Dr. Marla E. Pérez-Davis Joins the KSU-CAE on a Short-Term Collaboration
Dr. Marla E. Pérez-Davis, retired Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has joined the College of Aeronautics and Engineering for a short-term collaboration, supporting two very important strategic college-wide initiatives.
Dr. Pérez-Davis has a passion for serving underrepresented and marginalized students, particularly students of Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate and agent of change in efforts to diversify the STEM workforce. She now brings this experience and expertise to the CAE and will work with our faculty and staff as we continue to build bridges to these communities.
“We are so thankful to have Dr. Pérez-Davis joining us,” said Christina L. Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean and professor, College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “Her depth of knowledge and magnitude of experiences will help us better serve our diverse community. I am so excited for all that is to come from her time with us”.
When asking students what it means to them to be able to connect with Dr. Pérez-Davis, sophomore Nathan Wredberg said, “To speak with an individual that’s so accomplished in the field that you’re about to enter, and to have such positive feedback and encouragement, was an incredible feeling and gave me even more confidence in my ability to succeed!”
Dr. Pérez-Davis will also be working with our CAE faculty as many of them continue to quickly expand our footprint in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) arena. She will be supporting our faculty effort by helping to strategize and make connections, as well as assisting in interfacing with all the various entities involved in the AAM effort.
About Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis
During her time as the director, she was responsible for planning, organizing and directing the activities required in accomplishing the missions assigned to the center. The Glenn staff consists of more than 3,200 civil service and support contractor employees and has an annual budget of more than $900 million. Throughout her career, she held many leadership positions including – but not limited to, deputy director of the Research and Engineering Directorate, director of the Aeronautics Research Office, and chief of the Project Liaison and Integration Office.
She was the recipient of numerous NASA awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the prestigious Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives. She was also the recipient of the Great Minds in STEM 2021 HENAAC Engineer of the Year Award; 2015 Crain’s Women of Note; the Top 25 Elite Business Women, Hispanic Business Magazine; Women of Color Career Achievement; Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Association of University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez; Women in Aerospace Award for Aerospace Awareness; Women of Color Technology Award for Career Achievement; and the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Santiago Rodriguez Diversity Award. She is also a certified NASA Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
For more information about her time tenure at NASA, please visit: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/bios/perez-davis_bio.html