Ms. Andrea Razzaghi
Andrea Razzaghi was selected as the Deputy Director of Astrophysics in September 2012. She provides executive leadership, strategic direction, and executive management of the programs and projects managed by the Astrophysics Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate. The strategic goal of NASA's astrophysics programs is to discover how the universe works, explore how it began and evolved, and search for Earth-like Planets.
Ms. Razzaghi joined NASA Headquarters in 2010 to serve as the Assistant Director for Planetary Science. During her tenure, she oversaw many exciting mission milestones, including two comet encounters, three planetary launches (Juno to Jupiter, GRAIL to the moon and the Mars Science Laboratory), the commencement of science operations at Mercury with the MESSENGER mission, the Dawn mission at the Asteroid Vesta and the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars.
Prior to NASA Headquarters, Ms. Razzaghi worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she held several key project management positions. From 2005 through 2009, she worked in the Explorers Program Office as the Mission Manager for two astrophysics missions; the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which launched in 2009, and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which launched in February 2012. Ms. Razzaghi also has extensive experience managing Earth science missions. From 1997 through 2004, she was the Observatory Manager for the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura mission, which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2004. In 1992, Ms. Razzaghi began her project management career as the Instrument Manager for the Microwave Imager on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which launched from Tanegashima, Japan in 1997.
From 1996 to 1997, Ms. Razzaghi was selected to serve on detail as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). There she coordinated the activities of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). This Cabinet-level Council is the principal means within the executive branch to coordinate science and technology policy across the diverse entities that make up the Federal research and development enterprise. Chaired by the President, the membership of the NSTC is made up of the Vice President, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Secretaries and Agency Heads with significant science and technology responsibilities, and other White House officials. Ms. Razzaghi also worked with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President.
Ms. Razzaghi grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from the Sidwell Friends School in 1978. She graduated from Brown University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She earned her Master of Science degree from the Catholic University of America in Mechanical Engineering Design in 1990. Ms. Razzaghi started her engineering career at a small company where she worked on airborne mine countermeasures for the US Navy. In 1985, Ms. Razzaghi started her NASA career at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where she worked as an electromechanical engineer. She contributed to a number of successful missions including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), which provided evidence that supported the Big Bang theory and led to a Nobel Prize for two of its principal investigators, and Cassini, which is still operational and sending back spectacular science data and images from Saturn and its moons.