NASA’s uncertain future and its impact on Florida’s economy will be the focus of a University of Central Florida political symposium Monday, Sept. 27.

Government and business leaders and policy experts will discuss President Obama’s plans to overhaul NASA and also the new technologies and economic development strategies that could shape Florida’s future if thousands of jobs connected with the space program are lost.

The Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government’s fall symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union. The event also will be webcast on the Lou Frey Institute’s website,

“Florida’s Future: The Space Program and Beyond” will open with a presentation by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986. At 10:30 a.m., U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas and Frank DiBello, president and chief executive officer of Space Florida, will speak about the space program’s importance throughout Florida, the United States and the world.

Other speakers include Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council; John Adams, president of Enterprise Florida; and Leslie Molony, senior director of Business Development at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

The Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government is a nonpartisan organization housed in the UCF Department of Political Science. The institute promotes civic education and engagement, particularly among young people. Institute programs encourage informed discussion of issues from diverse viewpoints, stimulate participation in the political process and support research on politics and policy.

Lou Frey, the institute’s founder, represented Central Florida in Congress from 1969 to 1979.  Last year, Frey was honored with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress’ Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to improve civic education and encourage young people to be more actively involved in their government.

Sponsors for the symposium are the Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed law firm; the UCF Department of Political Science; the UCF College of Sciences; the UCF Global Perspectives Office; the United States Association of Former Members of Congress; and the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information, including a full schedule for the symposium, visit