Armstrong Flight Research Center


Senior Safety Technical Technical Manager

Dr. Rodón-Naveira is the Senior Safety Technical Manager within the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance current position at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC). She is responsible for leading, coordinating and managing DFRC’s safety and occupational training and competency projects to ensure a safe mission success. Prior to this position, she was DFRC’s Education Director and Higher Education Lead, responsible for managing all of the Center’s higher education academic programs by working closely with the Center’s technical leads and the academic community at-large in the areas of Science and Engineering.

During 2002-2003, Dr. Rodón-Naveira supported the Unmmaned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developmental activities within NASA-DFRC’s Aerospace Projects Directorate. In that role, she was responsible for assisting in the development of collaborative partnerships with the scientific community for the potential use of UAVs as unique science platforms in long-duration, long-range and high hazards missions. In addition to a scientist,

In addition to being a scientist, Dr. Rodón-Naveira is also an educator. During a one-year work detail assignment (2001-2002), she served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Arts and Sciences, within the Inter-American University, Bayamón Campus, Puerto Rico. As a professor, she developed and presented a multi-media, multi-disciplinary, inquiry-based undergraduate course in “Applied Earth System Science”. The course was offered to honor students as part of the honor program. She also participated in various institutional career days providing information to students on careers related to science, engineering and technology; coordinated various NASA educational student workshops and given talks and hands-on demonstration projects at local schools in the area of aeronautics and earth science. In addition to working with elementary and college students over the past 4 years, she has also contributed to imparting needed science and engineering skills and knowledge to pre-service and in-service teachers by participating in a number of national and international Technical Science Teacher Workshops.

Dr. Rodón-Naveira began her career with NASA at the Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) in Edwards, California, in December 2000 as an Earth Science Remote Sensing Scientist, responsible for coordinating and conducting research to enhance collaboration between Directorates within DFRC, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, universities, Indian tribes and other governments and international entities, all in support of the integrated use of remote sensing instruments in aerial platforms.

Dr. Rodón-Naveira’s professional accomplishments began with the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she served from 1990 to 2000. From 1990 to 1994 she worked as Biologist and Environmental Research Scientist. In 1995, Dr. Rodón-Naveira became the first woman minority Branch Chief within the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL); and three years later, the first Hispanic woman to hold the Deputy Directorship for the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) within the NERL.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Rodón-Naveira has been formally recognized for her scientific and management accomplishments: US EPA Silver Medal Award (2001) – Second highest EPA award; for the effective management of the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Program Team in the development of the first land-use , land-cover map for the United States; US EPA’s Suzanne Olive EEO and Diversity Award (2000) for her leadership in diversity management; Outstanding Leadership in Management Award (1999) granted by the Southern Nevada Federal Executive Association; a Congressional Certificate of Recognition (1999) in recognition for the outstanding contributions to management in public service granted by Mr. James Gibbons, Member of Congress 2nd District of Nevada; and a Senatorial Recognition (1999) for her distinguished public service granted by U S Senator Richard H. Bryan, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dr. Rodón-Naveira is a role model to federal scientists and managers in general, and to women and minorities in particular, not just for her professional accomplishments but for her personal commitment to effectively inspiring, promoting and supporting educational efforts in science and engineering.

Educational Background:
Dr. Rodón-Naveira was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She attended the Academia Perpetuo Socorro High School in Puerto Rico and continued her education at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. where she received her undergraduate science degree in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Biology-Earth Science/Micro-Ecology. In addition to her formal education, Dr. Rodón-Naveira over the course of her career has engaged in numerous leadership, management, scientific, and occupational health and safety trainings; including the fact that she is currently a single-engine Student Pilot with approximately 15 hours of flight time.

APRIL 2009


Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) is NASA’s center for aeronautical flight research and atmospheric flight operations.

NASA AFRC is chartered to research, develop, verify, and transfer advanced aeronautics, space and related technologies.

NASA AFRC is located in the desert right next to Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. There is a very, very big dry lakebed that serves as a landing strip for new experimental aircraft. It also serves as a backup landing site for the Space Shuttle and a facility to test and validate design concepts and systems used in development and operation of the Orbiters.

For more information, visit NASA Armstrong Research Center home page.