Robyn Gatens is NASA’s director of the International Space Station. In this role, Gatens leads strategy, policy, integration, and stakeholder engagement for the space station program at the agency level. She provides technical advice for the program, as well as oversees program execution and risk management.
Prior to her appointment as acting director, Gatens served as director of the ISS Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and deputy director for the International Space Station, sharing responsibility with the director for day-to-day management. She engaged in NASA’s strategic planning to leverage the space station to enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy. She also played a leadership role in NASA’s response to an independent, external review of the operations and management of the International Space Station National Laboratory, which the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space manages, and provided leadership for the new strategic direction for the National Laboratory. Additionally, she served as the systems capability leader for environmental control and life support, and crew health and performance systems.
Gatens has 35 years of experience at NASA in both the space station program and in development and management of the life support systems for human spaceflight missions. She began her NASA career in 1985 at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where she held various leadership positions, including systems lead for the station’s regenerative environmental control and life support system (ECLSS), ECLSS division chief, and manager for the Orion Crew Support and Thermal Systems.
She is the recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership and Exceptional Achievement medals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.