Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux
Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux is an American entrepreneur and investor with close to 20 years of experience in space technology, investments, and banking during which time she was based in Europe, Asia, and the US where she resides since 2002. She has played a key role in the growth of the commercial space industry, both as an early investor in this fast growing sector, and as co-founder of space technology company Escape Dynamics which successfully completed in 2015 a multi-year R&D program that significantly advanced beamed energy propulsion for space launch. Garriott continues to be a key advocate and advisor for the development of this breakthrough technology which was added onto NASA’s technology roadmap the same year Escape Dynamics completed their program. Escape Dynamics’ work was featured both in Scientific American as “World Changing Idea” and as #3 of the “Top 10 World’s Most Innovative Space Companies” by Fast Company after SpaceX & Blue Origin, in recognition of the unique potential it holds to enable aircraft like SSTO operations, and radically decrease the cost of access to space into the hundredths of dollars per kg. Garriott started her career in the late 1990s with Goldman Sachs in their investment banking division, held senior investment positions at leading global investment firms Renaissance Technologies and TPG-Axon (where she was on the founding team which launched in 2004 with $2.8B in AUM), and has had, throughout her career, a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2004, she received Harvard Business School’s Dubilier Prize for her work on technology company Extend Fertility, a pioneer in egg-freezing technology and the first service in the US focused exclusively on women who want to proactively preserve their fertility options. She was recognized in 2010 as “Rising Talent” by the Women’s Forum on the Economy & Society and as “Rising Star” by Institutional Investor. Garriott serves as a Truman National Security Project Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Economic Club of New York. She also serves as a board member of the National Museum of Mathematics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and ESSEC, France. Anecdotally, she and her husband - the first 2nd generation US astronaut, Richard Garriott (son of Apollo astronaut Owen Garriott) – are the only private owners of an object sitting on a celestial body other than Earth, and she is also the granddaughter of French scientist André de Cayeux de Sénarpont (dit “Cailleux”) who pioneered the field of planetary geology in 1948, and after whom the “Cailleux” crater on the Moon is named.