48. Annette Rodrigues
Opera In Space
Over the course of her 36-year career in aerospace, Annette Rodrigues has left an indelible imprint of accomplishment and service to others. Her wide range of achievements includes training astronauts, helping migrant children, starting her own company and influencing corporate culture. Her demonstrated abilities as an effective organizer, communicator and strategic planner have earned her the respect of colleagues and supervisors throughout the aerospace industry. Today, she is the Senior Subcontract Administrator for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, CA. As the acting lead for the Missile Defense Systems, Advanced Programs and Business Development Subcontract Team, Annette leads the development of all subcontracts and purchase orders for the team and makes recommendations on how to include new technology programs and expand the small business supplier pool.
Annette began her professional career at NASA Ames Research Center in the Equal Opportunity Programs Office where she quickly demonstrated her progressive leadership. Her fresh approach to identifying valuable technical personnel included adding new recruitment sites at minority universities and initiating the first program with the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, which brought a new engineering group to the Ames staff. She initiated the studies that led to the establishment of an on-site Child Care Center for the children of Ames employees. Later, she joined the Science Payloads Operations Branch where she was responsible for astronaut crew training and was assigned the role of Project Manager for the shuttle Transportation System (STS)-29 Student Shuttle Involvement Program which led to further science experiments n microgravity following the loss of the Challenger Spacelab. She then designed, developed and implemented the Animal Life Sciences Crew Training Program which has been recognized and used throughout NASA. In her last year with NASA, Annette served as the Guest Services Manager, U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama where she managed museum operations. The following year she left her 26-year career with NASA to form her own company, Integrated Space Technologies, Inc., a new start-up she led for five years that was designed to provide technical services to the aerospace industry in the areas of engineering, project management, education, public outreach, flight projects, etc.
The first in her Puerto Rican family to graduate from college, Annette has combined her passion for science, as well as her outstanding leadership and organizational skills, to thrive in the aerospace industry. She is a graduate of San Jose State University where she earned a B.S. degree in business. She earned a M.S. degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. She has actively mentored young talent both at work and in the community. All of her colleagues agree, through dedication and commitment, Annette Rodrigues makes the impossible happen. But even more important, she makes it happen with the highest quality, with fairness, and with fun for all.