Not many people know that the State Department maintains the official U.S. registry of objects launched into outer space, oversees implementation of the 1998 Intergovernmental Agreement on the International Space Station, and provides support to NASA for a network of overseas emergency landing sites for the Space Shuttle. Ken Hodgkins, Director of the Office of Space and Advanced Technology in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, was honored by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with the International Cooperation Award for his many contributions to international civil space cooperation.
Ken and his dedicated team work to advance international cooperation in outer space on a daily basis. They have primary responsibility for U.S. representation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). UNCOPUOS has recently served as a vital forum for U.S. efforts to develop new international guidelines on such emerging issues as minimizing the generation of orbital debris, ensuring safe space operations and promoting sustainable access to space. Ken's staff is currently coordinating a broad diplomatic effort to encourage acceptance of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) as a worldwide standard for satellite-based navigation.
AIAA is one of the leading associations for those who work in the aerospace profession, and is known within the profession as the forum for innovation, technical excellence, and global leadership. Since 1988, AIAA has presented annually its prestigious International Cooperation Award to the person who has demonstrated personal and long-term commitment to the encouragement of international cooperation among individuals or organizations within the world-wide aerospace community.
I join many colleagues at the Department in congratulating Ken for this important recognition.