SETI Co-Founder Jill Tarter to Offer Closing Remarks at Cross Cultural Management Summit

Tickets Available for March 22-24 Event in Orlando       

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Jill Tarter, the astronomer who has spent her career seeking to answer the question of whether we are alone in the universe, and whose work was the basis for Jodie Foster’s character in the 1997 movie Contact, will be the closing speaker at the 2018 Cross Cultural Management Summit March 22-24 at Caribe Royale in Orlando.

Tarter was one of 10 initial employees at the SETI Institute, the Mountain View, California-based operation that opened in 1985 to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. And she since spent the majority of her professional career attempting to answer the age-old question, “Are we alone?”

She will speak at the Summit starting at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, March 24, offering, “A Cosmic Perspective: Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves.”

“We haven’t yet found life beyond Earth, but there is a vast amount of potentially-habitable real estate to explore,” she says. “The 21st century will be the century in which we will find some answers to this old question; there are many paths we will investigate.”

The Summit, with the theme “Going Beyond Global,” will feature presentations by thought leaders, interactive discussions, and one-on-one networking opportunities that combine to create a productive and fun learning environment.

The first day will also include an appearance by famed moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. He will be presented with the Institute for Cross Cultural Management’s Trailblazer award. Given to professionals who have changed the paradigm of cross cultural management, the award recognizes Aldrin’s ground-breaking inclusion of cultural competence as one of the mission-critical areas of Mars colonization.

The Summit will then unfold along three topic tracks:

  • Culture And Innovation: The Balance Between Technology and Humanity
  • Culture And Problem Solving: The Balance Between Risk and Reward
  • Culture And Well-Being: The Balance Between Work and Life

For her work, Tarter currently holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research at the SETI Institute. She received her Bachelor of Engineering Physics Degree with Distinction from Cornell University and her Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

She has served as project scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted numerous observational programs at radio observatories worldwide.

Many people were exposed to her work from Contact, where Jodie Foster plays a scientist based on Tarter. Tarter spent weeks speaking to Foster before and during filming.

For more information and to register for the Summit, visit


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