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Global Perspectives with Ellen Ochoa

Dallas Fed

Ellen Ochoa, former director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and former member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board of directors, discusses her path to being an astronaut, the importance of STEAM education and serving on the Dallas Fed board.


About Ellen Ochoa

Ochoa was director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she flew on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours.

Ochoa is vice chair of the National Science Board, director of Service Corporation International and Mutual of America, and chair of the nomination evaluation committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. She previously served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board and as chair of the Houston Branch board.

Prior to her career as an astronaut, Ochoa was a research engineer and holds three patents for optical systems. She received a BS in physics from San Diego State University and MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and California Hall of Fame.