National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Council Member: Charles F. Bolden, Jr., NASA Administrator
Council Designee: Mamta Nagaraja, Women and Girls Initiative, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Mamta Patel Nagaraja currently works at NASA, managing the Agency-wide Women@NASA and operating the LADEE science mission to the moon. As part of her efforts, Dr. Nagaraja founded the NASA GIRLS and BOYS programs, which are virtual mentoring opportunities for middle school students. Previously, she trained astronauts who flew aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). Further, she has worked numerous spaceflight missions, supporting the astronauts from the Mission Control Center for the communications system of the ISS. In her career, she has been awarded two of the Agency’s highest recognitions, the NASA JSC Center Director’s Award for mentoring and NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for significant contributions to the ISS program. Additionally, Dr. Nagaraja received one of the 120 interview slots for the 2013 astronaut candidate selection from an initial pool of over 6,000 applications.
In the community, Dr. Nagaraja is part of the FabFems program, a young professional of the World Affairs Council, a member of the Board of Directors for Women in Aerospace, and plays recreational lacrosse. She performs speaking engagements through NASA’s Speaker’s Bureau and volunteers regularly for the D.C. metro community. She is also a co-founder of a trust fund for the Shastri School for the Deaf and Dumb of Bangalore, India, and she has completed an around-the-world trip, performing outreach in developing countries and hiking to the base camp of Mt. Everest. She is an avid health-enthusiast, running marathons and half marathons across the world, and she founded Team Asha Atlanta, a marathon training group that raises money for education programs in India.
Dr. Nagaraja holds a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, a master of science in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a doctor of philosophy in biomedical engineering from Georgia Tech and Emory University.
Council Designee: Dr. Rebecca Skyke Keiser, Associate Deputy Administrator for Strategy and Policy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Rebecca Spyke Keiser was named NASA's associate deputy administrator for strategy & policy in June 2012, an expansion of her duties and portfolio which began when she was named as the NASA associate deputy administrator for policy integration in August 2010.
In this position, Keiser reports directly to Deputy Administrator Lori Garver as the primary coordinator for agency-level policy and strategy efforts. She helps implement a wide range of initiatives in support of NASA's goals, and integrates the efforts of the agency's various strategic planning offices to ensure consistency with the White House and legislative direction, while supervising an analytic staff in the Office of Strategy Formulation.
Keiser previously had served since August 2009 as the executive officer for the deputy administrator, a role in which she managed the office's staff, provided policy analysis and advice, and facilitated communication across the agency. Prior to that, Keiser was chief of staff for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, where she led the front office team responsible for communications and cross-directorate policy formulation. She also was the executive officer for former NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale from 2005 to 2008.
Keiser's career includes extensive international relations experience. She has served in NASA's Office of International and Interagency Relations as the lead for France, Spain, and Portugal, and the human spaceflight lead for Asia. She also was the assistant to the director for International Relations in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she made policy recommendations and represented the agency at U.S. and international meetings.
Keiser earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Studies from Wellesley College, a Master of Science degree in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. She has received numerous NASA awards for exceptional service.
Council Designee: Ruth McWilliams, Executive Officer, Ombudsman Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Ruth McWilliams has been with NASA for six years, having spent the majority of her government career as an active-duty army officer and army civil servant. She’s served in four countries and multiple duty locations. At NASA, she’s been a resource manager and mission support council executive secretary, and is now an executive officer.