2020 Girls of Promise Conference Keynote Speaker

Ellen Ochoa

1st Hispanic Woman in Space & Former Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa is a STEM speaker for our generation. She’s a history-making astronaut, a brilliant inventor, a gifted corporate leader who left her mark on the culture of NASA, a role model for women executives, a hero of the Hispanic community, and a lodestar for discussions about females and minorities pursuing scientific and technical fields. On stage, she brings it all together—draws lessons from her life—in a down-to-earth style that has engaged hundreds of audiences across the country. 

In 2013, Ochoa was named the 11th Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, becoming the first Hispanic and the second female director to hold this prestigious position; she retired in 2018. An active astronaut since 1991, two years later, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discover. In total, she has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours, leading onboard scientific activities, and serving as flight engineer during the launch, rendezvous, and entry phases of the mission. Ochoa is the recipient of many honors, including NASA’s highest awards, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Presidential Distinguished Rank of the Senior Executive Service. Read her full bio here.

Breakout Session Speakers

Shannon Anderson, Innovation Hub

Clare Bayley, US Digital

Megan Craig, Acxiom

Jordan Culver, Garver

Sandra Goff, Galley Support Innovations

Jane Hurley, Central Arkansas Water

Lori Monday, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Sara Pilcher, Arkansas Yoga Collective

Prathi Ravikumar, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Stacie Rhoads, Arkansas State Police

Mylia Richards, Veterinarian

Beth Simpson, Arkansas Army National Guard

Wade Ward, EAST Initiative

Marilyn Woessner, Nucor Steel

Speaker inquires: Our session speakers are booked for 2020 but if you’re a woman in STEAM interested in speaking at a later conference, please email rbuttry@womensfoundationarkansas.org.