For years, women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been downplayed and not given leadership opportunities despite their qualifications. But for the first time in NASA's history, women are now leading three of its four science divisions - Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science.
Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate tweeted about the achievement on May 10.
Sandra Cauffman, Acting Director, Earth Science division
Heading NASA's Earth Science division, Sandra Cauffman leads the agency's research about the Earth’s intricacies as the only habitable planet known to humankind so far.
Cauffman, who hails from Costa Rica, joined NASA in 1991 at Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. She moved to the NASA headquarters in 2016 and was named deputy director of the Earth Science Division. Upon the retirement of Michael Freilich in February 2019, she became the division's acting director.
Nicola Fox, Director, Heliophysics division
As director of NASA's Heliophysics division, Nicola Fox leads its efforts to explore the Sun, its impact on the Earth and the rest of the solar system, and how astronauts and space equipment can be better-protected from the star's harsh radiation.
A native of Hitchin, a small town in England, Fox moved to the United States in 1995 for her postdoctoral fellowship at Goddard Space Flight Centre. In 1998, she joined the Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory as a staff scientist. In 2018, she was the project scientist for NASA's Parker Solar Probe. She moved to the NASA headquarters in September 2018 to lead the Heliophysics division.
Lori Glaze, Director, Planetary Science division
Leading NASA's Planetary Science division, Lori Glaze focuses on space missions and research that try to define the origins of our solar system and how it evolved, and the possibility of other worlds that support life.
Born in Dallas, Texas, USA, Dr Lori Glaze has been an active NASA researcher since 1990, and has over 55 peer-reviewed publications. She has led the development of two planetary instruments and twelve space flight mission concepts. In 2018, she moved to the NASA headquarters to head its Planetary Science division.
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