May 15, 2019
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CEO Thomas Van den Driessche Named President Of The Board Of SSPI

SINT-NIKLAAS, Belgium and NEW YORK, United States – Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced that Thomas Van den Driessche, Chief Executive Officer of Newtec, has been appointed President of the Board of Directors by vote of its members. With hundreds of thousands of people working in member companies, the organization represents a USD 400 Billion market in 2018.

Mr. Van den Driessche will work closely with Board Chairman David Myers, President of the Communications Sector for Peraton, to continue the growth of SSPI’s membership beyond traditional GEO communications into LEO, MEO, earth observation, optical communications and into a new era of the space economy, with a more global footprint. Other current board members represent Arianespace, Blue Origin, Boeing, CBS, Ericsson, Eutelsat, Globalstar, Hughes Network Systems, Kymeta, OneWeb, Planet, SES, SpaceX, Speedcast, SSL, the Spaceconnection, Viacom and Viasat.

“SSPI represents the business of space; the commercial space industry that, every day, takes bold risks in launching capital-intensive missions to create a big return,” said Mr. Van den Driessche. “Not because it is easy to do, but because it is hard and disruptive.  The ambitious visions of SSPI’s member companies are creating a new future for humanity.  Planet-wide wireless solutions that connect every single inch of our world.  Mapping and understanding all of earth’s surface and atmosphere, to make humanity’s footprint on earth as efficient as it can be.  Building the commercial space economy that will ultimately employ a million people in space.  Every day, they are making a better world from outside the atmosphere”.

The ambitious state of the industry was reflected by USD 7 Billion new capital injections in 2018 and is forecast to grow to a USD 1.1 Trillion industry in the next 20 years.
Thomas Van den Driessche has been active in the broadcast and satellite markets for the past 20 years. He has spent 12 of those with Newtec, where he started as director of sales and business development. At the end of 2016, he was made CEO.

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ST Engineering North America is the U.S. headquarters of ST Engineering, a global technology, defense and engineering group specializing in the aerospace, electronics, land systems, and marine sectors.   Based in Alexandria, VA, it has major operations across 17 cities in 13 states and employs about 5,000 people providing innovative products and solutions to commercial and government customers across diverse market segments.

ST Engineering iDirect, a subsidiary of ST Engineering North America, is a global leader in satellite communications providing technology and solutions that enable its customers worldwide to optimize their networks, differentiate their services and profitably expand their businesses. With the recent acquisition of the satcoms pioneer, Newtec, the combined business brings together over 35 years of innovation and leadership focused on solving the economic and technology challenges across the satellite industry. Its product portfolio, branded under the names iDirect and Newtec, represents the standard in performance, efficiency and reliability, making it possible for customers to deliver the best connectivity experience anywhere in the world.  ST Engineering iDirect is the world’s largest TDMA enterprise VSAT manufacturer and is the leader in key industries including broadcast, mobility and military/government. In 2007, iDirect Government was formed to better serve the U.S. government and defense communities. For more information on the iDirect product line please visit For the Newtec product line please visit


Founded in 1983, Space & Satellite Professionals International ( represents the commercial space industry in its ambitious quest to build a better world from beyond Earth’s atmosphere.  Its individual and corporate members form the largest network in the industry.  With their support, SSPI educates future customers, government policymakers and future employees on the enormous contributions that commercial space makes to life on Earth today and to a future space economy.  To power innovation, SSPI provides career education to attract young talent into commercial space, management education for companies and talent recognition that spans the industry.