Geek Of The Week: JoAnn Morgan

Geek Of The Week: JoAnn Morgan

JoAnn Hardin Morgan is an American aerospace engineer who was a trailblazer in the United States space flight program as the first female engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) John F. Kennedy Space Center and the first woman to serve as a senior executive at Kennedy Space Center. For her work at NASA, Morgan was honored by U.S. President Bill Clinton as a Meritorious Executive in 1995 and 1998. Prior to her retirement in 2003, she held various leadership positions over 40 years in the manned space flight programs at NASA. Morgan served as the director of the External Relations and Business Development during her final years at the space center.

In 1963, Morgan began full-time employment at Kennedy Space Center. She was the only female engineer, and she recalls that she “would remain the only woman there for a long time.” Morgan was the only woman in the firing room during the launch of Apollo 11 on 15 July 1969. Morgan humorously notes that “for the first 15 years, I worked in a building where there wasn’t a ladies’ rest room,” and “it was a big day in my book when there was one.”

Ms. Morgan was selected to receive a Sloan Fellowship to prepare her for a management position at the space center. She enrolled at Stanford University and earned a Masters of Science in 1977. Two years later she was promoted to the Chief of the Computer Services Division.[8] Morgan served as the director of the External Relations and Business Development during her final years at the space center except for a brief stint in 2002 when she was appointed as acting deputy director of KSC for several months. Morgan retired in August 2003 with forty-five years of service to NASA.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.