Women in Technology Hall of Fame

Dr. Wanda M. Austin

Dr. Wanda M. Austin

Senior Vice President, National Systems Group and President/CEO-Elect

Inducted in 2007

Dr. Wanda M. Austin is a consultant at the Aerospace Corporation based in El Segundo, California. She assumed her current position in October 2016, after serving as CEO and president of National Systems Group—a branch of The Aerospace Corporation—for almost nine years. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees for the University of Southern California (USC) and the National Geographic Society.

The National Systems Group supports national security space and intelligence community in the acquisition, launch, and orbital operation of advanced technology space systems and their ground data stations. During 2015, Wanda was elected by former President Obama to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

She has spent time as a member of both the NASA Advisory Council and the United States Human Spaceflight Plans Committee and was appointed to the Defense Science Board in 2010.

Before becoming CEO at National Systems Group, Wanda was senior vice president in the special studies department from January 1 to April 1, 2004. She was senior vice president of the 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.

She worked as general manager of the Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) division. There, 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 division.

From 1977 to 1979, Wanda 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.

Wanda earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College; her master of science degrees in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh; and a doctor of philosophy in systems engineering from USC.

Wanda is an esteemed member of the NASA Advisory Council and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is a member of the board of trustees of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Wanda has received numerous awards and commendations. Among them are the Air Force Scroll of Achievement; the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal; the United States 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; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management; the Horatio Alger Award; the National Defense Industrial Association Peter B. Teets Industry Award; and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award.

LA Times