The Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute has unanimously elected Dava Newman as the newest member of its Board of Trustees.

Dava is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member in Cambridge, MA. She previously served as Deputy Administrator of NASA under the Obama administration, from May 2015 until January 2017.

Dava’s research has included space flight experiments, ground-based simulations and mathematical modeling to understand astronaut performance across the spectrum of gravity. Some of her recent projects have focused on advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, enhanced locomotion and policy analysis. Dava is perhaps best known for her work on the “BioSuit™,” a space activity suit that provides mechanical pressure directly on the skin through tension in the suit’s textile weave instead of with pressurized gas, resulting in greater comfort and ease of movement for astronauts wearing the suit. She has published extensively and holds a Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering from MIT, M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy from MIT, and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

We are delighted to welcome Dava to the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees,” said Dan Lankford, Chair of the Board. “Her history of leadership at NASA, her commitment to education and her innovation as scientist and engineer, will be invaluable, as the Institute continues to evolve its long-range vision and strategy.  We are quickly becoming the world’s leading center for research, education and outreach in the investigation of the origins and nature of life in the Universe. With Dava’s help, we’ll get there sooner.”

“Dava is a wonderful addition to our board,” said Bill Diamond, President and CEO of the SETI Institute. “Her passion, energy, and insight, combined with her engineering prowess and education leadership, will help the Institute pursue a more aggressive strategy in technology development and further our reputation as an innovator and leading advocate of STEM education.”

“I’m thrilled to join the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees,” said Newman.  “Becoming interplanetary and finding life in the Universe are my passions. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.'”

Dava Newman becomes an active member of the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees effective immediately and joins a diverse Board of technology leaders, educators, scientists and investors who guide and support the Institute’s mission.