Planetary Resources, the asteroid-mining company headquartered in Redmond, Wash., is getting a little extra help as it ventures toward the stars.
The company announced the appointment of space law expert Brian Israel as the company’s general counsel on Monday. Israel will oversee the legal, regulatory, and compliance functions of Planetary Resource’s work.
Israel has spent the last eight years serving in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, and for five years he was the lead lawyer responsible for interpreting the United States’ legal obligations when it comes to commercial space activities.
He also has experience in technology law, particularly intellectual property law.
Planetary Resources’ goal is to mine natural resources from asteroids, starting with water that has been discovered on near-Earth asteroids. The company struck a $28 million agreement with the country of Luxembourg in November to spur that work on.
“I’m thrilled to join this extraordinary team, which has ‘the right stuff’ to make the audacious mission of Planetary Resources a reality,” Israel said in a press release. “The idea of harnessing the resources of outer space predates spaceflight itself. But path-breaking innovation requires more than an idea. It is about execution. This team knows how to execute.”
Lynch first joined Comcast in 2003 and has gone on to hold several high-level leadership positions at the company, most recently serving as VP of engineering operations in the company’s West Division. In her new position, Lynch will be based in the company’s Lynnwood, Wash., office.
“Washington is an amazing state, which leads rather than follows,” Lynch said in a press release. “This community is a hotbed of technological, philanthropic and customer service innovation. These values align perfectly with my own and those of Comcast. I am eager to explore how Comcast can best bring value not only to our customers, but how we can contribute to the corporate and civic communities that make Washington so strong.”
Comcast serves about 1.5 million customers and has about 4,700 employees in Washington state.
Hansen has been at the company for just two years, prior to which he spent 14 years in leadership positions at Microsoft. He most recently served as Microsoft’s worldwide VP of small and medium businesses.
The Information reports that Hansen will stay on for another eight weeks to help the company transition and that his reasons for leaving were personal.
Verissimo has decades of experience working at the intersection of tech and finance, including seven years as the head of SVB’s California technology banking group. He is now retired.
Lighter Capital takes advantage of technology to offer tech entrepreneurs a unique, revenue-based investment model.
“I couldn’t be more excited about joining the team at Lighter Capital,” Verissimo said in a press release. “Technology is changing lending, and I am deeply impressed with Lighter Capital’s technology for funding tech companies. They are at the forefront of this and the opportunities ahead of us are enormous.”