12 April, 2021

NASA has named Robyn Gatens as director of the International Space Station for the agency following about seven months of her serving as acting director of the program. Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, commented:

“Robyn’s leadership, experience and strategic vision for the International Space Station have been clearly demonstrated as she’s worked closely with the station team as deputy and acting director. I’m confident she will continue our efforts of maximizing the space station for science, research and technology development, including enabling a robust low-Earth orbit economy.”

Gatens will continue to lead strategy, policy, integration, and stakeholder engagement for the space station program at the agency level, working closely with International Space Station Program Manager Joel Montalbano.

Before that Gatens served as deputy director for the International Space Station, sharing responsibility with the director for day-to-day management. She engaged in NASA’s strategic planning to leverage the space station to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy. She also played a leadership role in NASA’s response to an independent, external review of the operations and management of the International Space Station U.S.

Additionally, she has been serving as the systems capability leader for environmental control and life support and crew health and performance systems, a role which she will be transitioning away from now.

Gatens has 35 years of experience at NASA in both the space station program and in the development and management of the life support systems for human spaceflight missions. She began her NASA career in 1985 at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where she held various leadership positions.

She is the recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership and Exceptional Achievement medals. Gatens holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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