06:54 AM

LPI Intern Program Alumna to Serve as NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration

USRA is proud to congratulate Dr. Laurie Leshin, an alumna of The Lunar and Planetary Institute's (LPI) prestigious summer intern program, on her appointment as the new Deputy Associate Administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.

Dr. Leshin previously served as the Deputy Center Director for Science and Technology at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center where she led the formulation of strategy and start of new missions and provided extensive scientific guidance to lunar architecture and other human spaceflight planning activities. She has, since coming to NASA in 2005, served on a number of science teams for NASA missions, including the Mars Polar Lander and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory.

Prior to coming to NASA Dr. Leshin served as the Dee and John Whiteman Dean Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences and Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. While serving in that capacity she was awarded the agency's Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award that can be given to non-NASA personnel. Her accomplishments in the field of planetary science have also been recognized by the International Astronomical Union with the naming of the asteroid 4922 Leshin.

'We are delighted to hear about Dr. Leshin's appointment and wish her much success in her new position,' stated USRA CEO Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino. 'This is an excellent example of the benefits provided by programs like the LPI's that nurture the outstanding technical talent needed to further our nation's space exploration efforts. USRA is extremely proud to support programs that identify and encourage the development of individuals, like Dr. Leshin, who will provide the scientific and technical expertise to lead these efforts into the future.'

The Universities Space Research Association, founded in 1969, is a private, nonprofit consortium of 104 research universities offering doctoral degrees in space science and aeronautics disciplines. USRA operates programs and institutions focused on research and education in science and advanced technology.