Dr. Mae Jemison

Engineer, Physician, NASA Astronaut

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the world’s first woman of color to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in 1992 and was NASA’s first science mission specialist, performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness. Dr. Jemison is currently leading 100 Year Starship, an initiative seed funded by DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency to ensure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. She also is founder of The Jemison Group Inc., a technology consulting firm that integrates the critical impact of socio-cultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as health care delivery in West Africa and electricity generation in developing countries.

A strong, committed global voice for science literacy, in 1994 Dr. Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ for students 12-16 years old from around the world, and founded and chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. TEWS-Space Race launched summer 2011 to improve science achievement in Los Angeles-area students who are underserved and underrepresented in the sciences. Over four years, its goal is to directly impact up to 10,000 middle school students and train 600 teachers. In October 2006, the foundation developed the program Reality Leads Fantasy—Celebrating Women of Color in Flight that highlighted women in aviation and space from around the world.

Prior to NASA, Dr. Jemison was Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia, overseeing the healthcare system for Peace Corps (and State Department in Sierra Leone). Dr. Jemison has worked internationally, including in a Cambodian refugee camp and with the Flying Doctors of East Africa. She is a highly sought after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology and motivation and has provided commentary for the BBC, McNeil Lehrer Report, ABC Nightline, NPR and CNN. In Find Where the Wind Goes, she writes for teenagers about growing up on the south side of Chicago, cultivating her aspiration to be a scientist, experiences as a medical student in Africa and her history-making journey into space.

Dr. Jemison is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and is: on the Board of Directors of Kimberly-Clark Corp., Scholastic, Inc. and Valspar Corp.; a Trustee of Morehouse College; Board of Texas Medical Center; and served as Chair, Texas State Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board; Chair, Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force; a member Board of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Dr. Jemison is an inductee of National Women’s Hall of Fame, National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame. A general practice doctor in Los Angeles, she earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American studies at Stanford University, and her M.D. from Cornell University.

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