12:03 PM

USRA Announces Appointment of New Vice President of Human Resources

Washington, DC—June 15, 2023 Universities Space Research Association  (USRA), a nonprofit organization chartered to advance space science and technology, announced the promotion of Tonya Taylor Stephens to Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer.

Photo of Tonya Stephens, Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

Tonya Stephens, Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

In this role, Ms. Stephens will oversee all aspects of the human resources function including talent acquisition, employee development, performance management, learning and development, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Collaborating with the executive team, she will develop and implement HR strategies, support professional growth of employees, and further strengthen USRA’s position as a leading employer of choice.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Isaacson, USRA President and CEO, stated, “Tonya’s strategic vision, coupled with her impressive background and leadership skills, will be instrumental in supporting USRA’s growth and enhancing a positive and inclusive work environment. We are confident that, under her leadership, the HR function will continue to thrive at USRA.”

With over 20 years of experience in the field of Human Resources, Ms. Stephens brings a wealth of expertise and a proven track record of success to her new position.  She joined USRA in 2017, and since that time, she has managed and mentored USRA’s HR Business Partners and led HR operations, staffing, and recruiting.  In 2019, Ms. Stephens also served as interim HR lead. 

Prior to joining USRA, she played a pivotal role in driving change at various organizations. She served as Managing Director, Human Resources, at the American Diabetes Association where she was an agent for change responsible for conflict resolution, performance management, and managing a staff of HR managers supporting over 75 offices nationwide.  Before that, she served as an Assistant Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Preceding that, she was a Senior Member of the Professional Staff at Computer Sciences Corporation.  

Ms. Stephens holds a Master of Science in Human Resources from American University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She also completed the Executive Leadership Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.



About USRA

Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities, and conducts other major research and educational programs. USRA engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. More information about USRA is available at www.usra.edu.