Ezinne Uzo-Okoro

White House Assistant Director for Space Policy (2021-2024), Inspirational Rocket Scientist, Former NASA Program Executive & Engineer
Woman in a white suit looking away from the camera with a field of green behind her
  • Held one of the nation’s top science and tech posts in the White House, having previously spent 17 years as an aerospace mission leader at NASA
  • The first woman to run civilian space policy for the White House
  • Reflects upon her inspirational journey from Nigeria to NASA to the White House to share resonant wisdom on leadership, teamwork, and finding success
  • Featured among the global changemakers in President George W. Bush’s book “Out of Many, One”

View Fees Add to List

Check Fees & Availability

Ezinne Uzo-Okoro’s influence at the forefront of space exploration and policy-making is one that extends beyond our world. She is a trailblazing aerospace leader whose career has taken her from the awe-inspiring halls of NASA to the corridors of power in the White House as an assistant director of space policy in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In two decades of groundbreaking government service, Uzo-Okoro has orchestrated forward-thinking policies that have shaped the future of space exploration. From humble beginnings in Nigeria — curious about our world and the universe we inhabit — Uzo-Okoro’s incredible journey in the field of space exploration is one of breaking barriers and paving the way for the next generation of changemakers to develop solutions to society’s most complex challenges. 

A dynamic speaker who is an expert at igniting the audience’s imagination and helping them visualize their own success, Uzo-Okoro reaches into her bottomless reservoir of engaging anecdotes to share valuable insights and life lessons learned from her remarkable experiences at the heart of space exploration and policy. She inspires audiences with the story of her origins as a young child who aspired to be an inventor dreaming up better ways to do things here on Earth and then channeling her eventual passion for space into a career as one of the nation’s top scientists. As she instills the belief that anyone is capable of achieving their goals, she reveals NASA’s tenets for teamwork and leading in complex, no-fail environments, and shares success strategies audience members can adapt to their organizations and individual pursuits.

During her 17-year tenure at NASA, Uzo-Okoro played a pivotal role in more than 60 missions and programs as an engineer, technical expert, manager, and executive in astrophysics, space exploration and communications, and other projects totaling more than $9.2 billion in total program value. Among her many accomplishments at the agency, she oversaw the successful execution of several landmark spacecraft missions where her technical expertise and strategic vision were key essential to advancing the frontiers of space exploration.

Uzo-Okoro’s brilliance extends from aerospace into academia. She holds master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University, MIT, and Harvard University, and made history as the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT. In 2024, she joined Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a Senior Fellow.

Forever passionate about innovating for a better future, Uzo-Okoro founded Terraformers.com with the mission to revolutionize food production on Earth and in space. Her powerful story, which has been chronicled in President George W. Bush’s book Out of Many, One, is a testament to the transformative power of human ingenuity and the enduring spirit of exploration.

Continue Reading »

Lessons from an Inspirational, Out-of-This-World Odyssey to Success. As barrier-breaking former NASA and White House aerospace leader, Ezinne Uzo-Okoro reflects upon her inspiring journey from growing up in Nigeria aspiring to change the world to becoming one of our nation’s most influential and innovative science leaders reshaping the future of space. She takes audiences through milestone moments from her captivating personal story full of moments of embracing challenges, overcoming adversity, leading and performing under pressure, making history, and discovering purpose. In doing so, she demonstrates to those in attendance that they too are capable of accomplishing incredible goals and making their mark in this world. She effortlessly connects with audiences through her relatable stories, and the lessons she shares will empower each individual to think about how they can achieve success while sparking meaningful change in the world.

NASA’s Principles for Leadership and Teambuilding in High-Stakes Environments. In this keynote, Ezinne Uzo-Okoro shifts the focus to teambuilding and leadership and takes groups inside the walls of NASA to reveal theagency’s principles for succeeding in challenging, high-stakes environments where the margin for error is zero. Drawing upon stories and lessons learned from her experiences leading monumental aerospace missions, Uzo-Okoro shares the strategies from one of world’s most high-pressure organizations for how any leader can set a vision and cultivate a culture of resilience, collaboration, and innovation, while nurturing teams that are prepared to thrive when in any situation.   

Beyond Earth: Charting the Future of Space Innovation and Exploration. Aerospace leader Ezinne Uzo-Okoro takes audiences on a fascinating exploration of the cosmos as she introduces them to the next frontier of exploration and innovation in space. As she discusses the cutting-edge technologies and bold initiatives that will shape the future of space, she paints a compelling picture of the challenges and opportunities awaiting us among the stars, inspiring audiences to reach for the stars and redefine what’s possible for generations to come.

Continue Reading »