Paul Frakes

Paul Frakes Headshot
Project Lead for Strategic Foresight, Center for Space Policy and Strategy

Paul C. Frakes is a project lead on the Strategic Foresight Team within the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at The Aerospace Corporation. The team’s focus is on transforming the space and national security enterprise through application of disciplined methods to enhance decision-making under uncertainty. Frakes is responsible for leading multidisciplinary teams in horizon-scanning activities to identify fringe signals of change that inform new possible future states. Using structured foresight methods, Frakes designs and facilitates workshops and other discussions for Aerospace customers across the space enterprise, including military, intelligence, civil, and non-profit organizations, to challenge assumptions and extract insights to inform senior leaders’ decisions for future preparedness. He also writes on the topics of foresight methodology, strategy, governance, resiliency, and emerging technology.

Frakes started at Aerospace in the Space Architecture Department, performing international technology assessments, risk management, and resiliency analysis for both civil and national security space programs. Prior to joining Aerospace, he was a flight dynamics analyst at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he provided on-console flight support and analysis to Landsat 8, including launch and early-orbit operations. Frakes also served as the operations lead for conjunction assessment risk analysis, leading a team of analysts to protect more than 60 on-orbit satellites from collision with space debris and other objects—at times, requiring the execution of collision avoidance maneuvers. He has been a guest lecturer at George Washington University, International Space University (Portugal and Brazil), and the United States Air Force Academy.


Frakes earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is a senior member of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, a qualified foresight practitioner as certified by the Institute for the Future, and a private pilot.