an Explore Mars Event

May 16-18, 2023

The National Academy of Sciences Building

Washington D.C.

Vanessa E. Wyche

NASA | Director, Johnson Space Center

Vanessa E. Wyche is the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, home to America’s astronaut corps, Mission Control Center, International Space Station, Orion and Gateway programs and its more than 11,000 civil service and contractor employees. She is responsible for overseeing a broad range of human spaceflight activities, including development and operation of human spacecraft, commercialization of low-Earth orbit and Johnson’s role in exploring the Moon and Mars. Under Wyche’s leadership, Johnson was recognized by Forbes and Statista as the No. 1 best employer among Texas' major employers.

Wyche previously served as deputy director at Johnson for three years beginning in 2018. Other key leadership positions include: assistant and acting deputy director of Johnson; director of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, flight manager of several missions of the retired Space Shuttle Program, executive officer in the Office of the NASA Administrator, and led additional center-level technical and program organizations. Before joining NASA in 1989, Wyche worked for the Food and Drug Administration in Washington D.C.

A native of South Carolina, Wyche earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Science in Bioengineering from Clemson University. She was inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists at Clemson University in 2019 and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Coastal Carolina University in 2022.

Wyche is a passionate promoter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and serves as a member of American Institute of Physics Foundation board of directors, Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences advisory board, the University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business advisory panel, and is a past chair of the Space Center Houston board of directors. She is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, and two NASA Achievement Medals. She is an AIAA Associate Fellow and International Women’s Forum Fellow.

Wyche is married to George Wyche Jr. Esq, and has one son, George Wyche III.

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