20. Lynn McDonald
Average Post Engagement: 78.60
What I use Linkedin for:
I’m a strong believer in the power of networks. I’m active on LinkedIn and use it to:
• Connect and network with professionals and enthusiasts in the global Space industry
• Stay up to date on the rapid changes in the Space industry
• Engage in thought leadership, and share and gain insights from other industry leaders
• Raise awareness on diversity and inclusion in the Space and STEM industries
• Stay in touch with colleagues and partners who are passionate about the mission, business, and people in the International Space community
• Celebrate other’s professional successes!
Number of Followers:
Who am I:
I’m incredibly passionate about the Space industry. I have been in the Space and Defense industry over 26 years and love it!
I spent 23 years serving in the United States Air Force and retired as a Colonel in 2019. I had amazing experiences in satellite operations, space launch, operational test for space programs like GPS and Space Domain Awareness, and space-based intelligence. I was also fortunate to be a Commander and held command positions in a squadron that operated infrared satellite missions and in a unique position at the National Reconnaissance Office. I deployed to the Middle East in a Space role, launched rockets, operated reconnaissance satellites, and worked with amazing people. It was demanding and exhilarating—and I loved every minute of it.
After more than two decades of serving my nation, I was ready to take a leap of faith, both figuratively and literally. I was introduced by an Australian friend to a US Astronaut, and she connected me to a previous colleague who was given the charge to take Microsoft into Space (note: this was a huge lesson for me in the power of networks)! I joined Microsoft in 2020, just as the company was initiating efforts in the Space industry. Our team ran fast to bring the power of cloud compute, Artificial Intelligence, and other amazing capabilities to the new space race! That leap led me halfway around the world to my current role, where I am now living in Australia as the Azure Space Lead for Asia Pacific. I’ve been watching the exciting evolution of the Australian Space industry for years and was eager to be a part of its growth.
I’ve grown the Azure Space business in Australia, and now the Asia Pacific region, with an amazing team. I love the tech, innovation, and partnerships. I’m especially proud of what we’ve done to support Space startups and our work to help grow diverse talent in this rapidly expanding industry.
I’m passionate about the Space industry and supporting diversity in the industry. You CAN make your mark and allow your passions to drive impact – for customers, the industry, and the community.
Values I live by — face life with courage, be authentic, press forward with determination, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something…
What I do:
I’m actively involved in the Space industry.
• I’m the Microsoft Azure Space Lead for Asia Pacific – I lead efforts to innovate and develop cloud technologies for the space industry and our customers. My team and I bring together innovation, products, and partnerships to deliver accessible satellite connectivity and space-enabled data and analytics insights to all industry customers. In partnership with Modis, we’ve just kicked off Tech Start, which is focused on creating opportunities for women in the Australian space industry.
• I’m a non-executive director on the board for Equatorial Launch Australia. I’m thrilled about ELA’s upcoming launches! Australian access to space is a critical national capability. I feel fortunate to have been a part of US and now Australian space launch missions.
• I’m a United Nations Space4Women mentor. I’m passionate about mentoring. It is essential to growth, progress, and continual learning.
• I provide career coaching for women through my coaching business, The Star Byte, with a focus on women in STEM industries.
• I run a LinkedIn group called SPACE for WOMEN to create networking opportunities, celebrate women’s accomplishments in the industry, and share industry information.
Why you should follow me on Linkedin:
Follow me if you’re excited about the Space industry, space technology, and the thrilling trajectory of this industry! Follow me if you’re passionate about diversity and inclusion in STEM and the Space industry! I value my network and enjoy sharing ideas and learning from the professionals in my network.
Who I follow on Linkedin
Dr. Sian Proctor – Inspiration4 was …inspirational! I haven’t felt so inspired about human spaceflight since I was a kid! I love that Dr. Proctor took her art to Space. That resonated with me because I strongly believe you can and should bring your passion into your profession.
I follow a broad range of professionals in the Defence and Space industries.
I also follow other women in the Space industry. Love watching the talent, ambition, and inspiration that women bring to this industry every day.
Lynn’s Favorite Post
This was a tough one and a 3-way tie! I’m proud of the work we have done to launch the Azure Space business in Australia and the region, support Space startups, and enable the growth of diverse talent in the industry.
My favorite post is announcing the launch of Azure Space in Australia. There was a ton of ‘blood, sweat, and tears’, late nights, weekends, a quick-turn move to the other side of the planet (my Global Talent Visa was approved in 2 days!), and a huge level of diligence to initiate the business, bring Azure Space to the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in Adelaide, build the team, partner with major companies like Nokia on a Space and 5G technology innovation agreement, and sign an agreement with the Australian Space Agency. It was a huge effort, I have an amazing team, and I’m proud to work for a company like Microsoft that trusts, empowers, and gives the latitude to get.things.done! Most importantly, the launch of the business allowed us to bring enabling cloud technologies and innovation, partner with amazing companies, support space startups, and help grow diverse talent. Now, we’re engaging through the region and working with partners to propel the industry to the ultimate frontier!
Lynn’s Successful Post
My most successful post (and tie for favorite post!) is the announcement of our Tech Start program in Australia. Microsoft, Modis, and a number of IT and Space industry companies partnered to create this program focused on helping women gain industry recognized micro-credentials, professional mentoring and career development support. Tech Start provides the connections, pathways and confidence to help women pursue a career in the growing Space, Defense, and IT industries.
A colleague and I saw a need to help grow diverse talent in the Australian space industry. We created this program because we wanted to be part of the solution. We have an amazing partner network at Microsoft, which helped us rapidly develop and deploy this program. Our first cohort had 200 women applicants! We’ve seen amazing talent already and we’re thrilled to support the growth of diversity in the Australian Space industry.