|Born||1954 (age 62–63)
The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Wanda Austin (born 1954) is the former President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. The Aerospace Corporation has nearly 3,600 employees and annual revenues of more than $917 million. She assumed this position on January 1, 2008 and retired on October 1, 2016. She continues as a consultant for the corporation.
Early life and education
Austin was born in The Bronx in New York City. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College, a master's degree in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.
Before becoming CEO, Austin was Senior Vice President of Aerospace's National Systems Group, which supports the national security space and intelligence community. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President of the corporation's Engineering and Technology Group. Before working at Aerospace, Austin worked at Rockwell International on the technical staff.
In 2015, Austin was selected by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. In 2009, Austin served as a member of NASA Advisory Council and U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, both of which were White House commissioned. In 2010, Austin was appointed to the Defense Science Board. Austin is a member of the California Council on Science and Technology, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Astronautics and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation, and on the Board of Trusteees for the University of Southern California and the National Geographic Society.
Austin is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service, the Air Force Scroll of Achievement, and the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Distinguished Service Medal. In 2010, she received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management, and the Air Force Scroll of Achievement. She is a recipient of the 2012 Horatio Alger Award and the 2012 NDIA Peter B. Teets Industry award.
- "Wanda Austin's Biography at the Aerospace Corporation web site".
- "Wanda M. Austin". Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- Kershner, Kate. "Famous Black Engineers Throughout History". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
- "Wanda Austin". California Council on Science and Technology. Retrieved October 7, 2013.