Opening Session

Opening Session
Monday, June 5, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Keynote Address
Find Where the Wind Goes

Dr. Mae C. Jemison

Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab (Japan), mission in September 1992. Dr. Jemison was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist, performing experiments in material science, life science, and human adaptation to weightlessness. Since leaving NASA, she founded the technology consulting firm The Jemison Group, Inc., which explores and develops stand-alone science and technology programs and companies. A strong, committed global voice for science literacy, Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ for students around the world aged 12 to 16. She also founded and chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence.

As a former Environmental Studies Professor at Dartmouth College, Jemison taught sustainable development and technology design, and ran The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technologies in Developing Countries.

Dr. Jemison is currently leading the 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to ensure that the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. The Jemison Group also focuses on the impact of sociocultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as using satellite technology for healthcare delivery in West Africa and solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.

Dr. Jemison is an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the International Space Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, and the Texas Science Hall of Fame. Among her many honors, awards, and honorary degrees, she has received the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award and the Kilby Science Award.

Prior to joining NASA, Jemison was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia for two-and-a-half years. In her Peace Corps role, she was responsible for overseeing the healthcare system for the Peace Corps (and the State Department in Sierra Leone). Jemison has worked internationally in a Cambodian refugee camp and with the Flying Doctors of East Africa. Jemison earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and completed the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University. She earned her M.D. from Cornell University.

Dr. Jemison is a highly sought after speaker on healthcare, social responsibility, technology, and motivation. She has provided commentary for the BBC, “The McNeil-Lehrer Report,” ABC’s “Nightline,” NPR, and CNN. In Find Where the Wind Goes, she writes for teenagers about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, her aspiration to be a scientist, her experiences as a medical student in Africa, and her history-making journey into space. She has appeared on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” hosted the Discovery Channel’s series “World of Wonder,” and was chosen one of People magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People” in 1993. Dr. Jemison resides in Houston and loves cats.