NASA HQ Science Mission Directorate, Program Executive

Ms. Ocampo Uria, as the NASA HQ Program Executive for the Science Mission Directorate, is responsible for the Juno mission to Jupiter and NASA collaboration in European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express mission.

In 1998 to 2002, she worked in the Office of Space Science and the Office of External Relations as a Program Executive for Space Science missions with international collaboration (i.e. ESA, IKI, ISAS, CONAE, etc), among which included missions with the European Space Agency (ESA), Russia, Japan and Argentina. As a Program Executive she was responsible for the development, integration, implementation and budget for these missions (i.e. CLUSTER, XMM, INTEGRAL, ASTRO-E MAP, SWIFT). She was also the Russian (and all the former Soviet Union independent countries), Spain, Portugal and Latin America desk officer for NASA’s Office of External Relations. During her tenure at NASA Headquarters she also worked in the Office of Earth Science in the Solid Earth and Natural Hazards Division.

Previously to working at NASA HQ, Ms. Ocampo was a research scientist at the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech/JPL), where she had worked since 1973. In 2005 she was the Investigation Scientist for the Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer/High Energy Neutron Detector/MARIE and also worked for the Mars Program Science Division and the Solid Earth and Natural Program. From 2002 to 2004 she was a senior research staff member at the European Space Agency (ESA), conducting research in comparative planetology of Solar System bodies. She was a member of the Mars Express Project Scientist Team developing and implementing the payload-commissioning plan. She also acted as the deputy project scientist for Venus Express, developing science operation architecture and an educational outreach plan.

Ms. Ocampos has been &/or currently is a member of various prestigious organizations.

– She has served on the U.S. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) National Board of Directors for five years, first as national secretary and then two consecutive terms as the national vice-president.
– She has also served as Chair of SHPE’s International Affairs Committee, which establishes technical programs of cooperation and university student exchange programs between the US and Mexico.
– She is a member of The Planetary Society Advisory Council, a worldwide non-profit organization, which aims to disseminate the latest scientific results and excitement in planetary exploration to the general public.
– She is a member of the Association of Women in Geosciences (AWG), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) where she is a strong supporter of the “shadow program” (which is a mentoring program for young girls), and many other professional organizations.
Ms. Ocampos has received numerous awards and recognitions. Here’s just a few:
– In 2004 she was appointed Senior Adviser for the UNESCO-IUGS International Earth Year (2005-2007) an Earth science for Society Initiative.
– In 2004, she was awarded the 2004 Outstanding Alumni from the California Community College League.
– In 2004, she was selected for the Pat McCormick Educational Foundation “Stan Tall Award” awarded to a person who has gone above and beyond expectations.
– In 2003, she was selected among the 50 most important women in science by Discovery Magazine.
– In 2003 she was awarded the Colombian Orquidea Award in science.
– In 2003 she was selected by the US Academy of Science to participate in a biographical series for children featuring women in science. She is among 27 women scientists selected for this educational non-profit program.
– In 2002 she was featured at the award winning Educational Series Women in Science in the module “Space Geologist” (http://wonderwise.unl.edu). She helped developed this educational and mentoring educational module to promote science. Wonderwise is an award wining series funded from a grant from the US National Science Foundation.
– In 2001, she awarded by ESA for making outstanding contributions to the CLUSTERII Mission.
– In 1997, she received a science and technology award from the Chicano Federation for her contribution to science.
– In 1992, she was awarded the Woman of the Year Award in Science by “Comision Femenil” of Los Angeles.
– She has been featured in the “Latino Pride Calendar,” and several books including “Science Interactions”, “Paramount Publishing Education”, and “Women of Hope/Latinas Abriendo Camino” (video and poster) which are all mentoring publications.

Ms. Ocampo completed her Bachelor of Science degree at California State University of Los Angeles, USA in Geology with an emphasis in Planetary Science. She completed her Master of Science in Geology at California State University Northridge, USA with a thesis on the Chicxulub impact crater in Mexico. The Chicxulub crater was the major factor that caused a mass extinction 65 million years ago on our planet. She is currently enrolled in Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands completing her PhD work. She is currently a student pilot and has applied to become a Space Shuttle mission specialist with NASA


NASA Headquarters (HQ), located in Washington, D.C., exercises management over the space flight centers, research centers, and other installations that constitute NASA.

Responsibilities of HQ cover the determination of programs and projects; establishment of management policies, procedures, and performance criteria; evaluation of progress; and the review and analysis of all phases of the aerospace program.

For more information, visit NASA Headquarters home page.