Our governance

The main decision-making, executive and managerial bodies at UK Space Agency.

The UK Space Agency has an executive board, steering board and audit committee to manage and advise on activities.

Executive board

The executive board manages the day-to-day operations and activities of the UK Space Agency, including giving policy advice to the ministers at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The board is responsible for:

  • carrying out the UK Space Agency mission as detailed in its Corporate Plan.
  • developing and maintaining the agency’s mid to long-term strategy
  • approving and carrying out financial planning
  • the investment appraisal regime, including approving capital and revenue under the limit set by BEIS
  • approving and carrying out agency governance, including financial policies and procedures
  • overseeing stakeholder relationship management, including with government

Executive board members

  • Katherine Courtney, Chief Executive
  • Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth Applications and EU Programmes
  • Chris Castelli, Acting Director of Technology, Science and Exploration
  • Peter Finn, Chief Operating and Finance Officer
  • Alice Bunn, Director of Policy (jobshare)
  • Rebecca Evernden Director of Policy (jobshare)
  • Ross James, Director of Commercial Space

Terms of reference: Executive Board (PDF, 118KB, 2 pages)

Steering board

The Steering Board has no executive functions. Its role is to advise ministers on:

  • the strategies to be adopted by the UK Space Agency as set out in its Corporate Plan.
  • the targets to be set for quality of service, and financial performance (and monitoring and advising on performance against these)
  • the resources needed to meet those targets

Steering board members

  • Frances Saunders
  • David Southwood
  • Nick Starkey
  • Clive Tucker
  • Katherine Courtney
  • Catherine Mealing-Jones
  • Chris Castelli
  • Peter Finn
  • Alice Bunn
  • Rebecca Evernden
  • Ross James

Meeting minutes: Steering Board (PDF, 111KB, 2 pages)

Terms of reference: Steering Board (PDF, 91.8KB, 2 pages)

Audit committee

The audit committee is an advisory body to the UK Space Agency steering board with no executive powers. Its main functions are to make sure the use of public money is visible by monitoring financial reporting and discipline. The audit committee’s role is to support the chief executive in their role as accounting officer by:

  • overseeing the work of the internal and external auditors
  • making recommendations to the steering board and reviewing the annual financial statements before submission to the steering board
  • assisting and advising the accounting officer on risk, control, governance and associated issues

We provide a full list of our meetings summaries.

Audit committee members

  • Clive Tucker
  • Frances Saunders
  • Grazyna Kazmierska
  • Manjit Lall
  • Mark Rutter
  • Joe Mcllherron
  • Katherine Courtney
  • Catherine Mealing-Jones
  • Chris Castelli
  • Peter Finn
  • Alice Bunn
  • Rebecca Evernden
  • Ross James

Meeting minutes: Audit Committee (PDF, 32.4KB, 1 page)

Terms of reference: Audit Committee (PDF, 91.5KB, 2 pages)

Space Leadership Council

The Space Leadership Council (SLC) is the forum through which the space sector engages with Government and has been a significant contributor to the success of UK space policy since it was first established in 2010.

Visit the SLC page for further information, members, terms of reference and meeting actions.

Advisory Committees

We also use a number of other advisory boards, including:

Space Projects Review Panel (SPRP)

This advisory body provides independent advice on the feasibility of implementing a project looking in detail looking at the technical, cost and programmatic issues underpinning successful delivery. It is populated by people with relevant domain expertise. Recent examples of SPRP reviews include NovaSAR phase 2 status, UK role in the ESA Euclid ground segment and the AlSatnano payload review.

Space Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC)

This is the main body that provides a range of advice on the content of the space science programme, working closely with STFC through cross-membership with STFC and their Science Board. SPAC also provides advice on the lines to take for delegations to the ESA SPC. Recently SPAC provide strategic advice on a balanced programme of investments for the Jupiter Explore mission – the ESA flag ship mission in Cosmic Vision and is working to shape a role for the UK community in the next world class x-ray observatory mission Athena.

Space Exploration Advisory Committee (SEAC)

This body provides advice on the overall UK strategy and priorities for involvement in Aurora, planetary exploration and the microgravity ELIPS programme. Recent examples of SEAC input include the reviews of the Robotic Exploration Strategy, Aurora Science AO, CREST 3 AO, Knowledge Transfer AO and approval of lines for PB-HME.

Education and Skills Working Group (ESWG)

This body includes government partners involved in education (DfE, BEIS, STFC, NERC) to advise the Agency over the implementation of its education and skills strategy in space, including outreach activities. Recently ESWG has provided advice on UK Space Agency involvement in BEIS’s (previously BIS) Your Life campaign to generate interest in STEM careers amongst young people. It has also advised on how the UK Space Agency addresses education actions from the Space Growth Action Plan.

Space Technology Advisory Committee (STAC)

This body has a very broad remit but essentially provides advice on technology priorities for Agency funding drawing on a wide variety of expertise and information.

Earth Observation Advisory Committee (EOAC)

The EOAC provides advice to the Agency on the strategic direction for the UK’s involvement in Earth observation programmes and projects.

Space Spectrum Advisory Group (SSAC)

This body acts as a knowledge exchange forum between HMG and the space industry, discussing sector requirements for spectrum to realise science and growth ambitions, and understanding opportunities and risks relating to space sector spectrum policy and allocations.

Regulations Advisory Group

This body advises on priorities for future regulatory reform and ensure the UK remains the best place for space business.

Strategic Export Committee

This committee provides any advice, guidance and coordination to identify market barriers and promote future export opportunities.

Space Security Working Group

This is a government – industry forum which looks at emerging civil and military security threats to and from space. Its purpose is to (i) support the Space Leadership Council with security advice, (ii) support UKSA and Cabinet Office in identifying critical space sector infrastructure, its resilience to threats and hazards and mitigation strategies for such events (iii) act as an information exchange for information on opportunities, threats, vulnerabilities and industrial development.

The Agency also hosts the Space Leadership Council on behalf of the Minister for Universities and Science.