Retired United States Air Force colonel and former NASA astronaut Pamela A. Melroy was elected to The Aerospace Corporation’s Board of Trustees on December 11, 2019. She is owner and CEO of Melroy & Hollett Technology Partners as well as director of Space Technology and Policy at Adelaide, Australia-based Nova Systems, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing firms working with aerospace and defense companies on systems technology to advance Australia’s place in the space industry.
Previously, Col. Melroy was deputy director of the Tactical Technology Office at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for four years. Prior to that, Col. Melroy worked at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as senior technical advisor/director of Field Operations, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, advising the associate administrator on technical matters involving human spaceflight. Before that, she served as director/deputy program manager at Lockheed Martin, where she was responsible for contract management and a variety of activities concerning the design of Orion, NASA’s lunar-capable human spacecraft.
Before joining the civil and commercial sectors, Col. Melroy spent 14 years at NASA in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility ranging from astronaut candidate to shuttle pilot and more, on her way to becoming only the second woman to command a space shuttle mission. Col. Melroy served as pilot on STS-92 in 2000, STS-112 in 2002, and mission commander on STS-120 in 2007, altogether logging more than 924 hours (more than 38 days) in space.
Col. Melroy began her decade-long association with the Air Force through its ROTC program. She ascended from student pilot to test pilot to aircraft commander/instructor pilot, logging more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft in the process. She is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Just Cause, with more than 200 combat and combat support hours to her credit.
The numerous awards and honors Col. Melroy has received include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; the First Oak Leaf Cluster; the Air Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster; the Aerial Achievement Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster; the Expeditionary Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster; the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. She is a Trustee Emerita of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees, and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Association of Space Explorers, and The Ninety-Nines, Inc. Melroy is also a member of the National Space Council advisory group and the Australian Space Agency advisory group.
Col. Melroy earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and received an honorary degree from Iona College.