Huntsville’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center announces new CEO, Executive Director

Dr. Kimberly Robinson; Credit: U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year veteran of NASA, will start her new role on Feb. 15, 2021.

Posted: Dec 15, 2020 2:28 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2020 2:58 PM

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville has a new CEO and Executive Director.

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, a 31-year veteran of NASA, will start her new role on Feb. 15, 2021.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, the center said “Dr. Robinson brings to the position a background that includes leadership, public engagement, engineering, education, flight crew training and hands-on experience shaping the nation’s space program.”

Currently, Robinson serves as NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems. She was formerly the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I.

Robinson is also an alumna of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Louie Ramirez, who has served as Executive Director and CEO of the center since January 2020, will remain there in a part-time capacity as Chief Operations Officer.

Read the rocket center’s full announcement on Tuesday below:

The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Kimberly Robinson as Executive Director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. A 31-year veteran of NASA, Dr. Robinson will assume her role Feb. 15, 2021.

Dr. Robinson brings to the position a background that includes leadership, public engagement, engineering, education, flight crew training and hands-on experience shaping the nation’s space program. Dr. Robinson currently serves as NASA’s Utilization Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems and was previously the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

Before that, she served as the SLS Strategic Communications manager, sharing the future of human space exploration with the public. She is the recipient of numerous NASA performance awards including an Exceptional Achievement Medal and a Silver Snoopy. She completed her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and her Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

“Along with her vast experience with NASA, Dr. Robinson brings an innovative spirit and the leadership skills needed to guide the Rocket Center as we plan for the future,” said Joe Newberry, ASSEC board chairman. “Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious and brought her to the top of a rigorous and exhaustive search for our new Executive Director and CEO.”

Louie Ramirez, who has served as Executive Director and CEO since January 2020, will remain with the Rocket Center in a part-time capacity as Chief Operations Officer to assist Dr. Robinson in her transition to her new role.

“I look forward to joining the remarkable team at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to inspire our next generation of explorers,” Dr. Robinson said. “The Rocket Center is a vital part of our community that honors the Rocket City’s storied accomplishments and helps shape tomorrow’s space industry. I am excited to bring my knowledge and experience from three decades in the field of space exploration to the Rocket Center and help plan for our vibrant future.”

Dr. Robinson is married to Keith Robinson and has three sons. She is an avid community volunteer and serves as Vice President for A New Leash on Life animal rescue organization and has taught at Oakwood University and UAH.

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