Carefully selected for their experience and contributions to the industry, the Universal Space Network (USN) team leads with confidence and skill. We’ve created a system where individuals can excel, ideas can take flight and bureaucracy has been purposely left out.
John E. Williams
President and CEO
Mr. Williams joined Universal Space Network in November 2011 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for the management and growth of USN's mission-critical services to government and commercial customers world-wide and further developing its National Security Space presence.
Mr. Williams has over 32 years of highly successful aerospace and defense experience gained through extensive military and private industry careers. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman for the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Space Division and on the executive committee of the NDIA Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Division.
In the private sector, Mr. Williams enjoyed a two year term with ATK Aerospace Systems as Director, Business Development for Spacecraft Systems and Services. In this role, he was responsible for strategic direction, competitive intelligence, business development and proposals. Prior to ATK, Mr. Williams spent nine years with Booz Allen Hamilton leading a hand-picked, high profile, special projects team specializing in the national security space and industrial base arenas.
Mr. Williams is a retired U.S. Air Force officer, having served 21 years in a variety of national security space-related roles such as Commander of the Air Force Satellite Control Network, the Air Force's space force programmer, and aide-de-camp to the Air Force Chief of Staff (CSAF). He also served as the Air Force's lead for evaluating and advocating space and information operations requirements within the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) process and was a key member of the CSAF-directed SPACECAST 2020 study, which predicted where the Air Force should be in space in 2020 and beyond, what technologies to invest in and future space employment concepts.
Mr. Williams is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Computer Science, and earned a M.S. in Space Operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Anita M. Primo
Vice President, Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Primo joined Universal Space Network in July 2010 and serves as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this role, she leads the company's finance and administration functions that support overall business operations.
Ms. Primo has over 20 years of highly successful financial management experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to USN, Ms. Primo served as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for SEDONA Corporation, a publicly-traded software development company. In addition, Ms. Primo spent 9 years as the senior financial executive for Action Manufacturing, a precision ordinance defense contractor serving the U.S. and international governments and numerous domestic and international commercial firms. Ms. Primo’s experience also includes serving as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for the Zoological Society of Philadelphia where she managed financial operations, directed business affairs and provided strategic financial planning.
Ms. Primo received a B.S. Degree in Accounting and a B.S. Degree in Business Law from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Stephen M. Tanous
Vice President, Operations and Engineering
Mr. Tanous joined Universal Space Network in February 2013 as Vice President, Operations and Engineering. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing and advancing all of USN's operations and engineering activities.
Mr. Tanous has 28+ years of aerospace and defense leadership experience gained through an extensive military and private industry career. In the private sector, he most recently served a two-year term with Raytheon Corp. as Program Manager where he was responsible for developing and executing space control/space protection strategies for the Advanced Programs (AP) product line.
Mr. Tanous is a retired U.S. Air Force officer, having served 26 years in a variety of national security space-related and leadership roles, including Commander of the Air Force's first mobile and transportable space control capability; Commander of the 30th Operations and Maintenance Groups, where he led Western Range operations; and Commander of the 30th Space Wing leading spacelift and missile defense operations, as well as the Western Range. Additionally, in 2004, he was handpicked to be Director of Space Forces for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, active in the planning and execution of space forces in support of combat activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his last tour, Mr. Tanous led the Air Force's Squadron Office College, and transformed the way the Air Force executed leadership training for its 36,000 junior officers.
Mr. Tanous is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and earned an MBA from the University of Nebraska.
Thomas M. Pirrone
Vice President, Business Development
Since joining USN in early 1997, Mr. Pirrone has been instrumental in leading the company's marketing, business development and customer service functions. His activities as an industry-catalyst for commercial satellite TT&C services has helped USN achieve a leadership position in the commercial and civil space markets. Prior to joining USN, he served as general manager of GDP Space Systems, a ground station products manufacturer serving NASA, the commercial space industry and the DoD. Prior to joining GDP Space Systems in 1991, Mr. Pirrone held engineering, sales and management positions at the Aydin Corporation (now L-3 Communications), where he played a critical role in the design and implementation of satellite ground station equipment for NASA and the DoD. Most notably, Mr. Pirrone is credited with the design of ground-based data processing equipment for the NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and for the DoD's F-14, F-16 and B-2 flight test programs. In addition, as international applications manager at Aydin Monitor Systems, Mr. Pirrone was directly responsible for the sale, implementation and installation of Euro-fighter and Tornado aircraft flight test ground stations in Germany, Italy, England, Spain and Finland.
Erik J. Eliasen
Director, National Security Space Programs and Strategy
Mr. Eliasen joined Universal Space Network in September 2009 after serving 20+ years in the U.S. Air Force where he gained a vast amount of satellite and space operations related experience. His varied assignments include experience as a Satellite Vehicle Operator for Milstar satellites, the Commander for the Air Force's Satellite Control Station in California, and Commander of the 1st Space Operations Squadron where he led 85 people to accomplish various dynamic satellite missions for the Air Force. Mr. Eliasen holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics from the US Air Force Academy, and two Masters Degrees, one in Space Operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology and the other in Management Information Systems, from the University of Montana.
As the Director for National Security Space Programs and Strategy, Mr. Eliasen's portfolio includes all business development activities related to the Air Force, Navy, Army, MDA, NRO, NGA, ORS, and DARPA activities.
After joining USN in March 1997, Mr. Massey led the technical implementation of the USN Commercial Ground Network. From April 1996 to March 1997, Mr. Massey served as director of satellite systems for GDP Space Systems, a ground station products manufacturer. Prior to that, Mr. Massey was a space systems engineer for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for 17 years, a career that included roles as the chief architect of the NASA Network Polar Ground Stations and the lead in the modernization of the NASA Tracking Network. He was responsible for the design and operation of the Transportable Orbital Tracking System (TOTS) and the Advanced Wallops Orbital Tracking System (AWOTS). He was also instrumental in the successful operation of TT&C services for virtually every NASA science mission since 1984.