Senior Vice President, National Systems Group and President/CEO-Elect
Inducted in 2007
Dr. Wanda M. Austin is senior vice president of the National Systems Group based in Chantilly, Virginia. She has been elected by the board of trustees to succeed Dr. William F. Ballhaus, Jr., as president and chief executive officer on January 1, 2008, when he retires. She assumed her current position on April 1, 2004. The National Systems Group supports the national security space and intelligence community in the acquisition, launch and orbital operation of advanced technology space systems and their ground data stations. Austin was senior vice president, Special Studies, from January 1 to April 1, 2004. She was senior vice president, Engineering and Technology Group, from June 2001 to December 2003, directing a staff of 1,000 engineers and scientists working in a wide range of space-related disciplines. Before that she was general manager of the Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Division, where she was responsible for systems engineering support to the Air Force in the architecture, acquisition, development, and orbital operation of advanced satellite communications systems and programs. She was general manager of the Electronic Systems Division before her assignment to the MILSATCOM organization. Before joining Aerospace, Dr. Austin was a member of the technical staff at Rockwell International. She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering and system simulation.
Dr. Austin earned a B.A. in mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College, M.S. degrees in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Austin is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She also is a member of the board of trustees of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Dr. Austin has received numerous awards and citations. Among them are the Air Force Scroll of Achievement, the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal, the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Air Force Space and Missile System Center's Martin Luther King Spirit of the Dream Award, the Society of Women Engineers Upward Mobility Award, and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award.
The Aerospace Corporation, based in El Segundo, California, is an independent, nonprofit company that provides objective technical analyses and assessments for national security space programs and selected civil and commercial space programs in the national interest.