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Laurie Leshin

2014 Speaker

Laurie Leshin became the 16th president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in June of 2014. As president, she is committed to elevating WPI’s impact in communities worldwide. Leshin brings to WPI, over 20 years of experience as a leader in academia and government service, and an accomplished record as a space scientist. Prior to joining WPI, Leshin held various positions of increased responsibility and importance with NASA, including deputy director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, and as the director of science and exploration at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Before joining NASA, Leshin was the Dee and John Whiteman dean’s distinguished professor of geological sciences at Arizona State University, where she led the development of the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary School of Earth and Space Exploration and served as director of the Center for Meteorite Studies. While at ASU, Leshin was appointed by President Bush to serve on the commission for the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, which called for a transformation in the nation’s approach to space exploration. Leshin is a recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize. She has served on the board of directors of Women in Aerospace and the Council of the American Geophysical Union. In 2001 the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid in recognition of her contributions to planetary science: Asteroid 4922 Leshin. Leshin earned a B.S. in chemistry from ASU in 1987 and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1994. @laurieofmars @WPI