Vanessa Wyche is the first Black woman deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She was officially appointed in 2018.
Wyche has worked with NASA for nearly 30 years, overseeing projects on human and robot exploration in space. She’s been recognized as an MVP, earning many achievement and leadership awards including the 2014 Women at NASA Award and two NASA Outstanding Leadership medals.
Wyche grew up in South Carolina and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University. She has said she didn’t grow up surrounded by science but curiosity and passion for STEM led her on a path to success.
“The most important lesson I’ve learned in my life is ‘don’t let your environment define you’” she explained. “Even though I did not have the facilities and an accessible role model, because of my determination to pursue my dream, I enjoy a most rewarding career.”
In 2006, NASA launched Women@NASA, a website designed to highlight NASA women who are making astronomical moves.
Many say Wyche is an inspiration for girls and women worldwide.
Thank you Vanessa Wyche for helping pave the way for women & minorities @NASA: https://t.co/UQJ0V6OTXT
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) September 14, 2018