Slingshot Aerospace Adds Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientist to Its Leadership Team to Catalyze the Commercialization of Its Space Simulation and Analytics Products

Cutting-edge space sustainability company accelerates continued growth with series of high-profile hires and promotions

AUSTIN, Texas & EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--()--Slingshot Aerospace, Inc., a company building world-class space simulation and analytics products to accelerate space sustainability, today announced that Erin Defossé is joining the company as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Dr. Belinda Marchand, PhD, has been promoted to Chief Scientist. Defossé will lead the commercialization of the company's technologies and ensure its continued development and growth, while Marchand will lead the astrodynamics and data science team developing foundational capabilities for the Slingshot Aerospace products.

“An objective of our recent Series A-1 investment round was to build out our team with the best possible talent,” said Melanie Stricklan, Co-founder and CEO, Slingshot Aerospace. “Each of our new hires and promotions rounds out our team in a meaningful way to position us for accelerated growth in both the commercial and government industries, which is crucial for achieving space sustainability.”

Erin Defossé, Chief Operating Officer

Defossé began his 30-year career as a spacecraft mission design engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Throughout the ensuing years he has gained a unique blend of experience that includes engineering, technology, education and aerospace leadership. Immediately prior to joining Slingshot Aerospace, Defossé was a senior executive at Aceable, a mobile-first learning platform aimed at youth and mobile professionals. At Aceable, Defossé held a number of operations roles, including Chief Product Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Earlier, he held a series of leadership roles with Bazaarvoice, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that connects brands and retailers to the authentic voices of people where they shop. Notably, in 2009 Defossé founded Magellan International School, an Austin, Texas, based pre-K to 8th grade non-profit, independent school. He is currently its Director Emeritus.

Defossé earned his Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and his MBA from the Texas McCombs School of Business. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Defossé will be based in the company’s Austin, Texas, office.

Dr. Belinda Marchand, Chief Scientist

Dr. Marchand joined Slingshot Aerospace in July 2021 as Director of Astrodynamics and R&D and brings over 25 years of experience in both industry and academia to the team. She began her career as an engineer for McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, later acquired by The Boeing Company. After completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Marchand transitioned from industry to academia, first as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue University and later as an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). During this time she taught and led a research program rooted in astrodynamics and space vehicle guidance, navigation and control, supporting both space exploration and defense applications. She also held concurrent appointments at The Applied Physics Laboratory and The Aerospace Corporation. Over the course of her career, Dr. Marchand’s research and development activities have supported numerous NASA space mission concepts, including the areas of formation flight and libration point mission design.

Dr. Marchand holds a PhD from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, where she also completed a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. She is based in the company’s Austin, Texas, office.

A World-Class Team of Experts

Despite today’s competitive hiring environment, Slingshot Aerospace has defied the market by welcoming three additional executive hires: Bobby Brenman, a product marketing expert with significant experience leading marketing efforts for technology brands such as Salesforce, LinkedIn, Google and Clari, has been appointed Senior Vice President of Marketing; Doug Chunn, who has two decades of sales leadership experience with a range of technology companies including Cisco, Box and Citrix, will serve as the company’s Vice President of Commercial Sales; and Natalie Johnson, who boasts more than 18 years of human resources leadership for a diverse array of companies such as Express Scripts, Jamf and Dispatch, has been named Slingshot’s Vice President of People and Culture. Further, Slingshot Aerospace Business Development leader Sevon White has been promoted to Vice President of Government Sales and Business Development.

In March 2022, Slingshot Aerospace announced it raised $25 million in an oversubscribed Series A-1 investment round. The funds were designated to accelerate the commercialization of the company's products including Slingshot Beacon, Slingshot Laboratory and the world’s first Digital Space Twin™.

About Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. is creating world-class space simulation and analytics solutions. The company brings the space domain into the digital environment and fuses data from different sources to provide a full, dynamic orbital picture. In doing so, Slingshot Aerospace customers can make decisions at the speed of relevance and achieve clarity in the complexities of the space domain. Launched in 2017 and based in Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, CA, Slingshot Aerospace seeks to help government and commercial customers accelerate space sustainability to create a safer, more connected world. Visit and follow Slingshot Aerospace on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Slingshot Aerospace media kit, including photos, can be found HERE.


Kylee Keskerian


Kylee Keskerian