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  • Non-resident Scholar

Diane Howard

Dr. Diane Howard is a non-resident scholar at UT Austin’s Strauss Center for International and Security Studies and an adjunct professor in the School of Law where she teaches a short course addressing complex space issues pertaining to safe, sustainable, and responsible space activities. Diane is helping to develop Strauss Center’s Space Security and Safety program, a trans-disciplinary offering opportunities to work on solutions to challenges to the space environment through a combination of law, policy, engineering, and science curricula. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Howard was one of the original architects of a similar multi-disciplinary program at the undergraduate level in Daytona Beach, FL at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Diane first became involved in space initiatives in 2004, participating in citizen advocacy for the passing of the Commercial Space Law Amendments Act of 2004, a critical piece of US legislation that has made possible the development of innovative technologies and a burgeoning commercial space transportation industry. After working as a staff attorney in the Florida Appellate courts for a number of years, she took the decision to specialize in space law and attended McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law. Her LLM thesis centered upon private space law issues and her doctoral work focused upon effective spaceport regulation.

Diane participates in numerous legal projects, both domestically (within the US) and internationally. Dr. Howard was chair of the annual Space Traffic Management (STM) conference while at Embry-Riddle, ongoing since 2013 and hosted at UT Austin in 2019 and has been active in the STM community since 2011. She serves as Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and has worked with COMSTAC Working Groups. The US Department of State named her a subject matter expert to work in an Expert Group of the UN COPUOS STSC Long Term Sustainability of Space Activities Working Group, which recently concluded its work. Dr. Howard was legal lead for the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety Suborbital Safety (IAASS) Technical Committee. She continues to publish her research and speaks at space conferences and events throughout the world. In addition to the IISL and the IAASS, Diane is a member of the AIAA and the Florida Bar.