NASA’s JPL appoints its first female director | Engadget

By J. Fingas@jonfingas, January 29th, 2022

New JPL director Dr. Laurie Leshin. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

NASA isn’t just interested in putting more women in space.

The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has appointed Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Dr. Laurie Leshin as its first female director.

She’ll assume the role on May 16th, replacing former director Michael Watkins (who retired in August 2021) and interim director Lt. Gen Larry James. She’ll also serve as vice president of Caltech, which manages the JPL.

Leshin has extensive experience, both in science and in breaking new ground. She has held senior positions in NASA, including a key director role at the Goddard Space Flight Center. As deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, she laid some of the groundwork for both commercial spaceflight and Artemis. She was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s science dean, and has served as WPI’s first female president since 2014.

Source: NASA’s JPL appoints its first female director | Engadget