The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation today announced the election of a new trustee, Ellen Ochoa, astronaut, former director of the Johnson Space Center and vice chair of the National Science Board.
“The mission and the people of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation drew me to accept this opportunity,” said Ochoa. “My life has been devoted to science and as someone who has the rare opportunity to see the Earth from space, I look forward to working with experts dedicated to conserving the critical ecosystems on this planet.”
Ochoa was the 11th director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, leading the human space flight enterprise for the nation. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours, leading onboard scientific activities, operating the robotic arm, and serving as flight engineer during the launch, rendezvous, and entry phases of the mission.
Prior to her astronaut and management career, Dr. Ochoa was a research engineer and holds three patents for optical systems. She earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in physics from San Diego State University.
She is the recipient of many awards including NASA's highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Distinguished Rank of the Senior Executive Service, and honorary doctorates from The University of Pennsylvania, The Johns Hopkins University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is in the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
“We are fortunate to have Ellen join our board of trustees,” said Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., president of the foundation. “She is an exceptional scientist and proven leader. Her counsel will greatly benefit the foundation, and I look forward with pleasure to working with her.”
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and the preservation of the special character of the Bay Area.