S. military; civilian government agencies; the maritime and aviation sectors; utilities; the oil, gas and mining industries; and the recreation and forestry sectors. It is becoming a critical part of the Internet of Things.
- operates at the intersection of corporate strategy, government policy, and technology
- expertise in communications and advocacy
- background in both domestic and international issues
- works to ensure that the domestic and international legal/regulatory regime is conducive to corporate success
Describe your industry experience:
- Telecommunications Industries: I have both deep and wide experience with the domestic and international legal, legislative, regulatory, transactional, trade and tax issues that affect wireline, wireless and satellite-based communications industries and dictate the business models and operations of all of these regulated media industries. My experiences include work in the private and trade-association sectors, at the FCC, with the White House, and as Counsel to the Chairmen of the Senate and House Commerce Committees and the Senate Finance Committee.
- Technology/Internet Industries: I have broad experience with crucial issues that will drive the business models and operations of technology and internet companies during the next decade. These include complex issues like the Communications Decency Act, electronic payments, government access to data, consumer privacy and data-security. While at the Department of Energy (DOE), I played a key role in the first government analyses of the privacy and cybersecurity implications of smart-grid/internet-of-things technologies, which earned praise from both industry and consumer advocates. Moreover, my Senate Finance Committee experience included both digital trade policy as well as tax-advantaged transfer pricing for intellectual property and other international tax issues.
- Energy Industries: As a result of my senior roles at both the U.S. Department of Energy and the Senate Finance Committee, I have extensive knowledge of the business models and issues affecting both renewable and traditional energy and utility companies.
- Renewable-energy Industries: At the Senate Finance Committee, I worked extensively on the tax credits and incentives that encourage the commercialization of renewable-energy sources like solar and wind. I also became familiar with the issues associated with international efforts to promote renewable energy.
- Utilities and traditional energy companies: At DOE, I worked extensively on both consumer privacy and data-security issues associated with upgrading the nation’s existing electrical grid with IP protocol/ internet-of-things technologies. I worked closely with the CEOs and CTOs of major U.S. power providers and the small and rural providers represented by the National Rural Utilities and Finance Corporation.
- Aviation/Maritime Industries: Iridium’s satellite-based communications network provides aviation, maritime and governmental clients with the only truly global system for both voice communications and asset management and tracking. Iridium’s joint venture, Aireon, will provide the world’s first real-time global air traffic control anywhere in the world, all of the time. From my work on Aireon issues at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the U.S. State Department and elsewhere, I am familiar with both the domestic and international aspects of the privacy and public-safety issues arising from near real-time tracking of assets, including high-value assets like commercial airliners and cargo ships.
- Manufacturing Industries: At DOE, I designed and implemented the first program to enforce DOE’s 30-year old energy efficiency regulations. My team brought DOE’s first successful legal challenges to defective energy-efficiency certifications filed by foreign companies competing in U.S. markets and developed an amnesty program that generated over 600,000 new or revised energy-efficiency certifications. I also worked extensively on Buy-American requirements and public-private technology/intellectual-property transfer agreements. Moreover, on the Senate Finance Committee, I helped pass the Korea, Colombia and Panama free trade agreements and developed U.S. tax policy impacting the manufacturing industries, including the R&D tax credit, the Section 199 deduction, and the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit Program.
Describe your functional experience:
- I am the Chief Regulatory and Public Policy Counsel for all U.S. domestic policy and international global public policy for Iridium, and I provide key international legal support for Aireon, the joint venture that will provide the world’s first real-time, full-time, global air traffic control system. To drive results, I oversee a multimillion-dollar legal and regulatory budget and direct a team of outside consultants and counsel.
- As a board member of the Satellite Industry Association (a trade association for the commercial satellite and aerospace industry), I review the Association’s 1.3 million budget as well as the executive compensation.
- As a board member of the Washington Space Business Roundtable, I review the operational budget and facilitate space-policy education and charitable giving to STEM programs in the National Capital area.
Describe your key business transactional experience:
- I have provided regulatory advice, counsel and advocacy on a wide variety of corporate transactions, both while in the government and in the private sector. It would not be appropriate for me to describe these matters in any greater detail.
What is the most important skill you bring to a corporate board?
- The ability to craft an integrated communications, public policy, and political strategy to accomplish corporate goals.