Wanda M. Austin
Lead Director; Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, The Aerospace Corporation
Director since December 2016
Lead Director since May 2022
Chevron Committees: Board Nominating and Governance (Chair); Management Compensation
Current Public Company Directorships: Amgen Inc.
Dr. Austin has held an adjunct Research Professor appointment at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering since 2007. She has been Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MakingSpace, Inc., a leadership and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) consulting firm since December 2017. She is a World 50 executive advisor, fostering peer-to-peer discussions among senior executives from some of the world’s largest companies. She served as Interim President of the University of Southern California from August 2018 until July 2019. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Aerospace Corporation (“Aerospace”), a leading architect for the United States’ national security space programs, from 2008 until her retirement in 2016. From 2004 to 2007, she was Senior Vice President, National Systems Group, at Aerospace. Dr. Austin joined Aerospace in 1979.
Prior Public Company Directorships (within last five years): Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
Other Directorships and Memberships: Horatio Alger Association; National Academy of Engineering; University of Southern California (Life Trustee)
Skills and qualifications
Business Leadership/Operations: Eight years as CEO of Aerospace. Thirty-seven-year career with Aerospace included numerous senior management and executive positions. CEO of MakingSpace, Inc. since December 2017. Executive advisor for World 50.
Finance: More than a decade of financial responsibility and experience at Aerospace. Audit Committee member at Amgen Inc.
Global Business/International Affairs: Internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation. Former CEO of a company that provides space systems expertise to international organizations. Director of companies with international operations.
Government/Regulatory/Public Policy: Served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the President’s Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. Appointed to the Defense Policy Board, the Defense Science Board, and the NASA Advisory Council.
Leading Business Transformation: Numerous awards for leadership and impact as President and CEO of Aerospace, led the technical evaluation and certification of the launch enterprise transition to a commercial business model for national security space missions. As Interim President of the University of Southern California, implemented transformational governance measures to raise the bar at a time of great challenge that involved systemic lapses in the university’s athletics program and in student admissions.
Research/Academia: Trustee and Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. Former Interim President of the University of Southern California.
Science/Technology/Engineering: Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California, M.S. in both Systems Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. Thirty-seven-year career in national security space programs, providing deep experience in high-stakes precision engineering projects. Director at Amgen Inc., a biotechnology company, and former Director at Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc., the world’s first commercial space line and vertically integrated aerospace company. Honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. A member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Updated: September 2023