Skip to Content


NASA chief scientist is UCD 2020 virtual keynote speaker

02.10.2020 | By:
University College Day Logo Image

Photo of Dr. Eileen Stansbery of NASA, the 2020 UCD keynote speaker.The University College Day committee is thrilled to announce Dr. Eileen K. Stansbery as the keynote speaker. She will present virtually and take part in a Q&A session at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 22.

Eileen is the Chief Scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) as well as deputy director of exploration integration and science where she provides executive guidance and direction to a multi-disciplinary organization of more than 400 civil servants and contractors to focus exploration and science activities at JSC. The Exploration Integration and Science Directorate (EISD) maintains authority for extra-vehicular activity (EVA) program management, provides for the curation of all NASA-held extraterrestrial samples and conducts the agency Orbital Debris program. Her organization provides leadership in defining exploration architecture and mission concepts, systems engineering and integration across Agency-wide exploration development efforts while supporting human and robotic space exploration and enables JSC to meet technical objectives and mission needs by creating strategic partnerships. In addition, EISD engages in earth, planetary and space research while providing scientific expertise to robotic scientific missions (primarily to Mars, the Moon, and planetary small bodies).

Eileen briefly served as the NASA acting deputy chief scientist, supporting internal agency senior leadership meetings as well as external meetings of the Office of Chief Scientist with the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Academies. She provided policy and subject matter expertise in support to NASA Policy Directive (NPD) and NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) development for Scientific Collections and Planetary Protection. She played a major role in the Genesis Mission (solar wind sample return) as the mission contamination control lead, curation scientist, and the JSC payload cleaning project manager. Her expertise in contamination control, collector material installation, ultra-precision cleaning techniques, and curation planning for the samples was critical to the successful recovery of science after the sample return capsule crashed in 2004.

Eileen earned her doctorate in space physics from Rice University and her BS in mathematics and physics from Houston Baptist University. In addition to many internal NASA honors including the Outstanding Leadership, Exceptional Service, and Equal Employment Opportunity Medals, Eileen was honored with the 2013 AAS Carl Sagan Memorial Award.

Contact Dr. Ngozi Akinro if you have questions about UCD at