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Ezinne Uzo-Okoro

Assistant Director for Space Policy
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Ezinne Uzo-Okoro determines civil and commercial space policy priorities for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her portfolio includes Orbital Debris, On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM), Earth Observations, Space Weather, Aeronautics, and Planetary Protection.

In 17 years at NASA, she contributed to over 60 missions and programs – as an engineer, technical expert, manager and executive – in earth observations, planetary science, heliophysics, astrophysics, human exploration, and space communications, which represent $9.2B in total program value. Her last role was as a heliophysics program executive.

At NASA Headquarters, she led a heliophysics portfolio of spaceflight missions, including the PUNCH, TRACERS, and MAGIC within the Science Mission Directorate.

At NASA Ames, she directed the Small Spacecraft Mission Design Division, including the Mission Design Center, led teams in developing advanced spacecraft mission concepts, and developed partnerships with government agencies. In several Chief Engineer roles, she provided oversight for over 20 programs on systems engineering and software systems as technical authority. She led a mission design concept for a constellation of eight small satellites.

At NASA Goddard, within the flight segment, she contributed significantly in areas of engineering leadership and technical development of flight hardware and software on several spacecraft missions, including TESS (launched 2018), NICER (launched 2017), GPM (launched 2014), Constellation Program – Orion/EFT-1 (launched 2014), ELC (launched 2009), and Cassini (Saturn’s Orbit Insertion in 2004). Within the ground segment, she co-led the $300M Spacecraft Communication and Navigation Integration Project with JPL and NASA Glenn partners. She served as the technical authority on over 20 mission operational readiness reviews. Within R&D, she led the development of remote-sensing image registration algorithms, which resulted in NASA-owned registration algorithm patents.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and masters degrees in Space Systems, Space Robotics, and Science & Technology Policy, from Johns Hopkins University, MIT, and Harvard University, respectively. She is completing a PhD at MIT, on the robotic assembly of satellites. She founded Terraformers.com to grow affordable food through productive and networked backyard gardens, as a precursor to growing food in space. Her immigration story is profiled in President George W. Bush’s book, ‘Out of Many, One’.


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